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 Walk Across Europe

2005-04-05 - Trip 4 - Leg 30

Spain, Andalucia and Cadiz

Barbate to Atlanterra

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17.1 km today.
2.3 km/h average today.
7 hours 17 mins walking time.
170.8 km this trip.
559.9 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
31 metres maximum height.
129 metres ascent.
126 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Bus.

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Beach and empty road.

Barbate to Atlanterra. The route was along beaches and dunes. There was another easterly gale blowing in our faces and no shelter. The walk was hard work. We went through another military encampment but we were allowed. The only problem was the delicious smell wafting from the catering tents - nicer than our cheese rolls.

We have virtually no cheese and it's even less than I thought because last night Neil had sliver off it even though he knew that was all we had. He had to eat it, he says because he had only a small cup of soup from Mini. I had a carrot and bread and dates.

From Barbate bus station we follow the signpost to Zahara de los Atunes. We have now reached the bridge over the river Barbate. There is a man collecting shellfish in the mud. There are low lying hills beyond. A little rowing boat out on the river and the tide is out. There are quite a lot of little boats on the mud flat.

Once over the bridge we go left down some steps and carry on along the marisma parallel to the road. At the houses, we come back up to the road and go along it until we get past the depuradora. We see the police chasing two boys going ever so fast on a quad bike. A bit further along we see that the police have successfully stopped the boys and are talking to them. They're getting nicked.

We've now reached the 1km mark and are hoping that, beyond the depuradora, we can turn right and follow the river to the sea. Beyond the depuradora we do just that and work our way across to the river.

There's a high wall which is stopping the creek from altering shape. We follow this wall around until we get to a hole in it which we can climb through to get to the other side. We walk along the wall negotiating fishing rods and anglers who use it as a fishing point. At the end of the wall, we climb down and continue along the beach.

There are tiny purple bunny flowers.

The wind is very strong today. Does it always blow in your face? It did even when we did the Matalascañas stretch it was a poniente wind, the wrong way round for us. This headwind effect dogs sailors too. Sailing on the Norfolk Broads up the Chet and through Reedham cut the wind is nearly always wrong. Onve Neil had a fair wind through the cut but I never have.

We decide to look for a pecuaria as the wind may be less troublesome inland a bit. Much of today's recordings are quite inaudible even though I put the muvo inside my jacket to speak into it. My hat is blowing off even though it is on a tight string and you can hardly stand up in the wind. Our cheeks are deforming like a sky diver's.

2:43 There is a pecuaria parallel with the beach and we are going along it.

There are lots of fishing boats heading for port. We've just gone through the camp of some soldiers on manoeuvres but they don't seem to mind at all. There is a nice cooking smell in teh camp. We are hungry. It's so windy you can hardly stand up in it and my hat is blowing off even though it is on a short string.

A fishing boat is going past heading for port towing another boat which has almost gone glug probably because the sea is so fierce.

There is a museum shop in Barbate where you can gustar things. Neil doesn't like this spot as the sand is blowing but it is horizontal which is quite nice. While Neil was relieving himself, a German man came up and showed me his etchings, well no, just his shell collection. He showed me a little ammonite type thing which he said was the door to a larger shell. And if you found one you got luck and he had found 100 of them so I said he would have luck 100 times and Neil added but not today thank you! Very good.

Neil says look at those nice moos. There is a dairy herd which is quite unusual so close to the sea. The last time it blew like this we got a morning in the snugs so it's an ill wind. There are dust devils and twisters on the beach because of the wind.

We have found a shop in a side street as we didn't have any cheese. We couldn't find a shop in the main street. We have bought a tin of tuna as we are in Atunes and also a huge pepper and some strawberries for afters. We also get some cheese. It is fun foraging en route and the shape of things to come when we might come without Mini and just go from place to place without a base.

2:51 Look up Mercado de Abastos (It means supplies - related to bastante?) . There is one in Atunes

2:52 We've past through the village of Atlanterra and where we think is the bus turning place. At the far end we can see the next light house and one road going along much higher then the other. We think we can get from one to the other quite easily. There is a bus sign there well off the road and a sort of shack there and some tyre tracks where presumably the bus turns round. There are now bus signs beyond this so it must be the place.

We go quite a bit beyond this to see if there is a woo through for tomorrow and then come back to wait. The first lie down behind a prickly bush we've had for a long time.

The bus driver is very chatty as we are the only two passengers for the first stretch. He doesn't mind tourists but thinks they should al go to Málaga. He doesn't like all the new building for tourists up and down the coast and, more seriously, understands how vulnerable an economy relying too heavily on tourism is. Luckily, we are staying in a normal Spanish house so we are forgiven.

We've done 16.9km. 13 to the bus stop and a further four to see if there was a woo through which we think there is.

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