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 Walk Across Europe

2006-02-13 - Trip 5 - Leg 33

Spain, Andalucia and Cadiz

Tarifa to Pelayo

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20.7 km today.
34.3 km this trip.
617.4 km from start.
0 metres minimum height.
275 metres maximum height.
709 metres ascent.
432 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Bus.

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Farm tracks and meadows. Zona Militar.

Tarifa to Pelayo. Pelayo is a small village between Tarifa and Algeciras. This walk was easy but we crossed fields full of cows and bulls. They were all placid so Anne did not need to wave her red knickers. We also unintentionally crossed some military zones - only finding the prohibition signs on leaving. We believe there are spectacular routes through the Parque Natural de las Alcornocales. We failed to find these on Google and the information locally is poor too.

We set off at 8.05. There is no need to use a bus today as we are at our starting point. I am standing in the doorway with my mustang on to look as though I have been ready for hours. Usually Neil is the one to do this.

On the way home I must buy a comb, a headset, and a pile (battery). We make our way through the town, keeping to the east of the ancient cask. We have made our way to a track going along the coast. It is a lovely sunrise and we are going due east towards it.

The faro (lighthouse) is flashing flash flash flash pause. There is a fork in the track here. The right fork probably goes to the seaside but we take it anyway and then turn left up what soon deteriorates into a billy goat track.

The billy track ends at a cross roads junction. The billy goes straight ahead. A more main track goes across. Left goes to a house. We go right up the pummock (small hill) and east again.

8.45 We pass our first "prohibido el paso zona militar" sign. There was no barricade or anything so we are hoping the sign only applies to vehicles.

We eventually get to the entrance of the military camp at T junction. Right was the entrance to the camp so we go purposefully left on to the road. No one said anything so we must have been within our rights to use the track. Our road swings round to the right any way so that's good.

Beyond the militar, there is a track circumventing it. Look up circumvent. Neil objected to my using this word to mean walk round in my last year’s dairy (diary) so now I am checking it in the shorter OED. In 1840, it was used to mean go round so that’s good enough for me. It can also mean 'get the better of’' – a very useful meaning which I shall use as soon as possible, preferably with Neil and 'to deceive' so it has lots of potential. The current meaning of 'prevent' is not explicitly mentioned at all.

At the moment, we are equidistant between the sea and the fierce main coast road.

The track is deteriorating. Some men working on a house said there was a salida (way out) and we hope they know what they are talking about. We've just got to a fence and we hope we can get through it using a gate at the side.

10.05 We can. This section is a long steep track with cows, bullocks and bulls grazing. The bulls are not fierce (we think) because they have their cows with them.

Today I am wearing red knickers which will be ideal if any of the bulls do turn nasty provided I can get them off in time.

10.20 we've had a ten minute break. We've just got another militar. We turned left and now we're going to turn right and try and go along a contour again off the asphalt. It doesn't look particularly hopeful. The fierce road goes down to the valley. Very soon we realise that our track has a much nicer alternative track going just below it and parallel. So we abort and take that instead.

At the next militar we met some men doing fatigues and we asked them if we could pass and they said we could. They also told us where we could get through which we may well do or we might follow Neil's bearing as their points were quite vague.

Today we see prickly gorse, orange daisy, white daisy dandelion daisy, pale vinca, alyssum, small geranium pink, hypericum nontidcote and splurge (euphorbia).

We are now approaching the track which we would have been on if we hadn't had to circumvent (sic without apology) the militar. We turn left onto it and go back along the coast.

There is a bird observation point along here. We've already seen fierce birds here (fan tails) and later we see some with short tails. Look these up in Aves de los Estrechos de Gibraltar.

11.30 we have our first lunch at a babbling brook. 12.10 we carry on again.

13.20 second lunch. Some men are feeding fibre optics down canals (ducts) under the track. The cows here have got jingle bells because they are wild and free. We can see tomorrow's track ahead of us.

3.30 We get to a T junction where we turn left to go to our bus stop. It's at a little village which we later discover is called Pelayo. We need to know so we can tell the bus driver where we are going tomorrow. We have seen white narcissi and little blue climbers in the woods. The village is quite spread out. I had hoped there would be a cossack (James Herriot wrote about a farmer who spoke with many malapropisms. Cossack = kiosk. Labrador = Laboratory. Etc) where I could get another drink as I am short today. We can see Gibraltar ahead of us.

We see fumitory and black figwort. My Muvo pile goes flat just as we reach the village at 15.40. I change it while we wait for the bus.