Abla to Huenja 6hours 13 miles maybe 400m of ascent.|
We have a lesser day planned thank goodness but it is Domingo. No shops open but we have had email communication with a hospitalero in Huenja assuring us the alburgue is open and expecting us. We get a standard breakfast tostados, coffee and orange juice, the juice as you might expect round here freshly squeezed, downstairs in the bar. The hostal we were told was closed is during the week inhabited by the men who look after the big electric fans on the hillsides but often closes Saturday as they have gone home.
Making our way down to the river bed we follow the Rio Nacimiento up to Finana passing several little places beginning with Venta which signifies a way station /stables on the main road from Almeria to Granada and onward. The best of these is Venta Ratonera after the man who made his name selling mousetraps. In Finana we find as promised by the tourist man who showed us the Roman Mausoleum yesterday, an Alcazar and baths from the Moorish period. Although he gave us the numbers of people who would be happy to show us round we feel we must press on , after coffee.
The countryside definitely is less of a desert, it has probably rained since October but not much. There are fewer dieing trees and more flowers. There are more olive groves and almonds are replacing oranges. Ray spots on the road the first snake dead alas and only fit for Betsy's cauldron. While this is being inspected Tim spots several redish backed birds perching amd flying between trees. He wonders if they are shrikes but an imperfect picture at maximum zoom from Betsy's camers shows them to be bee eaters.
A derelict Molino (watermill) distracts Ray and Tim who see its mill race and small aqueduct are now diverted to water the surrounding area.
Gradually after an appropriate bar stop we reach Hueneja a town a bit further up the valley. Where an Albergue awaits. A bar and some food is first priority and then we find the old folks home of the Whitehead Cross where the key to the albergue is kept. We buzz the door and are admitted, noticing as the door shuts behind us there is no doorknob on the inside. We are passed by residents into a comunal space where staff find us the key and release us with directions to the albergue. These are comprehensive and accurate and we rapidly settle in and half of us feel better after the two hot showers the tank allows. Ray and Tim get very lukewarm ones.
The temperature has dropped rain is forecast we are sure the locals hope so but are not holding their breaths .
Rain round here is in short supply.
Link to where we are on Google Maps