La Calahorra to Guadix

Floods!

Thursday 26 April 2018

Rain, more rain and still raining. Left in the rain in the near still dark.

Walked along the road as I’ve seen the mines before and I thought I’d get there faster if I avoided the circuitous camino at this time.

Passed quickly through Alquife. No enticing cafes at that hour. Knew there was a possible creek ahead from being there earlier and, more recently, from Maggie’s blog. She’d said they’d found an upstream bridge so I thought nothing more about it.

Strangely though, I saw no signs of footprints from other peregrinos in the mud. As there are at least 6 on each of the two days before me I expected there would be at least a couple ahead of me. But, not that I could see.

Suddenly, a creek. The first creek was only about a metre wide at its narrowest. Trust me, it was wider than it looked, not just one leap. Got some water inside the heel of one shoe when I jumped across. Nothing more.

The next creek looked impassible and wet feet inevitable. Threw a very large rock in on top of others. Only about 6cm of water covered both it and the next rock I’d need to touch to get over. And again, the camera did not do it justice. Looks much narrower, shallower and slower than it was up or down.

Just made it with no added water inside either boot. Wet outers ++

The third creek was impassible. Wide, fast flowing and I wasn’t sure how deep, at least 40-50cm. Wading was out. So was jumping from rock to rock as they were all to well covered and the water was flowing much too fast. Took off my shoes and socks to wade but it really was too fast, wide and deep. Walking over a fallen log wasn’t possible as it was too thin and dangerous if I slipped (hmm + incompatable with my balance!). Walked, barefooted, up and down. Think I know now what young nettles look like! The tingly feeling lasted a very long time afterwards. Sigh…

Boots and socks on again. Walked upstream to look for the bridge. Couldn’t get far as too much rubbish, mainly old trees, had washed down and blocked access to the side of the creek as it came down through the valley. Truly scary.

Two choices: give up and recross the last two creeks and get back to the road near Alquife; or, try harder to find another way.Still didn’t fancy sacrificing myself to the creek, or to risking washing my precious devices and camera.

Saw a house up on an overlooking hill. Although it was highly likely the house was unoccupied it was well enough maintained I guessed it’d have access to a track or road. Scrambled up the very steeply terraced hill and eventually found a track that ended in a narrow bridge over the valley to the cute little town. I was sooo relieved. Meant I could stop thinking about the Austrian sisters on one camino up to their waists crossing a creek, or a guy, further on who walked through an even deeper creek.

Everything was easy after that! Walked through the town, bought a bread roll and kept walking. A beautiful little old white Andalusian town. Great bread shop, interesting buildings in the town centre plus an impressive drink fountain. Heading out of town a 3 metre high stone wall next to an old house that had clearly seen better days.

On through a small pine bush with interesting constructions just hanging there. Definitely improved it as the young bush didn’t look especially healthy.

Why? Who knows. But, interesting.

And then down to the large dam. The camino goes almost right around it for unknown reasons when you can actually usually cross its wall. Not today!

Much too high a water level to shortcut today. Maggie crossed the dam face a few days ago. No way could you do it today so my hoped for short cut vanished!

Kept going. Arrived at my lovely hotel in Guadix and very much enjoyed a hot shower. It has some really nice features, including a very restful set of pot plants and a little fountain downstairs in the atrium.

The lack of peregrinos today: don’t know but, I’m guessing anyone who stayed in the Alquife albergues last night would have been advised to walk via the road. Since I’m not in an albergue here, in Guadix, I’ve not seen any peregrinos. Just sorry I have no effective way of warning those a day behind me but I’m guessing almost all walk to plan and should hear about it in advance.

Drop off ‘the plan’ and what should you expect. 😁 Yup, us deviants invite problems.

Guadix

The city of cave houses. I know I may see even more interesting ones again tomorrow, depending on the rain (90% likely).

Nice lunch in the hotel so, dinner in bed. Raspberries and blueberries with cream.

Who knew if you pour cream into the containers they are sold in it will run out the holes onto the bed? A spare plastic bag stopped that problem. Oh yes dinner was very nice. Verryyy nice after a bit of mopping up. 😏

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