Starting out from Juntos, the trail was very well marked and I'd call it easy. The only thing that confused me a bit was the part in the walking directions where it talk about taking off to the left after the bridge. Well, there is a small bridge soon after you begin and there IS a goat trail off to the left. Ignore it. You are going to walk around that big tall conical hill to your right before you hit the goat trail going up to the left.
If I could give any advice about this first stage it would be to pay attention when you come to any crossroad. Sometimes I would be unsure which way to go until I was right in the middle of the intersection. I'd stand and turn in a circle and voila! I'd see the way marks, which were sometimes hidden by tall grass or grapevines.
Stating around 8:15 am, there was a lot of traffic on the road on the first section before crossing the bigger bridge over the dry river. To get to that bridge, you almost walk a loop around to the right, then left over the bridge. Once you cross that bridge, you will take the dirt road straight ahead, and not follow traffic to the right. You will then have that chain link fence on your left as you walk past orange and lemon trees. They were in bloom for my walk and the fragrance brought back childhood memories.
You stay on this dirt road a while watching carefully for arrows then boom! The trail goes sharply and steeply up the the left and it was heart attack city for me I'd take 5 steps and rest. I imagine Laurie and some of you who are in prime shape wouldn't break a sweat but I was seriously worried about how long I could keep that up. Lol! Thank God there was a top to that hill and when you reach the top, you'll see a way mark with a very smudged arrow.
Which way to go? It was a toss-up.
I chose left and within a few steps, there was a pretty little whitewashed Casa and a track off to the right, well marked.
The middle of the route was fairly easy walking. Rolling hills with some tougher sections. When you come to the Casas Suisse, you feel lie you're going right into someone's yard but in fact the trail goes between houses. A nice man there told me I still had 3 hours to go. Ouch.
Down past the house with the 'pool' which us at a swimming pool but a reservoir for livestock and the farm. Up and back around to the right. I felt I was going to end up where I started. Soon, the way marking totally disappeared for a long, long time. I passed a fragrant goat farm on my left with about 5 barking farm dogs. I ignored them and they stayed away.
I was concerned I was on the wrong path when a car came down the hill. I flagged him down. It was an Irish fellow named Les who lives nearby and he spoke English! He said I was on the right track and soon would hit the main road to Almogia. He offered a ride into the village. Man, it was tempting but I told him I wanted to walk.
We chatted a bit, then he left. A few yards later I came to a big question mark. A very sharp left switchback. On the rocks I could just barely make out two arrows. One barely discernible. The other had been painted over with white. It confused me. Les had said Almogia was less than an hour's walk on the main road,which I could see now ahead. This track looked like it was someone's driveway.
I chose to go straight and walk the road. The bad news was that it was busy so safety was a concern. The good news is that it dropped me at the top of the village on the very street the Albergue is on. I stopped at the panaderia to get bread and she had the key to the Albergue !! What luck!
From there I stopped for a beer, and learned the Dia market was right around the corner. I bought food for dinner, breakfast and tomorrow's walk. I forgot to buy extra water. 🙁
I let myself into the Albergue. It's very clean with two rooms of beds. My room has six beds. A group of 4 Frenchmen came an hour later and they were put in the other room, thank God! Lol.
Good hot shower. Food in my belly. Wash done. I'm ready to rest. I may try to find wifi or it may just wait.
Right now, walking anywhere is far from my mind. I'm worried about tomorrow. 8 k more than today. I hope it isn't as rough as today. I must be in worse shape than I thought. Kowabunga!