Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Whilst enjoying a high energy hikers breakfast ofchurros and chocolate followed by a couple of coffees,I happened to watch the news. Apparently there's a world economic crisis going down. Can't say I've noticed. I watched the weather forecast. Oh bugger!

1: That map of Spain is huge and sort of puts my hiking goals perspective. I have a very, very long way to go yet.

2: It's covered with rain symbols for today. No hiking, no sketching, no selling.

So, I stay in this small mining town for a rest day.

After climbing the mountains north of Cordoba the landscape changed dramatically. Gone are the never ending binary dot after dot, row after row of olive groves. They've been replaced by a sporadic spread of Spanish oaks. A sparse forest with pigs free-range foraging for acorns. Odd stumpy hills with intriguing castles and huge lakes. I suspect I must be close tothe border with Extremadura.

Yet another castle atop yet another hill. This one was a bit different though. I strayed off track to explore the distant tower.

Being the very bad pilgrim that I am,I accepted the offer of a lift to get me back onto the camino Mozarabe. Effectively this catapulted me some 30KM into the future. The guy just wanted to talk and talk and talk. My Spanish is improving at a rapid rate.

Met a fulltime pilgrim/alcoholic vagrant who gave me the low down on the pilgrim albergues (sp?) - government/church sponsored,very basic hostals. Be there at 8PM for a free meal ticket, bed and showers. Apparently it's very clean and quiet. Dorms of Four. I'll give it a try.

Off to explore the town I headed towards the art gallery which happens to be in a church. As I arrived a service was just about to begin. Being the very good pilgrim that I am, I stayed for 10 minutes and completed a sketch whilst listening to hymns. I fully intend to keep my mind open to the religious aspect of a pilgrimage even if I don't believe myself. I'd like to understand a bit more about other peoples beliefs and religious values.

As I left the church I found stalls and marquees being erected. Yay! Fiesta :) Free booze and partying.

Oh dear! I was doing so well :D

Without any planning, my pilgrimage seems to be falling into perfect timing. And, the sun has come out to burn off the rain clouds. Still reaching the high 20's degrees C by day here, but getting a bit chilly by night. Off to sketch sculptures in the park.

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