Sevilla to Guillena (23 km)
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
We set out early, before dawn, and took the metro to close by the cathedral. From there our camino began. We walked along the river and when we reached the Puente de Triana, the sun was rising; the buildings to the east were in silhouette and those on the west were bathed in rose light.
The route took us through typical industrial suburbs and abandoned lots, rather depressing, but typical of large cities anywhere in the world.
About 10km from the centre of Sevilla, we passed through the small town of Santiponce, largely built on the former Roman city of Italica, founded in 206 BC. One can visit the amphitheatre that once held 25,000 spectators.
Two of the best known of the ‘good’ Roman emperors – Trajan and Hadrian, were born in Italica. Trajan was known for his public works and his expanding Rome to its maximum territorial extent. Hadrian followed Trajan and is best known for the wall he had built across northern England to keep out the Scots. Ironically these days, many Scots would like to have the wall rebuilt to keep out the English.
When we finally reached the end of the industrial zone, at a large roundabout, we were confronted by two attractive women, bent over and baring their bottoms to passing cars and trucks. Until I greeted them with ‘Buenos días señoritas‘, they were not aware of our passing presence. Sevilla has its unique way of welcoming visitors to its city.
From close to that roundabout a long straight undulating dirt road led to Guillena. From the top of each incline one could see the town in the far distance, but after each hour of walking, we scarcely seemed to be any closer.
We passed the hollow, where two years previously the road had been waist deep in flood water, and where I had slipped and got very muddy and wet. It was bone-dry, with no hint that a stream had ever existed.
Later, when we had checked into the only hostel in the village, and were having a beer in the bar downstairs, we witnessed a strange couple enter and inquire about a room. He was tall and very thin and she was short and quite plump, and neither of them spoke Spanish. They were both heavily dressed, considering that it was a warm day, and he was strapped around the waist to the handles of a cart, which was piled with bags and camping gear. It was almost comical to witness the two of them hauling the cart up the stairs to their room. I would have loved to have captured the incredulous looks on the faces of the locals in the bar.
Every day brings a new experience on the camino.
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