Mountain Biking the Camino de Mozarabe Across Andalucia
An opportunity to spend a weeks riding with great friends is never an opportunity to be missed.
We seem to be developing a trend of doing “stage” rides rather than loops from a fixed base, and 2010´s GR7 seemed to go down pretty well, so why not another? Having failed so miserably to do the Camino de Mozarabe back in 2007 it seemed only right that it should be revisited. The Camino de Mozarabe is a section of one of the Caminos de Santiago, the route most travelled by Mozarab pilgrims from Granada and the south-eastern region of Spain to the holy city of Santiago de Compostela. The camino travels north-west from Granada over mountains and through endless olive groves to Cordoba and then across the high Dehesa on to Merida, where it joins the more popular route, the “Via de Plata”, (originating in Sevilla) another popular route to Santiago de Compostela for pilgrims arriving into Cadiz from distant lands.
This time, we´d be a party of four and supported by a crew of two driving the back up Land Rover. Self support and independent travel adds a complexity and burden that can detract from the sheer enjoyment of just “free-riding” the camino´s. Knowing that your gear will be carried to the next stop, that there’s a full tool set and spares available, and that vehicle rescue is never far away if needed, leaves you free to relax and just enjoy the journey.
We had no idea that the back up and support would prove so indispensible yet again. That the seemingly mundane would cause such catastrophic consequences, or that “help” can be so very far away, even in the middle of a developed first world country.