Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Camino Mozarabe - Day 1 - Pinos Puente

Yesterday night I suddenly recalled that the town of Jun near Granada uses Twitter to conduct it's business with its residents. Easier than using email and since anyone following the official accounts can see the tweets, more transparent. Things like reporting a broken street light to the local police to general announcements by the ayuntamiento (town hall) or the mayor. I check my map and realized it is only a detour of 7 km. Since today is 19 km,  a total of 26 km is still acceptable.

Instead of walking to Maracena (many reported is has many abandoned buildings and graffiti, I made my way up north 6.5 km to Jun and navigate south west later to Maracena.

Got there before 9 am. It's true. I was greeted with a obelisk structure with the iconic Twitter bird at the top. The middle is the town hall's Twitter account @AyuntamientoJUN and the lower probably the mayor. I got into the bar next to the roundabout, had second breakfast and tweeted the picture. Before I left I realized I made a mistake (should be @ and not #), delete and tweeted. Shows how much I use Twitter. Right now in the evening I still have not gotten a reply from them on Twitter. I am sad...

My way from Jun to Maracena looks way nicer than if I were to leave from Granada. Not surprised. The town of Jun,  Maracena and Atarfe are nice suburbs of Granada. Had a third breakfast is Maracena. Toast with homemade tomato paste you spread over the toast and drizzle with some olive oil. I prefer this to the butter and jam toast. Saw my first Camino Mozarabe headstone later.

No more eating in Atarfe (Atarf = limit in Arabic?). Leaving Atarfe to Pinos Puente along side the railway track I suddenly wonder if there were other pilgrims walking along this way today. Looking back I was greeted with the Sierra Nevada snowy mountain. The sun was getting strong (more so than in Camino Madrid) and temperature hot (mid 20s) around midday and I can't wait to get to Pinos Puente. Pinos Puente is no longer like a suburbs of Granada, people here are grittier and more heartland Andalucian. 

Once there I crossed the bridge just before 2 pm, bought a can of KAS Limon at the store before the shop close for siesta, found some shade and ate the rest of the empanadas (pies) I bought a day earlier. There is an albergue here but it is before the bridge, on the right all the way to the edge of town. Conveniently a police post right where I was eating my pies has a sign saying peregrinos info. I went and the nice young policeman tried to speak English to me. I asked where can I get the keys to the albergue (not wanting to walk there to find it locked). He said someone is there all the time. Turns out the albergue is a building in the same compound where the hospitalero Lolo also live. The albergue looked like automobile shed inside with no running water, the toilet/bath is in another side building. It has 8 beds, 2 without upper bunk,  Donativo. There is an enclosure with a baby goat next to the albergue, another big one for goats further up the hill, and one nearby with chickens. I guess I don't need to set the alarm for tomorrow....

Lolo said there are no restaurants in town, only around the circus before I came in. I remembered the circus is part of the main road joining other towns with a petrol station further up, maybe other facilities there too? After shower, wash and rest I went back and found a big Mercadona supermarket further down the road. The restaurant doesn't look good (one of those catering to truckers) so I decided to buy what I could at the supermarket. The albergue only has a microwave, fridge and one of those capsule espresso coffee machine (with many capsules!). Definitely going to microwave the milk for the coffee. Many of the bars in town were closed so I don't expect them to open early tomorrow. Besides, tomorrow's stage is 14 km of no town out of a total of only 16 km. With few or no towns between stages from here to Cordoba, a stage can range from 16 km to 39 km!

I bought a bit too much at the supermarket, roast chicken, tortilla wraps, mayo, tomatoes, cut veggie, cheese, yogurt, milk and more... wonder how am I going to carry the leftovers.

I prepared and ate a couple of wraps and some for tomorrow. After dinner, Lolo came over and we had a short short conversation (a weird mix of Spanish and English) as he gather some shrubs to feed the baby goat. He asked where is Singapore, the people, etc. I am second generation Singaporean, blah, blah, blah. He said his father is white and his mom gypsy and understand the different race and mix. Hearing that I asked if he plays the flamenco. He laughed and said no but his son who is around 20 years old is a flamenco dancer. Wow.

Writing this now with sun setting. It is now dark. What a tranquil and peaceful place. The same as what I wrote on the visitor's log. The last entry was 4 days ago from a guy call Henry. Many Spanish and French entries, two Germans, a Korean and a Japanese spanning the last four years.

Looking at the stars in the clear skies now. Getting cold. Going inside soon.....

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