Camino Day 4: Las Cabezas de San Juan to Utrera (and Beyond!)

Perhaps we’ve said it before, but what a difference a day makes! We woke up this morning to clear skies and great weather in which to walk. Still, Mikey wanted to enjoy our luxury apartment digs for a little while longer – well, that and his shoes were still rather wet.

We finally left Las Cabezas around noon. That’s good, right? (Oh, dear – but let’s not be a killjoy.)

The before mentioned pains and disgruntled comments have largely surrounded how unseasonably wet and cold Andalusia has been. Not so today. As you can see Las Cabezas in the background, so equally can be seen the arid plane in between us and it.

Flat. Arid. Desert. That’s it! Simply beautiful scenery, but that’s about all.

Oh, this was interesting – Mikey was wondering why all the fields were perfectly tilled and planted – their plows are computer-driven via satellites. Yeah, the local yokels are too smart to be out in the fields like yours truly! The weird part, though, the satellite dishes are that old tech company, Hughes. Yeah, we know.

Ok, the second fun part was a couple of ”junk-yard pups.” While they tried their best, nothing will hopefully come close to Mikey’s last encounter with those beasts in the swamp.

Still dry. Still arid. We’re a bit low on water, too.

Well, haven’t lost weight yet, but kind of considering various epitaphs at this point. “His thirst for life was equalled at the end,” or “Two roads diverged into a wood and Mikey chose the deserted third one – and died,” or “May the road rise to meet you, the sunshine full upon your back, and may – oh shit, what do you mean you ran out of water? You know you’re going to die because of this, right?!” Funny where the mind goes in the sun and without external stimuli. Ergo, we thought of gum. Yep – chewing gum. We even blew quite a few imaginary bubbles over that 20km or 4.5-hour walk. All in all, it’s pretty interesting when the water runs low.

Oh, turn up the volume if you’re still in doubt concerning the solitude. All those buildings? Empty save a few dogs to guard the perimeter. Go ahead – we’ll wait. Oh, and stop laughing at Mikey’s socks!

As way leads to way, we eventually left the train line that we’d been following for the entire day and walked along some canals. The sun was intense, but their height allowed for sporadic breezes. Insofar as how walking along the canals went – it was pure torture in that we saw plenty of water, but there was (proverbially) “nor a drop to drink.”

Many kerfuffles were still to be made wherein (as one example) Mikey had to jump across a drainage ditch, cling to a chain-linked fence with both hands and feet, climb up a steeply sloped rock face using said fence with bare hands, and quickly run across a four-lane freeway before hiking down a gully into an open sheep farm land-mined with their fresh excremental bombs. (Please know that he did this all with perfect hair and a 25lb backpack in tow!)

Having finally made it 35kms+ in the blazing sun to Utrera (as you might make out on the sign), our sunburns were far outweighed by the utter disappointment concerning tonight’s lodgings. To a point – there was no room in the inn.

Hobbling around the town of Ultrera, Mikey was unable to secure a single bed in any part of the city. Head held low, we walked a few kilometers to the train station while booking one of the last available rooms (on a Saturday night) in Seville. Harder than one can imagine came each of the 30 kilometers as viewed from the carriage that we would have walked tomorrow, but we had secured a room in Seville and it was now time for the April Festivities. ¡Olé!

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