Monday, September 3, 2012

And on from Puente La Reina, through Lorca to Estella (Sep 3)

The walk on leaving Puente La Reina was supposed to be a relatively easy one, but we did not count on the clear skies and treeless terrain that made the 22C felt like 32C.  The uphill stretch from Puente La Reina was taxing even though it took less than an hour to a tidy (they always are) village of Maneru. The next village Cirauqui a few kilometres beyond was very pretty sitting on top of a hill (pretty villages are such an encouragement for us to do the climb). In between were vineyards (yummy grapes) and other cultivations. Being sunday, nothing was open at Cirauqui but thankfully a little shop at the entrance to the village sold fresh bread, packaged ham, and lovely icecream.  Then another trek in the heat to our destination for the night at Lorca, a small village made alive by two albergues and nothing else.  We had thoughtfully booked a room the day before and were given one right on top of the four-storey restored old building, requiring one last climb which we did not need.

Logistic planning is a challenge. We have to space our walks to make sure we get to see villages and towns that we want to see, and yet avoid long stretches or unnecessarily short ones. We decided on a short day today, a rest day with a short walk of just 9km to Estella, but we soon learned that the signpost distances in Spain are not always what we interpreted them to be. One saying 1.5km took us nearly an hour to negotiate, probably because it was only showing distance to the town boundary.

Estella is a pretty town according to the guidebooks - pretty what, K asked. Pretty small, pretty dead
between noon and 4pm, the siesta hour quite stringently obeyed. But pretty as well we found as we wandered through the deserted narrow streets. The tourist office was open, but unfortunately being Monday many museums were shut.  Nonetheless we found this internet cafe, called locutoria for some reasons and were able to catch up with some news..

Today has been much easier with the cooler weather and cloudy skies but we hope the expected wet weather tomorrow will not be too problematic.

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