Day 8 – Puente la Reina to Lorca

Today’s walk: 8.6 miles

Walked Camino 2019: 63.1 miles

Today was our second longest walk so far but we managed it pretty well.

Starting out at 6:20, at first light, gave us confidence we could significantly reduce the sun as an issue. We crossed the Queens Bridge as we left Puente la Reina.

The first 2.5 miles were flat and meandered along the Río Arga and hay fields.

an early start before sunrise

We then made a right turn and immediately headed straight up the side of a mountain

leaving our nice flat path
a tough climb
at the top, finally

until reaching the top a mile later at the village of Mañeru. We made a 15 minute rest stop, then continued another 1.5 miles to the village of Cirauqui.

The approach to Cirauqui is an iconic Camino image. From a distance, the medieval village is set upon a hilltop like a nest.

Approaching Cirauqui
Closer look… Cirauqui

Vineyards, an occasional small olive grove and fields of grain fill the approaching valley. The Camino path winds through the valley like a snake.

The translation of Cirauqui is “nest of vipers”.

This is our 3rd time to pass through Cirauqui. The Camino markers take you directly through the village which is a maze of straight up and then straight down narrow paved streets. It’s a killer hike itself.

We suffered through our first time, looked for a “go around route” the second time until we got lost and still ended going up then down, an even greater ” killer”.

Being old timer peregrines, today we pulled out Google earth, confirmed our proposed route with two locals, and walked around the village!!!

For any interested future peregrines, as you pass through the village gates, bear left on the second street you come to, Calle Sarriozar, and continue, then bear right onto Calle Larreria which will take you to the “killer” downhill camino exit onto the Roman road which is the Camino out or the village.

left onto Calle Sarriozar
bear right on Calle Larreria
pass downhill walk exiting village..,,

… onto a real 2000 year old Roman road = Camino

We continued on the Roman road down the hill to the ruins of, but still functioning Roman bridge, then up the hill to cross an expressway to the path leading, gradually downhill to the village of Lorca.

Along the 2mile stretch we passed another small, not in ruins, Roman bridge and walked on more Roman road… mostly in poor shape from 2000 years of erosion and weathering… not to mention millions of peregrine footsteps since the middle ages.

As we neared Lorca, we both began to feel the effects of the walk. Realizing that we were near the end (pun intended) we took a short break in the shade of an expressway underpass, paced ourselves up a steep concrete path and survived the last several hundred yard climb on a dirt path into the village.

Linda, true to form, secured a place/collapsed on a shady bench and Jim walked another 50 yards to check the status of our room in La Bodega del Camino.

Thankfully our room (42€-double room, kingbed, ensuite bathroom) was ready, allowing us to crash, recover, shower, wash(3€) and dry(3€) our sweaty clothes, get lunch, chat with other pilgrims (from Wash.,DC, Seattle, New Zealand, etc.) and update the blog until the pilgrim dinner at 7:00p.m. which was served in the albergue.