Thursday, 6 October 2016

Walking to Mojácar Pueblo

A slow start to the day, and a morning spent on writing a second sermon for Sunday's Evensong for the congregation at Aljambra, a place I'll be visiting for a social event tomorrow.The first lesson on Sunday evening is Nehemiah 6, and noticing this reminded me of ideas I've had for a long time, but had few opportunities to work on in preaching. I've probably said it before, but in recent years I've found that Old Testament readings, properly interpreted, can be helpful in giving us a perspective on contemporary issues to be faced. I've preached more often on Old Testament texts in the last quarter of my ministry than in the first three quarters.

After siesta this afternoon, I went out, not knowing where I'd walk. I headed towards the Rio Agua nature reserve, and found a road past the football stadium which headed inland up the river valley. There's a straight road to the west, bounded by a dyke three metres high for more than a kilometre. This affords protection from the Rio Agua flooding after heavy rain - a necessity - for on the opposite side of the road is a series of industrial sites, from which cement and road-stone are distributed, plus a municipal vegetation dumping site.

As I walked inland, the surface waters of the coastal lagoon soon gave way to dry river bed, with trees, bushes and above all bamboo groves dominating along the underground watercourse. This is indeed arid land, except for the underground water that nurtures surface greenery in abundance. On this part of the route, the wind whipped up clouds of dust along the unmetalled road. I felt as if I was in a Western movie. Once I passed under the town's elevated by-pass, the terrain changed from semi-wilderness to olive groves and orchards of oranges and lemons. There were grenadines too, growing wild by the side of the road. Just wonderful.

Past the orchards, the path climbs steeply until it meets the main road, offering access to thel town uphill. In the lower reaches, the ancient water source is located, a traditional meeting place for everyone. Tradition has it that when the conquering forces of Ferdinand and Isabella arrived at the fuente, over five centuries ago, the loyalty of Jews Muslims and Christians was pledged to them by a town united, living together in peace, and this after decades of violent conflict.

I climbed to the highest point, bought a bottle of water and a lemon I needed for cooking later, as it was convenient. From the mirador, I saw the five fifteen hourly bus drive away. Rather than wait, I walked down to Mojacar Playa, visited Mercadona to buy some fish for supper, a second day in a row, and walked home. The round trip, with stops was two and a half hours, less then I thought. The achievement of this little 13km round trip on foot left me feeling quite exhilarated.

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