|Fortress of Alcala|
|Fountain in Alcala|
Which brings me to the next problem: Camping in this weather on this ground. I was more or less constantlyhiking through olive tree plantations. The good news is that this usually guarantees flat camp sites. But with all this rain the ground had turned into one big squishy mud pool. As it was harvesting time the ground had been destroyed by tractors creating huge mud puddles. I was dreading rain over night because the ground was so saturated that it could not absorb more water - and I was fearing to wake up in a little lake.
Another Spanish specialty was disturbing my night peace. Spanish farmers tend to have "outposts" in the middle of nowhere: a little shack or house in a fenced in compound. In order to guard this property they keep dogs on it. Not one, not two - usually half a dozen. These dogs are left alone the whole time except for feeding times. Apparantly they get so bored that they keep barking - all night long! And sound travels far in this landscape. I returned to using ear plugs. Luckily (for me) the dogs are chained and/or fenced in and not hunting clandestine campers. One night I camped so late that it was already dark when I chose my camp site. And I did not realize that I was very close to one of those compounds. I only noticed when the owner turned up for dog feeding - and all hell broke loose. The dogs took the whole night to calm down.
|This used to be a brigde|
But eventually I made it to Antequera - and just in time as another storm front is moving in. I swear I'll stay put until it has stopped raining... But only 250 km to go now! Hopefully my shoes will last that long.