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Day 13, Aljucen to Alcuéscar, Nov 2

Field with small white flowers.
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We returned to the friendly restaurant for breakfast before heading out under dramatic skies and with a bit of rain. We were quickly into the natural park which made for a wonderful day of walking. We had great energy and less sore feet which added to the uplifting feeling. The ground was carpeted in tiny white flowers, probably blooming quickly once the fall rains had arrived. I could see that this area would be beautiful in spring and summer with lots of lavender and rock rose under the oaks, although, now of course, only with spent blooms. That was very much the flora that had predominated when we walked in Portugal. As the day unfolded we were met with a couple of very intense but short downpours and the wind picked up. It was our first stormy day, but luckily we were able to take shelter under trees for the cloudbursts.

Square, granite way marker.
The yellow line points the direction.

This end-point town was challenging as there were very few options. Either a roadside albergue/hotel complex or lodging run by monks as part of a care facility (and that gathered mixed reviews of people either loving it or finding it creepy). We opted for the roadside accommodations and for that we needed to veer off the camino. Signage was rather confusing but as we crossed an olive grove we met a friendly farmer who let us know we were on the correct path. We also heard that the olives were so small and dry this year as the rains had been lacking.

The hotel had a real truck stop feel to it and was very over-priced, but still it was what there was. The dining room served some decent food and after that Nedjo decided to do some work as there wasn’t much else to do and I had the luxury of a bath! That was one thing about the walking, there always seemed to be an upside.