Day 20 (17/Oct/2017): Santa Cruz to Córdoba (27km)

I chatted online yesterday evening with Michel Cerdan in Paris; an expert and passionate supporter of the Camino Mozárabe de Santiago. He mentioned that I should look out for the ghosts of roman legionnaires as I left Santa Cruz this morning, since this was the site of the battle of Munda, which sealed the outcome of the Roman civil war in 45 BC; a battle in which “tens of thousands of Romans died and Caesar fought for his life among the ranks.” (Wikipedia). Michel is excited about a plan to transform Santa Cruz’s disused grain silo into a museum for the interpretation of the site.
As I left Santa Cruz in near total darkness, i didn’t see any roman legionnaires, nor Spanish legionaries, nor Moorish horsemen, but I was deeply conscious that all of these armies and others had passed over the rolling hills that I was walking on.
Perhaps I’d feel at home in this landscape If it were less arid. The scale of the fields and the gentle undulation of the land are not dissimilar to the country that I grew up in. For most of the day, fields for wheat and sugar cane dominated the landscape – with olive groves mixed in. Many fields sported a pinstripe of ash, which the farmers had placed to fertilise the land for the next cycle of cultivation.
The day was cloudy, giving me a break from the heat of the journey so far and making my stylish sombrero largely redundant. At Cordoba’s disused airfield, I took a break to eat lunch and send some emails to some contacts in Córdoba that Michel Cerdan had kindly sent me. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have given them sufficient warning of my visit so I’ll likely miss them. Perhaps I’ll be able to meet some of his friends at later stages in this Camino. As I was finishing my emails, my Norwegian friends caught up with me and we walked together into Córdoba, sharing a beer at the end of the hike. After our drink, i walked alone over the roman bridge and past the mezquita to my hostel – Hostal Alcazar.
I may bump into the Norwegians tomorrow as we all explore Córdoba, but for them, the Camino will end here. As for me, this is just the end of the beginning – a thousand kilometres of road lie between here and Santiago.
On arrival at my “hostal,” i found that I was exhausted. I napped for a few hours before going out to dinner. Heavy rains have kept me in the restaurant for some time – but I’ll take advantage of this break in the weather to head back to my bed for the night. Tomorrow, I’ll explore Córdoba.

Categories: 2017 Camino Mozarabe (Almeria to Finisterre)

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