Sunday, April 23, 2017

Camino Mozarabe - Day 6 - Lucena (back towards Malaga)

Leaving Baena I realized that it does have a fort, sort of.... The bars were still closed at 7:30 am so maybe I'll get my cuppa in Doña Mencia (8.7 km) away. On the last street just before leaving Baena..... an open bar. Yes...

Climbing up was hard so early in the day. I saw a Guardia Civil car that stopped to ask me what I was doing here (suspicious Asian looking guy)? I said I was on the Camino Mozarabe walking to Antequera. Happy with the answer they left. That's when I realized that I was on the wrong track (could also be a reason why that stopped me). It took a bit of weaving around the olive trees to get me back on track.

Once on top of the hill the road to Doña Mencia wasn't too bad. Dark clouds appearing, don't rain, please don't rain.....
Weather report did show a chance of shower. No rain later, phrew! The best time for walking is in the early morning. Fresh air, cool... mental serenity. I wonder how the rabbits cope with the clay mud building up on their feet when it rains? The mind wanders......

It's weird walking against the arrows. 2 hours later in Doña Mencia just in time for another coffee, this time with toast. Saw a nice mural on the Camino Mozarabe  and a water fountain in the shape of a guitar.

Leaving Doña Mencia I saw a railway station turned into a cafe/bar and many cyclists outside. That's when I realized the route to Cabra (13 km) from Doña Mencia is via the old disused railroad track and now used by cyclist and some walkers, but mainly cyclists.

13 km of virtually flat terrain on the ex-railroad! With tunnels, bridges, old rail signs, etc. In Cabra another coffee at the ex-rail station turned bar. I had already a bite at the rest point along the way but the potato salad tapas in the bar looks good so I asked for it. Was given a lecture that tapas are only given free with other drinks (mainly beer) and not coffee. Ok, I don't mind paying for it. Not happening. Later while drinking my coffee outside, a lady server brought me one. Nice. I shared some of the potato salad with one of the two stray cats hoping for some food from the patrons eating outside. I think it's also because the potato salad has bits of tuna.

I could stop in Cabra (funny name, goat) having already done 21.7 km or continue the old rail track for another 13 km to Lucena (total 34.7 km). Since it's easy walking on the old rail track why not? With a total of 26 km today solely on the track. How nice to be able to cycle on it. With an almost flat terrain it should take no more than an hour and a half for the 26 km. For walking 6 hours. Urghh.

Lucena it is and I left Cabra just before 2 pm and was Lucena at 4:30 pm after getting of the track (no more rail tracks anymore, sigh). I wonder how long is this excellent track and where else does it go. Another thing to research later.

Lucena is a big place and like Baena is a working city in the olive oil business. None of the places today after Baena has a fort on a hill. They are all situated in the valley of the olive hills.

No albergue in Lucena. A check with a Spanish site confirms there are albergue for pilgrims for the my last two stage ending in Antequera but not in Cabra or Lucena. A couple of hotels here and two hostals. My map only show one, Hostal Sara. Ok. Hostal Sara it is. Turns out to be Pension Sara and all the rooms has an attached bathroom. 25 euros. The lady there is probably Sara.

Lucena still celebrates the holy week today. Little kids carrying the display (bordering on child abuse). At least the supermarket (lots of them, counted at least 8 in a 1 km diameter) are open on Saturday evening after siesta. Tomorrow is Sunday, supermarket is essential today.

Lots of places serving caracoles (snails), it must be the season. Not into snails, just a menu of the day at a nearby restaurant. Hate to eat alone. Didn't see any pilgrims today on the Camino Mozarabe via the Malaga route although later in the evening at Pension Sara heard a couple speaking English outside my room. They were wearing boots! Hmmmm....

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