Today’s route is one for the speedsters with plenty of running. The decision… run harder or run conservatively and save the legs? All the fun of a multi-day!
The Ultra and Challenge courses head out on the same track. You’ll then take a rough old track downhill past the cemetery, before turning onto an old jeep track and over the hill into the hamlet of Buenavista.
Dog-legging across the road, you’ll then pick up and old shepherd’s droving track towards the Atalaya (watchtower) of Solana, before turning left and heading downhill, sometimes quite steeply, turning right and alongside Fuente del Malalmuerzo.
The route then turns left onto the Camino del Mozarbe, undulating through arable countryside. Going alongside an ancient Moorish watering system, flanked by arable and allotments, fruit trees, almonds and pistachios.
A short ford crossing and you’ll be climbing up past old farmhouses, surrounded by olive groves. At a crossroads the track heads uphill into CP1. Here the Challenge route turns right towards the village of Limones, while the Ultra route goes left and out towards the provincial border. The track rolls along the hilltop, with distant views toward Alcala la Real castle, before dropping downhill through the abandoned hamlet of Melera and onwards to Mures.
Skirting around the side of Mures and into CP2 the trail rolls through olive groves towards the village of Limones. A hard ascent and descent drops you back alongside the Challenge runners and into their CP2 and your CP3.
The Ultra runners head out of the checkpoint through the village of Limones and hard uphill on an old concrete/ tarmac track alongside Sierra de Limones. Turning left, the trail drops downhill steeply with view across the reservoir of Colomera. Picking up a track behind Cauro, there’s a hard ascent before a descent on an olive grove track, eventually swinging down and then up, back into Limones and CP4.
The routes then converge again out of the checkpoint downhill, taking the left fork after the cross roads and hard downhill. It’s pretty much downhill all the way back to the river you forded earlier in the day. The return route turns left before the water and heads alongside sheep and goat farms. Cross ing the road, you’ll pick up the Camino in the reverse direction. At the Fuente del Malalmuerzo, you’ll got straight on, up the road past the Via Ferrata, and hard uphill on the Camino del Mozarbe toward Moclin and over the finish line. A job well done!