Day 9 – Mańeru to Lorca

Walked Today: 5.5mi/Camino 2022: 54mi

shortly after leaving Mańeru this morning
just outside Cirauqui
A well preserved section of Roman road as we left Cirauqui
the remains of a Romain bridge outside Cirauqui
on the way to Lorca
reaching the entrance to the village of Lorca
We call this Linda’s bench because on our first Camino (2014), after completing the tough climb up the hill into Lorca, Linda saw and claimed this bench for a much needed rest and on subsequent Camino’s, including today, the mental image of this bench has helped spur her on to make it up the hill!!
Linda, today, claiming her “ prize” one more time.

We arrived very early (9:45) at Bodega del Camino and ordered a late breakfast. After we finished, Jim asked if we could check-in early and we were pleasantly surprised to hear “Si”. Michael, the albergue manager, is from southern Germany. His boss recently acquired the albergue, which had been closed for 2 years during the pandemic. Michael’s staff is a family (father, mother & daughter) who escaped from Mariupol, Ukraine soon after the Russian invasion. They made their way to Georgia, then Austria and ultimately to Spain and Lorca.

We have stayed at the Bodega del Camino previously in 2014, 2017, 2019 and now 2022. We are glad it has reopened. It among our top favorite albergues on the Camino Frances.

We took advantage of the common areas including a wash basin and clothes drying lines… with clothes pins!!! We got showers, examined our feet for any issues needing treatment and chilled in our comfortable room with twin beds and ensuite bathroom (59€). Shortly after noon we had a tasty lunch in the bar.

the dining area of Bodega del Camino bar
Andalusian version of Gazpacho with hard boiled eggs and ham… lunch for Jim
Ensalada mixta and tortilla… lunch for Linda

We also placed our orders to have the pilgrim dinner tonight at 7 in the albergue bar.

Our pilgrim dinner was with a gentleman from Germany who enjoys walking long distances. He walked here from SJPDP in three days… 64 miles. Two french ladies were walking together. A young man also from France was walking for a week, taking some time off from his job.

We were served a ensalada mixta, baked chicken in a brown sauce, rice and roasted vegetables and chocolate cake and ice cream with a cherry sauce.

A delicious meal, interesting, multilingual conversation and gracious hosts provided a nice conclusion to another day on the Camino Frances.

Day 8 – Obaños to Mańeru

Walked- Today:3.00 mi Camino 2022: 48.5 mi

sunrise outside our Casa Raichu window this morning

We walked through Puente la Reina this morning on our way to Mańeru.

Crossing the Puente la Reina bridge
looking back at the “Queen’s bridge“

We’ve never stayed in Mańeru before but have passed by the El Cantero albergue three times. Staying here tonight cuts what would be a long 8 miles into two easy days… consistent with our Camino 2022 plan.

the flat walk from Puente la Reina before climbing the mountain into Mańeru.
a break in the shade… sun bearing down unmercifully by 10:30
getting a breather in the shade halfway up the mountain
very steep climb at the summit
walking into Mańeru

Most albergues will not open to guests before 1:00. Today, El Cantero was no exception. We arrived at 11:16 a.m. and had to wait until 1:00 p.m. to check-in and have access to our reserved room.

waiting to check-in

Jim approached the “time keeper” and pointed to his watch that it was 1 o’clock. The guy looked around, frantically and said 10 more minutes. Jim came back at 1:10 and with the apparent owner and the lady who confirmed our reservation via telephone yesterday, present, the check-in process began. Our double room with private bath is 45€.

Home at last… until tomorrow morning.

Tonight we skipped a pilgrim dinner offered by El Cantero, opting instead for our late-lunch bogadilla leftovers and assorted fruit drinks and cookies purchased at a local market.