Day 34 and the end of the trail – for now!

It all happened so fast! Last week we were happily planning the next section of the route. The next thing we knew, the caravan site had closed its gates. At first, the lovely owner said we could still walk or move to another site, but it soon became clear this was not the case. Spain was on lockdown! So we decided we would go back to our base in Jimera and wait it out there. However, we quickly realised that anyone going back into the village might be less than welcome. And we’d be housebound, with no garden and not knowing when we could leave. Tom has to start work in a few weeks (as a builder, so that may still be possible) or we will run out of money.

It was a strange drive back through an almost deserted Madrid, stopping in services as there were no sites open. We chatted to others heading back to northern Europe as well as the UK, sharing our stories. We did a 10 hour solid stint to beat the French border closure (only to find we would have got through anyway) and finally crossed on an almost empty Eurotunnel train yesterday. No extra checks – just straight through. Which is good but sort of not! We’d just come from the second most affected country in Europe. But we will stay in for a week or two anyway and console ourselves by binge watching films and eating ready meals – neither of which we’ve done for for the last ten weeks.

We were doing this walk to raise money for Spanish rescue dogs and we’d very much hoped to reach Galgos del Sol on the east coast by the end of April, having raised a substantial amount for them and the other charities we’re supporting. This is so disappointing, especially as they are going to be under huge pressure in the current situation as they can’t move dogs out to potential adopters. Please, if you can, donate just the cost of that coffee you couldn’t have this week to help them, and cheer us up just a little. You can find the details here.

I will continue to blog about our mini adventures with our menagerie here in Somerset and as soon as it’s possible, we’ll be back to continue Chica’s Challenge!

Our thanks and best wishes go to all those we met along the way and, of course, to Chica and Merlin, our intrepid canine trekkers. Arfy Arfwit may not have tackled the trail but his vital contribution was to keep us entertained. Lastly, a huge thank you to all our readers as without you, I’d have been talking to myself! And now:

Day 34: Timar to Burchales 11k

During the night, I was disturbed by a dog outside the tent. I got up to investigate (leaving a completely unconcerned Merlin still snoring). The dog disappeared but I spent a while looking at the night sky. The stars are so bright here and I tracked the paths of the satellites.

Up and packed by 8.30 and off to the village of Lobras where we stopped for elevenses. By now it was pleasantly warm and the trail very enjoyable as we continued to the much larger town of Cadiar where we feasted on fresh bread, cheese and chocolate.

This fortified us for the last leg to Burchales where we waited in a bar, supping cold beer (Merlin had water) until Gill arrived to pick us up, blissfully unaware that this would be our last day!

Published by gilliwolfe

Tom's partner and Chica's mum. And support team (with the other two dogs) for the trip.

9 thoughts on “Day 34 and the end of the trail – for now!

  1. Sorry to hear you have had to abort the trip, but you only had one sensible choice. Pleased you made it home safely. Put your feet up and isolate yourselves for a while. Will look forward to your resumption whenever that may be…
    Out of interest and concerning dog welfare I ‘picked up’ a stray dog in that little village Lobras and it followed me all the way to Cadiar, causing chaos in the traffic there. I managed to tie it up [I’m not good with dogs] outside a cafe and report it. I often wondered its fate.
    Best wishes.

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    1. Ah, that was kind, especially if you’re not doggie. Some things have changed for the better in Spain but the hunting dogs still have an awful time. Galgos del Sol have an excellent education programme getting youngsters to see animals differently.

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  2. Stay safe and I look forward to any future blog posts. You have certainly raised my awareness of the tragedy of podencos. And thank you for letting me walk Spain virtually with you, thank you for all the lovely photos.

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  3. Hello Tom and Chica,
    I have loved reading your blog and would like to donate but cannot find a link on your blog, so I have contacted SOS Podenco in the UK. I was aware of the fate of these lovely dogs at the end of the hunting season. If there is an easier way for me to donate, please let me know.
    Kind regards,
    Jennifer

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    1. Hi. I thought I’d just responded but using my tablet and not used to it. So thank you so.much for following us and we will be back next autumn/winter to finish. Did you manage to get hold of SOS Podenco Rescue. If not, let me know. There are also links to the donate pages of all three rescues on the Our Charities page of the blog. https://chicaschallenge.dog/our-charities/ winter
      Gill xxx

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  4. Thank you for your kind comments and we will be back next autumn/winter to finish the walk. In the meantime I will try and post from home and follow our rescues. Did you manage to contact SOS Podenco Rescue? If not, let me know. Gill xx

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