Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Camino Mozarabe - Day 1 - Cerro Muriano

Just realized in the morning that I had stayed not near the train station but somehow have cycled back to the area before the river.

Also discovered that the admission to the mosque in Cordoba is free Mon-Sat from 8:30 to 9:30 am (8 euros for the other times). Just a 20 minutes stroll from the hotel I guess I have to visit it again, the last time being almost 23 years ago. It's the best looking mosque I have ever seen (not that I have seen many). Built on top of a Roman-Visigoth foundation the church re-added later, which looks gaudy and out of place among the grand arches. There is already a line waiting before 8:30 am. Cordoba like many Andalucian cities have recently added lots of bike lanes, which helps me quite a bit looking when navigating the streets.

So back to the hotel for another shower before checking out. Lube the bicycle chain while having another coffee and finally left Cordoba at 11 am. Thought I could make 50 km or so but somehow not meant to be. The hills after Cordoba is really steep and half way even the trails are not possible on a bicycle. I have to backtrack and find an alternative but longer route via the roads, about 22 km instead of the 17 km via the walking trail.

The hills are steep and seems to go on forever. The last few climb I actually have to push the bike up, even on the road. After the super long and crazy trip on day 0 I figured this is enough for the day and stopped in Cerro Muriano. I can  catch up in the later stage extremadura where the terrain is flat. Need also to rest my butt. Should have brought my cycling pants.

The albergue or house is hosted by Gert-Jan and Maria Suzanna van Geldere, a Dutch couple who after walking the Camino decided stay on the Camino route, rented their house and opened it up for pilgrims. They have doing it for 5 years. Gert is in Holland now and his wife Maria takes over today. Together with Alan (pilgrim from UK) had a good time talking and after dinner wine, cheese and Maria's homemade pickled olives from her garden. A good thing too that I have chose to stopped here and stayed as next year there will be an official albergue and Maria told me they will then probably go back to Holland but not before traveling the world. So basically next year she won't be here.

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