Farm tracks and meadows. Zona Militar. Busy road at end.
Pelayo to Algeciras. At last a walk without military zones. Or so we thought. After walking on farm tracks for most of the day, we came out onto Pista Militar 7 with the usual array of prohibition signs. If walkers are really not welcome, both ends of the zone need to be signed! Fortunately we were not denounced.
We get off the bus opposite a juvenile installation on the outskirts of Pelaya. Is this a Borstal or a youth hostel? The temperature is to be between 17 and 20 which sounds perfect. The bus driver stopped the bus to let someone get on but didn't open the door at the back even though we had pulsed the button (pressed the request stop button), so I rushed forward to get him to open the door and he said, ‘Oh you want to get out here?’ and we said yes we pulsed the button. As we are in the back of beyond, he assumed we had made a mistake.
It is 8.05 and just light.
8.15 We walked along the fierce main road back to the track we had been along yesterday and turned right to go along it. My heart's desire doggy and the two pussies are not out which I had seen at a farm yesterday on this stretch are not in evidence.
Now we are getting to the parting of the ways and we are going on the second left because the first is a deed end on Google earth. On this stretch a number of militars are coming the other way on their jogging trip.
At 9.20 we turn left. The straight on goes to the militar. This track is less well defined. There is a string across the entrance but there is a space at the side for us to go through. We carry on over the brow and have a break as we have done an hour's walk.
After 260 metres there is a left turn which we ignore. Our track gets fainter and fainter on Google earth so we hope we'll find a way through. Our path now fizzles out and we have 920 metres with no real path. We are doing our descent along tracks made by cows. I should have brought my stick but I never brought it as I thought today's terrain was kind.
We are covered in mud. I have a prickle in my sock and it's hard to locate. I’ll remove it at the next break. Eventually we get back to a nice track. We turn left and go along it. We have seen geraniums, barbaries (Bermuda buttercups) and vincas.
11.15 we reach a surfaced road at the bottom of the hill. This leads to the big fierce main road. We are just before the outskirts of Algeciras. We have lunch in a daffodil garden as it will be built up later.
Today we decided to eat up the pita breads as they needed eating. They seemed a little bit damp and I thought my frozen bottle had covered them with condensation. When Neil tried his first sandwich it was all salty and eventually we realised that it was actually these slices which had had a little plunging when we crossed the creek on day one. Luckily the second packet had not been in my bag on that occasion. so we had a nice lunch after all. We left the salty pitas for the cows.
That was a short lunch stop 11.30 to 12.10. We now join the main road and turn left to go over the bridge. As we leave the lunch track we look behind us to see what the signs say and they say "Pista Militar No 7 Prohibido el paso sin autorisación. Propriedad del ministerio de defenso" etc. Infractions can be punished but today we really didn't know. We had passed no barriers – not recently any way.
Just over the bridge there is a right turn along the stream. This is part of the Red de senderos del Rio Picaro. We use this for a short distance and then turn off left to get on to the beach. We are now at the seaside at the Playa Getares. We go left along the beach for as long as possible.
12.35 We leave the beach and head up a very steep road. The beach is becoming too stony to be passable.
We have tea on the little green patch you can see on the map. It is only 1 o'clock so we've plenty of time to get to the bus station as it's only 2.3 km.
We have our bifidus digestivum yoghurts to see if they liven us up. We haven't tried actimel yet which makes you go fast on roller blades.
1.15 This was a lovely warm break. Tomorrow we are going to Gibraltar for a day out and to see Father Francis and the babary macaques.
We keep as close to the sea as possible on our way to the bus station and have a lovely view of the ships.
The bus station has moved. When we got to where we thought it was, it was like Marie Celeste. Luckily there was a Maria (cleaning lady) and she explained where the new bus station was. When I looked a bit blank she said she'd actually show me where it was and she did. In the bus station there was a Moroccan lady wearing genuine Ali Baba shoes. I now know what to wear if we carry on round the Mediterranean or on into Iran after Istanbul.