- Distance today: 8.2 mi
- Distance Camino 2017: 65.6 mi
We prepared our own breakfast in the albergue before leaving at 6:45 a.m.
We crossed the Rio Arga via the Puente la Reina, without fear of expensive ferrymen or treacherous boat rides (thanks, Queen).
The level, dirt path leaving town eased alongside the river for about 2 miles before taking a sharp turn up the side of a small mountain.
The footing was secure so we just took our time and a km (0.62 miles) later we were at the top. Two 20 something pilgrims passed us on the way up the mountain. Jim recognized the lady’s hat as identical to his favorite, “Drover” hat he purchased in Sydney, Australia in 2014. The young couple stopped to adjust their packs and as we caught them, Jim said “where are you from?”. The young man said, “Italia” and the young lady, “Australia”. Jim then said, “Are you from Sydney?” and when she said yes, he said I have the same hat as you, I bought it in Sydney! She laughed and agreed when seeing Jim’s hat attached to his pack. Another great Camino memory!
Shortly after creating the mountain, we entered the village of Mañeru, well placed for a brief rest stop.
Just a few minutes past Mañeru, we got our first view of Cirauqui, a medieval village, pop. 505, whose Basque name means “nest of vipers”. What impressed us the most was the constant, enlarging view of the village, located on the crest of a large hill and the colorful vineyards and olive trees as we wound through in the approaching valley.
The Camino passed straight through the village which meant we went steeply up and then steeply down on the narrow paved village streets/steps.
We exited Cirauqui on the remains of a surprisingly well defined Roman road which led to an also surviving Roman bridge. Shortly past the bridge we crossed the A-12 expressway and it was ironic to view a 2000 year old Roman road still existing beside a less than 50 year old highway that would probably not survive the next 50.
We walked parallel to A-12 on and off the Roman road for the next mile or two, passing another well preserved small Roman bridge, passing under A-12 and beginning our climb up to the 12th century village of Lorca, our destination for today.
Our double room with ensuite bathroom (40€) was ready about 30 minutes after we checked-in at La Bodega del Camino. By 5:30 some of our clothes are still damp due to the party cloudy, low 60 degree weather today: great for walking, not so good for drying clothes.
We stayed off our feet most of the afternoon, reading and blogging.
We had a pilgrim dinner tonight in the albergue dining area. We ate with a young man from Italia, a construction worker, a young lady who taught school in Los Angeles, and another young man from Cambridge, England, who worked as a supervisor in a Titlelist golf ball warehouse. They were all in their 20’s.
Today was one of our longer walks so far, but not too difficult, the weather being a big factor. We might actually be adapting and/or already getting stronger.