Day 28 (25/Oct/2017): Castuera to Campanario (20km)

Feeling a little frustrated with myself this afternoon; I thought I might be able to carry on walking past Campanario to Magacela, about 12km further along the path. Had I gone that far today, I’d be in a position to walk another 30km tomorrow, and make up for the short walk that I did yesterday. However, I felt a couple of twinges in my right foot as I entered Campanario. Was my foot warning me that I might hurt myself if I were to continue? Or was my brain just trying to trick me into calling it a day. Whatever it was, the foot feels fine now, and Campanario is where I have stopped for the night.
I started a little later than usual because I decided to cook an egg for breakfast. Someone had left it in the albergue fridge a couple of nights ago (they kindly wrote the date on a piece paper). I returned my keys to the local police and thanked them for their help. The sun had already risen when I reached the road out of town, with its views of chimneys, grain silos, and cheese factories.
Today’s walk gave me lots more holm oaks to photograph. I also saw a lot of men working their fields. The ground seems to be covered in rocks. Fields everywhere have piles of rocks in them. I saw a father and son loading up a back hoe attachment to a tractor, which they were using to move the stones into a skip. It brought to mind the film: “The Field.”
The ground beneath my feet for most of today was a soft track of earth and gravel. Much less tiring than yesterday’s road surfaces. I came across one ruin of a railway station, immediately next to a railway line that appears to be still in use. Further along the path, I came across a less derelict but equally unused station – Cantana de la Serena – that was fenced off. It had a sign that indicated that it was used as an albergue in 1996. It can’t have been very convenient since it’s so far from any shops.
From a distance, Campanario appears to be a modern city with non-descript white houses. One of the first buildings at the entrance to town has had all of its windows weirdly bricked up. In the centre of the town, however, are some more attractive plazas. I entered Bar Estrella and found Ladislaw, the Czech pilgrim having tapas there. We chatted with each other and with my Czech-speaking friend, Sally Grosset. The young owner of the bar is very friendly to pilgrims. He took over the bar with a business partner earlier this year, at the tender age of 21, having started working here in his teens. He gave us each a glass from his bar. I can’t see myself carrying it all the way to Santiago but perhaps I’ll find someone who needs a glass in the next day or two…
I spent more time than I expected to at the bar. My foot felt fine and perhaps I could have walked another 12km to Magacela. But I called Pension Malay in Campanario and booked myself a room. This “pension” turns out to be an apartment. The owner charged me 20 Euro, although I now see that the guide states that it’s 18. Perhaps I could have haggled. Never mind.

Categories: 2017 Camino Mozarabe (Almeria to Finisterre)

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