CAMINO MOZARABE: Hinojosa to Monterrubio 15th March


Enjoying my first Spanish “real ale” made in the local area from some of the barley I’ve been walking past all day I guess. It has the Bellota certification of origin as does the celebrated olive oil of the region around Monterrubio. 

Another town no tourist ever ventured into id say. So faroff the beaten track you’d probably be hard pushed to find it on the map. 

Last night I had a look at the cathedral which featured an amazing 3d window 

and vaulted naive 

In the morning,as the police man came in ,I dressed appropriately and headed out. 

Into a western set. 

Out into the campo in the freezing temperature after begging some water from the last house in the town. I still can’t get a fix on shop and bar opening hours especially at the weekend. 

I’ve noticed that they plough around the outside of fenced land- is it to discourage grazing near the fence ?

And so began a long day of walking. It’s a peculiar thing, the long distance walking. When you keep going the distances covered seem huge and yet it seems to take forever to get to the top of the rise. Distance and space contracts and expands at the same time as does time itself. A minute becomes eternity and the hours fly by. There are times when I’m truly in “the zone”, chewing up the kms, the whole body a well oiled walking machine and then without warning its a struggle and I’m tripping over my poles. In general though I’m getting more able to cover ground without too much thought involved. My mind is shutting down, especially when I’m listening to music. Is that a good thing? I don’t know but when my mind is still, my soul is filled with tunes and my legs are pumping it feels good to be passing through the sunny expanses. 

It was so quiet out there today. The track passed very few houses or farms and there was no one around. No chainsaws no tractors no cars, nada. There was sheep. And there was sheepdogs, who are left out with the flock to guard them against …..what?

I came to an abandoned railway station on a line that looked still used and it added to my thoughts that I might be the last man one else seemed to be. 

After a couple of small stream crossings I had a bit of trouble fording this one without getting my feet wet. 

I started to climb again up through the holm oaks to a little cross in the plumb centre of nowhere. 

Eventually I hit a road. Quite a big road but nothing stirred. I crossed into Extremadura. 

And 6km of tarmac later I arrived here. I went up and down the street where the Casa parroquial was supposed to supply a bed for a weary pilgrim but I couldn’t find it. I went passed a hotel with Camino signs many times with a signs advertising special prices for rooms and menu for the peregrino and eventually gave in. So here I am writing this on the outside terrace where the patron has kindly erected a massive football full TV screen and even more massive light for my comfort


  1. Wow – the emptiness! Take it steady Steve! You don’t want that ol’ sunstroke hitting down on you again. Although my friend Peggy is just off to Andalusia (Coin) and says the forecast is rain, so you may have a wetter time to come.
    You must be missing Paddy Dillon and his comradely hints and tips.

    Quote from a WH Auden poem:
    Out of a gothic North, the pallid children
    Of a potato, beer-or-whiskey
    Guilt culture, we behave like our fathers and come
    Southward into a sunburnt otherwhere.

    Can’t wait to get back there myself!


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