Albolodoy to Santa Fe – 11 miles, 2/14/17
Leaving the modular Casa Rural it was more river bed walking past the village of Santa Cruz. The crops, architecture and landscape are changing and becoming more desert like with irrigated green zones. As introduced by the Moors, river water is diverted into channels and fields with raised edges. These depressions are flooded according to a schedule. Some farmers are using drip irrigation from Israel but many continue to use ancient methods.
We stopped in Alhabia for lunch and had tapas and beer. (Fried food is so popular here there are public collection stations for used cooking oil.) Quality varies from amazing to meh. We almost always get a house salad with corn, tuna, olives, crisp lettuce, shredded carrot and sometimes cheese. Along with the salad comes excellent olive oil, vinegar and salt for dressing.
From Alhabia it was up and over three sets of fairly steep hills. The views were amazing so it was worth it; we could see Almeria and the Mediterranean Sea from one vantage point. Lavender and thyme are blooming everywhere and scenting the air.
Coming into Santa Fe we saw the railroad bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel and had dinner at Bar Manuel in the Plaza Mayor. We had a delicious Sopa de Picadillo, ensalada, vino tinto and flan. After dinner the waitress brought us an herbal liqueur to “give us strength” for tomorrow’s walk. It was strong and quite good.
We got the Casa Rural key from her and gratefully accepted a ride to our lodging on the outskirts of town. There’s usually no heat and tile floors in the places we’ve been staying and with night time temps in the 30’s it’s quick showers and under the blankets!