Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Camino Mozarabe - Day 8 - Antequera (back towards Malaga)

Last day of walking, at least on the Camino Mozarabe. Again a good cloudy day for walking. The info on the guild has Villanueva de Algaidas off to one side coming up which will reduce the distance to a 24 km day but 5 additional km overall. My map overlay is probably the old route and is almost a beeline of 28 km to Antequera. I took the beeline.

Terrain not as hilly today. At 13 km before Antequera can already see it on the foothills of the mountain. Turn to my right and I see Mollina (my friend' Michael's place) also 13 km on the side of a small hill. Antequera to his place is around 18 km thanks to geometry of the triangle. I would have walked to his place today but he will only be coming in tomorrow evening. No worries, I will do a side 18 km from Antequera to Mollina tomorrow to mark the end of the walk.

Suddenly I bumped into a few couples on nice rented bicycles cycling around. I imagined they are tourists renting bicycles in Antequera to cycle in the countryside huffing and puffing around even small inclines. I wonder if they know how to change gears on the bike?

Cartaojal for a break 11.4 km before Antequera, the only stop for the day. 

I had been to Antequera many times when visiting Michael so the place very familiar to me, it just feels funny walking in instead of via the car. The famous hill landmark on my left called the lover's leap by the Spanish but Indian head by the British residents (why must they change the name?).

Before entering Antequera I saw a pilgrim couple walking out. Surprised as I thought I would miss the walkers today as they would probably follow the guide to Villanueva de Algaidas. They are probably trying their luck to make it to Cartaojal today and maybe stay at someone offering their home for pilgrims for a fee (no albergue there).

The albergue in Antequera (new experience for me) is a parish place attached to the church of Santiago. 5 euros. 4 beds, cold, dirty and a bit of a smell with separate building for toilet/bath. Beginning to regret staying here instead of paying more to stay at a hostal. Found a spare mattress and moved it to the same building as the toilet/bar in a breakout room. At least it is cleaner there. Hope they don't mind, I will move the mattress back tomorrow morning. A bit later a Spanish pilgrim came in. He don't mind taking the cold damp room, great. A number of church people can be seen moving around the compound and other rooms for prayers (more than just the albergue) in the evening, hmmm......
Ah well,  it's just for one night.

Good to be back in Antequera. The fort was here since the Roman times (a section has recently uncovered Roman mosaic) and later the Moors. No need to pay to see it again. Also with enough Brits having residency here, no problem with food timing, lots of variety... almost too convenient...

I'll have more time here tomorrow morning before walking to Michael's place in Mollina around midday. Probably one more post tomorrow to end this trip.....

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