Day 9: Puente La Reina to Estella

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11th century bridge

Distance to go 694.1 Kms

We woke at 6am and were on the Way by 0645. It was an overcast and cool morning following some quite heavy rain overnight. This was such a blessing after the recent hot days. The Camino crosses a stunning 11th century bridge before heading off into open countryside.

The first part of the route was pretty easy going until about 0730 when we hit a climb which really got the heart and legs pumping. At the top we stopped and had breakfast and relished it.There were quite a few other pilgrims already ahead of us by this time.

Hilltop villages dot the landscape and the Camino links some of the most pretty. the first we came across was Maneru.

It was still asleep but in the middle of the village was a water fountain that Debbie topped our bottles from with cold crisp water. It tasted divine. I have no idea what people do in these small places. They all seem asleep to us as we pass through. The only places open are the occasional cafe or pharmacy hoping for some business from passing pilgrims.

Maneru - 2

More water.

After a short walk of around an hour we climbed a gentle slope to another hilltop town of Cirauqui. This place was simply divine. Its narrow streets of honey coloured buildings were festooned with baskets of geraniums which really stood out against the stonework. I loved this place. Swallows swirled in the air looking for nesting sites and the remains of a 2000 year old roman road and bridge still exist and lead the Camino on to Lorca.

Cirauqui - 04

Cirauqui

Cirauqui - 05

Exit of the town

Lorca

Lorca

Lorca by contrast was rather ordinary by comparison but it was our lunch stop. It was also a chance to get the boots and socks off which is simply heavenly.

From Lorca we dropped down beside olive and almond trees and vineyards to the town of Villatuerta and crossed a 14th century bridge this time. The place seems dotted with them.

Villatuerta - 1

Villatuerta 14th century bridge

By now our feet were telling us it was time to stop. The sun was now out and the temperature soared to around 28C and we were really hot. At 14:00 we arrived at the municipal albergue which is a bed for the night. Actually a bunk bed in a room with 28 other people also on bunk beds. Last night we had the Spanish world champion snorer in our room of 6 beds. Lets see what tonight brings.

Estella - 3

Estella


Estella - 4

San Pedro church

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Leos dog of the day

Finally this savage beast did his best to shoo us away from his patch.

Distance walked today 21 Kms

Mark Dexter 2015