I stayed in Olive Branch B&B for 2 weeks, but I felt like I am missing what is out there. I needed to know. I needed to see on my own.
Day 1, Saturday, 25.2.2017
I was walking from El Chorro towards Ardales the first day. I was a little bit lost in the forest, but in the end I found the trail I was looking for. This trail goes through El Chorro and continues all the way down to Tarifa. In the evening, I found a ruin with “JUDY” sprayed on it. It was very nice overnight stay in there. I put a pellet into the entry and in the morning I found some animal footsteps. Maybe this place was already prebooked 🙂 I had a very nice feeling since the beginning of my walk. Nature is really beautiful in Andalusia – hills, olive trees, almond trees, …
Day 2, Sunday, 26.2.2017
At around 12, I reached a village called Ardales. I walked to the top of the village where there are ruins of a medieval castle. I was sitting there for a while and I was experiencing Spanish village life. Old people sitting and chatting. Then I walked down to see the local church. I bought a beer, some bananas, a baguette and a big KitKat. Waste of money. I continued towards Serrato. Hills, olive and almond trees. There were not so many houses around there. At around 4 pm I found a ruin of some farmhouse, I explored it, I took some photos of it and I found a place where I was able to stay overnight. Before sleeping I did some exercise, learned some Spanish and listened to the Rubin report concerning Ayn Rand and objectivism. The sunset was about 19:00 and then strange noises started to appear. Probably just some birds in the house. Maybe I was sleeping in their nest.
Day 3, Mo, 27.2.2017
I woke up at 9 and I continued to Serrato. I reached Serrato, I was eating chorizo and bread while sitting close to a bus stop and two older men whom I had greeted earlier stopped and they were looking at me. I came closer to them and they told me where the water spring is. I finally had more drinking water and I washed my clothes.
The sun was burning. Up and down. Up and down. Beautiful rocks around. While getting closer to Ronda, I met a German guy walking the same GR7 trail. I gave him some tips and he gave me some tips as well. Busy roads ahead :(. I needed to avoid plenty of cars. Not a good feeling after walking in the forest. Old path was closed because there is a race circuit now. Those sounds coming from there were incredible. I love the sounds of engines. I was walking next to the road and at one moment I crossed it. It was already 5 pm and I was looking for a place to stay. There was one place I really liked, so I started to build some walls for my overnight stay. It was around 7 pm when I told myself I don’t want to stay there and that I want to continue. I packed my backpack again and I continued my journey. I went to Arriate, but in there I wasn’t able to find any open shop. I continued to Ronda. When the night came, I was really focused on looking for some place where I would be able to stay. I had few candidates . Under olive trees, some ruin near a church, … but I wanted to have a beer after my walk! I continued to Ronda. In Ronda, I felt the civilization again. But there were no open shops. Quite fast, I found some houses in construction and I checked in. I set up my alarm to 5 am, so that I can wake up and leave before some workers come. I wasn’t sleeping well. I pushed myself a lot during the day and I walked 37 km.
Day 4, Tu, 28.2.2017
When I woke up, I headed to the closest supermarket to buy some food. Everything was closed till 9 am. I was waiting and walking from 1 supermarket to the another one, exploring old Ronda town and making some photos. The bridge in old town is incredible and very high. When 9 am was coming I headed back to the new town where supermarkets are located. Mercadona was finally open and I bought food for 19 euro. I had 1L Steinburg beer, potato chips and half of cigarette for my sinful breakfast. I felt so full. In the end I gained about 6000 kJ in 15 minutes. Let’s use this energy! I went to Intersport to buy a gas heater, but it was too expensive. I took some photos of Ronda and then I continued towards Tarifa.
One lady told me about a beautiful view close to Ronda. I checked it and she was right. I was sitting there and smoking the second half of my cigarette.
One family came and took a photo next to me. I told them that it is better to take a photo from my place, because there were no trees in the view. I took a photo for them and that man took a photo of me in return. I continued and the path was very nice. Trees and rocks around. I found a cave and I meditated there for a while. The acoustics in there was beautiful. Drops of water playing with each other. I was sitting there for quite a while.
I was walking next to the road. There were some exciting views and at around 7 pm I reached Atajate. I found a water spring there. I was looking for some ruin or empty house but there were none. So I just parked myself underneath some tree close to the village.
I established a small fire and made a cous-cous with onion, garlic and meat for myself. It tasted quite nice, but there was too much of it. I tried to eat it all. In the end just a little bit left and I threw it away about 30 m from my place and I covered it. I made some tee, brushed my teeth, did some exercise and went to sleep. I had no knife, so I used my fingernails for splitting the garlic (ouch!) and my teeth to cut the onion. It was windy, but I found a well protected place.
Day 5, We, 1.3.2017
I woke up in the night when I heard some animal noises. I thought it was a wild boar eating the leftovers from the evening. In the beginning, I was a little bit scared and I came into conclusion that it is the best not to move and just let him enjoy it. I waited for about 10 minutes and then I checked the surroundings. He was already away. In the morning I was awake and still relaxing in my sleeping bag.
A fox came to see me, but she was too shy and ran away. I packed my stuff, cleaned the area and went back to the village for some water. There were some street workout machines, so I did my morning exercise. I was walking through a beautiful forest, where there were a lot of animals walking along the roads.
I found a small river, where I stayed for a while and I made a fire to cook some rice with fish. It was delicious. After that I made some green tea, washed myself and my clothes and continued.
I found a small village and I realized that there are workout machines in every village. Spanish people invest into being fit. I did some workout and then I started singing. I am getting better. With every attempt. I saw some wild boars. Whole family walking across the village. I stepped out, but some villagers told me that it is fine, that they are not aggressive.
I was walking next to some river and I finally found a sleeping spot underneath a tree. There was a small dog barking all the time. He came closer after 30 minutes and it was already dark. I wasn’t moving and he just turned away and walked back home. I was too exhausted to move away because of him. I waited for 10 more minutes in silence and then I started to make a wall to protect me against the wind. He started barking again. I jumped into my sleeping bag and I was ignoring him. It was quite a cold night.
Day 6, Thu, 2.3.2017
In the morning I made a fire, a breakfast, some green tea, I washed my clothes and then I packed my stuff. I started to climb up a hill, but soon I realized that the path is no longer maintained. It was like a jungle. I got to the top, but there was a fence all around. I was looking for some way around it, but it was impossible. Mud, river, trees, bush – all combined. I found some small hole in the fence and I went through. Not far behind the fence, there was a surprise waiting for me.
I washed my shoes from the mud and started to walk barefoot. What a feeling. I did some exercise again, then walked on a road, I saw a lot of sheep, goats, horses and cows.
I continued to the next village. I walked down the road and then I switched for some muddy path. It was late and the sun disappeared. I was looking for a place to stay.
Local castle seemed like a good choice. I went up there and I was searching for a good place. I found some tree and dark catacombes. I continued. Yes! This looks like a good place. No roof, but a beautiful sky above me.
Day 7, Friday, 3.3.2017
I woke up early so that nobody can see me in the castle. The whole valley was hidden underneath the clouds.
I continued my journey. I was singing, learning Spanish from podcasts and then I came into the next village. That day was the one I should had rested. My legs hurt and I still kept pushing myself. Pushing myself has this negative feedback of the need for the alternative mindstates – beer, smoking, …. Push less, listen more.
I went to the shop for another 0,33 beer, some corn snacks and almond chocolate. I was hungry. I finished snacks and beer in a park where there were some Spanish guys sitting nearby. I was watching them and I was thinking if I should go there or not to ask them if they know someone who has some weed. Some man and his kid passed around on a trial bike, the father did some jumping on a pavement and his small kid just continued slowly on a small training bike. I packed my bag and went to throw away the beer can, and packaging from the snacks. Garbage bin was in the direction of these 7 guys, I continued towards them and I asked them if they speak English and if they have some marihuana. I was already a little bit drunk, so everything was quite easy. One of them told me that they have just finished a spliff and that they have some hashish. “Quanto?” “Cinco euros.” “Vale,” and he stood up, sat on a bike and left. I was talking with others and he returned in 5 minutes with the hashish. In his sock. Exchange. One of them gave me a cigarette for rolling it. I have, I said. “No quiero, gracias, tengo tobacco.” He tried to tell me that his tobacco is better for the hashish, took it from me and made a spliff. I thought that they gonna smoke with me, but they didn’t want it. One of them had 2 strokes and I was alone for a big spliff. They asked and asked. I told them about my travelings, photos, …and I showed them a photo of Jimena de la Frontera castle and I told them that I slept there. They were quite young and a bit childish but I liked that Spanish energy. They were constantly telling me that I need to take a big hit, but I didn’t want to do that. I was already quite stoned. I saved the spliff for later, two girls came and one of the guys told out loud that she is a bitch and that she wants to fuck me. I was polite and I told her that I am sorry that they are making fun of her. She didn’t join the group fully. After some chatting they had to go and I went as well.
I saw some guy on a motorbike while doing a wheelie but I wasn’t to capture it on a camera. I wasn’t checking my map and just went where I liked it. I found a nice road where I was able to sing while walking and not disturbing people around.
After quite a long walk close to the road, I found a shop on a corner, where they were selling sandwiches for 3 euros.
I made a decision to have a nice energy-acquiring day. I went inside and I greeted them. Word followed a word and we talked for a long time. I showed them some photos, then they offered me to charge my phone and camera in there. Jose and Pilar, that were their names. Jose showed me how he played flamenco with a blind singer. It was incredible. So precise. I was singing Ain’t no sunshine and Blackbird for them. I was so full after the sandwich. I wasn’t able to finish it. I saved it for later. They gave me a whole chicken, some sauce, bread and orange. They were so kind to me. They made my next 2 days much nicer.
I left about midnight and I started to look for some place to stay. I walked for quite a long time. In the end I walked 46 km per that day. I found some empty park close to a refinery. The park looked like nobody took care of it. It was a very nice sleep in there.
Day 8, Sa, 4.3.2017
In the morning I did some stretching, breathing and singing. In my small house in the middle of the empty park. Freedom.
I went to a local beach, where I had a spliff and I did some exercise and capoeira. I was singing some songs and writing. Beautiful experience. I love travelling. I saw a lot of graffity on the walls of the refinery.
I walked through La Linea town and I went to Carrefour to get some food. I reached Gibraltar border at about 5 pm. I smuggled some hashish through the border and I went straight to the south.
I wanted to get to the tip of this peninsula and it was already getting dark. I was in a hurry. It was so windy. I reached the southernmost point and I was about to roll a spliff. Way too windy. I tried to roll it in a base of an old cannon, but it was impossible. I found a small house in front of the mosque and I started rolling. This place seemed good for sleeping, but when the rain started, I wasn’t able to stay there, because the roof was broken. I knew about one place – open door of some room next to the mosque. I was running there and right next to the door I saw a police car slowing down. I slowed down as well and the policeman opened a window. I said “Hola!” and he replied “Do you speak English?”. “Yes, I do.” “Have you seen a young woman around here?” “No, just 2 old women jogging.” He thanked me and continued. When the police car left, I went inside. The room was clean and looked like a bathroom. I needed to rest. My feet hurt bad! I was just sitting on my sleeping mat in the most comfortable position. I did some singing while sitting like that and then I massaged my legs and shoulders. I think I was quite successful. I finished the chicken I received from Jose and Pilar, finished bread, I added some pistachios, lettuce and olives and I was very satisfied.
Day 9, Su, 5.3.2017
I set up alarm to 7 am, but I woke up at 6:30 when the door to “my room” opened. I think this room was used by the mosque for garbage collection. No smell, no garbage though.
I think, someone opened the door to check if he can take the garbage out. He left the door open, I packed my stuff, stayed inside for half an hour and then went outside to take some Gibraltar sunrise photos. I found some a bunkers close to this place.
I took some photos and then I went back to Spain. The weather was crazy. Wind was strong, I wasn’t able to walk straight, and the rain was pissing me off. After some time I found Mercadona, bought some fruits and bread and found a place without the wind and rain. It was still chilly though. I sat there for 1 hour and then I wanted to change the place. With some breaks I came back to Carrefour.
I recharged my camera and phone, I was reading some PDF’s and then I continued towards Decathlon in San Roque. My left leg was quite bad. It was raining all day and 7 km before Decathlon, I decided not to continue. I stayed in the same empty park as before. I was reflecting upon what happened in previous days and I realized I am quite happy and that I really like this kind of life. I was singing for a long time and I discovered some new techniques. Throat singing is very nice in combination with head and mouth resonance.
Day 10, Mo, 6.3.2017
In the morning I woke up staring into the eyes of a small white dog. I moved and the dog started barking. The girl who owned him probably saw me, but she didn’t tell me anything. When I was about to do some stretching, I saw a street dog staring at me, but after a few seconds he ran away. I went to Decathlon. Then I realized that it is Sunday and that it was closed.
I went through Algeciras, did a nice workout, bought a beer, saw a lot of masks and costumes in the streets and then I continued through muddy hills to a ruined house with cows around it. Nice! I checked-in and made a fire in a fireplace. I made some quinoa and it was delicious. I was singing while lying in my sleeping bag.
Day 11, Tu, 7.3.2017
I finally reached Tarifa.
I was sitting on the beach and enjoying the sun. I saw one place where I wanted to sleep. I wasn’t able to find a way there. I walked through muddy fields in the night. I met a horse which was ready to charge. Finally, I was able to these houses.
This used to be a military facility. Probably two big cannons aiming at Africa. I searched that place and I didn’t like the idea of sleeping inside the bunker where it was completely dark. I was sleeping on a place where there used to be one of the cannons. I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard some strange noises. After some time of listening I realized it is a horse eating grass above me and that he can’t come to the place where I was sleeping.
Day 12, We, 8.3.2017
In the morning I saw these life-universe-and-everything drawings all around me.
I Packed my stuff and I was waiting on the beach till 2 pm, Bla Bla car driver took me to Malaga airport and I flew back to Czech Republic.
In the end it was about 300 km. This kind of slow travelling gives me the opportunity to see what is really out there and also what is inside of me. I discovered that I don’t really need much and that I can solve plenty of problems if I need to. I feel recharged after this trip.