9 May: Almaden to El Real de la Jara

This really is Quite. The. Adventure! Day two was mud, yesterday was long and today was cold water. Speaking of cold, here we are at the end of the day – clothes and packs drying by a fire.

It’s a funny wee place we’re in – the roofs are curved and the doorways short and deep.

Having rained again all night, there were puddles everywhere and the air was heavy with moisture as we set out past the small village’s bull ring.
John from Montana, who does cross country ski-ing in winter and is currently walking from Gibraltar to Santiago, came striding up behind us. He has slept in his tent the last two nights and was heartily rejoicing at the fabulous weather for walking. His enthusiasm was a ray of sunshine.
It was a day of bucolic pastoral scenes full of cork trees, black pigs, goats and babbling brooks.  


Those babbling brooks….a word or two about them. At first we tried to stay dry. 

 But there were so many rivulets everywhere that the shortest legs gave up trying. 

 It’s not like our shoes were dry to start with – nothing had dried last night and we had pulled on damp clothes at the last minute before leaving this morning. 

As the day wore on and more rain fell, this time much heavier than yesterday (colonies of great big fat cold raindrops), the streams got louder and louder until they sounded ferocious. They were rising quickly and seemed threatening! 

 At the bottom of this little hill was a wee crossing (number 793 perhaps), and then soon after came the crossing we’ll never forget. As we approached we saw Gentleman John sheltering under a cork tree on the other side.  He knew we would be coming and he had waited to help us across. He could have walked on, he certainly didn’t need immersion in the cold water twice! We will be forever grateful to him. 
That was the excitement for the day. After that it was just uphill slog followed by the torrential downpour accompanied by thunder and a strong desire TO ARRIVE!


After the obligatory showers on arrival and eating our lunch at 3pm because we hadn’t wanted to stop in the rain, we took a wee wander up to the castle, but were so cold we headed for the supermarket to buy food for Micki to “cook” and zipped back home to crawl into bed in the hopes of warming up. 


A pleasant day’s walking is on order for tomorrow – without adventures! The kids had even suggested we just take the road, but at 32km instead of twenty through the park, it doesn’t sound so much easier after all! However, we may have no choice; today people couldn’t get across the river in the park route – tomorrow may be the same.

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10 thoughts on “9 May: Almaden to El Real de la Jara

  1. Sounds like you are having a few days to test the most ardent of spirits. Tell the kids I have decided to award them each an ODW medal: that’s the ORDER OF DISTINGUISHED WALKERS in case you’ve never heard of it. Ice-creams all round (when you have thawed and dried out) And three cheers for Gentleman John, who does much to restore our faith in humanity!

  2. Oh, God! It is going to rain the hole week! It is hard but I know you can do all of this an much more!!!

  3. It sounds as if you are having a very amazing wet walk. I love reading all about it, and don’t envy you and the rain at all! I hope you don’t all catch a cold!

  4. Amazing that it’s raining so much down there, we’re having really awesome spring weather in Amsterdam right now. Wishing you guys some nicer weather!

    • We met half a dozen American girls who are studying in Amsterdam. They were tired of the cold and so went to Seville. Of course it is wet in Spain and lovely in the Netherlands!

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