7 May: Guillena to Castilblanco de Los Arroyos

Today was ALL about the mud.If we’d known, we would not have tried to keep our feet dry at the stream crosssing in the first ten minutes of walking.

 Levi stayed dry and Micaiah was proud of only having one wet toe, but that all became pretty irrelevant before too long! 

  We must have been carrying an extra kilo each just on our feet! The  path went gently uphill all day and for the muddy potion we took two steps forward and slid one back again. Each footstep was a mission. The squelches emitted as  the mud released its grip reduced everyone to hysterical laughter. After a couple of hours of it, with laughter still ringing out, Micaiah mentioned it was actually hard work. You could feel your legs pulling your feet up with every step. And boy did those feet get heavy…..except for the time Ella-Roses’s pulled right out of her shoe, the shoe staying firmly implanted in the mud. That, of course, occasioned even more laughter. Other adults we met were not enjoying the walk quite the same đŸ˜‰ 

When we managed to look up from our feet there were some beautiful views – hundreds of acres of farmed olive trees, a few less orange trees, even a field of plums. There were sunflowers that are going to be a blaze of colour in a couple of months. There were half a dozen storks quietly flapping and soaring above us in the sky..

But mostly we looked down. As much fun as the mud was, no one complained when after a few kilometers it turned to a mostly hard path. Much easier.  

  Soon we passed “the German lady” and she told us there was only one more hour to go. This seemed miraculous, but we figured we’d been having so much fun the miles must have flown by. After an hour and a half, there were some comments about timing and as we kept climbing discouragement crept in for the youngest. Eventually we saw a sign stating we were four kilometers from the albergue and we now knew that we were finally under an hour away. A good thing that was too, as the flowers I had picked two hours ago thinking we were almost there, were starting to wilt! 


These flowers, liberally sprinkled everywhere, are an absolute delight to look at.  (Moral: engage your brain when thinking about timing and distances)

We had set off almost last this morning but when we arrived at the albergue there were only two others there before us. That meant we got  to pick beds (hint: choose something as far away from the door as possible so you are not disturbed), but because we stopped for lunch before doing anything else, the shower (yes, one shower for 28 people) was cold by the time we got to it. 

I mentioned lunch. Bread, cheese and peppers. Eaten here:

 It might look like just a patch of dirt, but actually it is part of an old Roman road. The road was used for trading and the hospitalera came out of the albergue (that white building in the background) to give us some authentic dates from Morocco: 

As trading is supposed to be a two-way affair, we gave her chocolate!

So in reality the day turned out to be about more than just mud!

————-

18km today / 45km total 

Weather: dry, 19 degrees (but feels cold)

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3 thoughts on “7 May: Guillena to Castilblanco de Los Arroyos

    • Unlike in the book, at one point we tried to go round it – climbed up off the trail into the olive fields where it was not so bad. That lasted 20metres, then we had to go through it!!

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