First thing in the morning we had to see N off at the train…
Then on to the camino…
A pre-Roman archaeological site popped into view – Las Matas, and then some (possible) mines and/or brickworks.
Getting closer, we discussed plans. Our group had disbanded and M had to meet family for the Féria in Jerez de la Frontera. I was not looking forward to the last 3 days “alone” on this Mozàrabe route. So we decided to go as far as Medellin and then to Mérida by bus.
Inexorably, we approached that hill…
Me: “I am increasingly liking the idea of finding a taxi from the Magacela (the hilltop town) to take us to Medellín.”
M: “Exactly my thoughts.”
We found new energy to go up and up the hill. Popped into the ayuntamiento (municipal office) for a stamp and information. But there were no taxis in the village and the bar was closed on Mondays. Not easily deterred from our plan, we crossed the street to a little store that had the usual small crowd of neighbours (mainly men) hanging about. Again I asked if there was a taxi. No there wasn’t. But, as hoped, the men consulted and Manolo volunteered to drive us for €30. So we eagerly tossed the backpacks into the trunk beside some muddy boots from the campo (qualifying the car as an agricultural vehicle exempt from any misguided “rules” about walking), jumped into a dusty car (me with an Oreo ice cream bar in hand), and we whizzed down to Medellin.
As I stepped from the car I had the vivid realization that I had left my hat and walking sticks in the little store! M reminded me that “the boys” were just a day behind and maybe could pick them up. So we asked Manolo to ask the store owner to hold them for a couple of days. I was in a bit of shock from the extreme distance I had suddenly put between myself and those constant companions. So, I didn’t even get Manolo’s phone number. He asked to take a picture of us and escaped back to Magacela.
This was deeply disturbing to a pilgrim! We were planning to jump further ahead to Mérida by bus, so the logistics of getting them were daunting. Nevertheless I put out the word by WhatsApp to engage the pilgrim express.
This is getting too complicated to write about and you are probably not interested in the scarcity of taxis in small villages, and the lack of precise information about the buses. Maybe my Spanish skills are a factor, but generally there is a morning bus and an afternoon bus in each direction.
We thought we would sightsee the not-to-miss Medellin fortress as a good ending to our Camino Mozarabe.
Turns out it was Monday. How soon we forget! Things are often closed on Monday. The fort wouldn’t be open until the next day at 5 pm. We weren’t walking up that hill to an inpenetrable fortress. Especially without my poles and hat.
M: “I am increasingly liking the idea of getting the first bus in the morning, for Mérida.
Me: “Exactly my thoughts.”
So, we did a casual reconnaissance about town to pin down the bus stops and times. Not entirely successful but we planned to be out there early.