Day 6 (3/Oct/2017): Alquife to Guadix (24km)

Tonight I’m staying in a deluxe cave in Guadix – with my ankle compressed, raised, and iced. Tomorrow I will rest.
Manolo brought a tray of pastries and a pot of freshly brewed coffee to the dining room of the albergue this morning and saw me off with a shot of cherry liqueur. He reassured me that today’s walk would be a short climb followed by a gentle descent all the way to Guadix. Unfortunately, as the morning progressed, I discovered that my right Achilles’ tendon was going to torture me during the ascent. I knew that the ankle needed RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) but I was instead giving it WIC (Work, Ibuprofen, and Compression). I found some relief in tightening my boots to reduce movement and resolved to try some heel inserts. I kept updating Sergio, owner of a cave apartment in Guadix about my progress.
Once I got past the old mining areas, the countryside became very green and pleasant. I passed through the picturesque Jerez del marquesado, with its monument to the 1960 rescue, by local shepherds, of 24 people who were aboard a US Navy plane that crash-landed in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Leaving Jerez, I crossed the first full-flowing stream that I have encountered and continued past sheds of livestock into a pine forest.
On to Cogollos de Guadix, with its beautiful church. I stopped for a drink at Bar Los Mellizos, where the barman’s enthusiasm for the Camino lifted my mood. He presented me with my “tapas de pelegrino,” which was excellent. After that, my confidence improved and the road was easy. I passed through vast olive plantations, with occasional fruit and almond trees.
The sight of cave dwellings told me that I had arrived in Guadix. I found Sergio – or he found me – and he guided me to my well appointed cave where I will stay two nights at the special pilgrim rate of 15 Euro per night.
I called Paco Fuentes Escudero of the local Camino association, who had already heard about me from Veronica Gomez Eriko. He took great care of me – immediately came to see me, took me to a supermarket to buy heel inserts, and showed me the extraordinary sights of this city – Its cave dwellings, moorish fortress, roman theatre, city walls from three eras, magnificent cathedral (seat of the first diocese to be established in Spain – Thanks to Paco for the correction), grand palaces, and cosy wine bar, where we tried a sweet vino de Mozarabe, and Vertijana – a red from Granada province. The entire bar turned to watch King Felipe VI’s message to the nation.

Categories: 2017 Camino Mozarabe (Almeria to Finisterre)

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