Today's walk took us from Lorca to Estella, a distance of 9.47kms. Tonight we are going "fancy" and staying at a small hotel, Hospederia Chapitel.
For some unknown reason, I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning, bit of a nuisance, but in a way it was nice to lie in bed and go over the last couple of days in my head, think about the upcoming days, sort of solidify my thoughts about it all.
We left shortly after 07:00 (you can only lie in bed and solidify your thoughts for so long and then the temptation to wake the rest of the family becomes overwhelming...!) Today was a short day, so we felt very relaxed and took things nice and slow, until a couple of village octogenarians over-took us with a cheery "Hola", after that we sped up a little! The way was pretty easy-going, very few uphills and the path was mostly smooth. It was a pretty walk, lots of fields of wheat and beautiful wildflowers dotted here and there.
|More directional arrows.|
We stopped at Villatuerte for a picnic breakfast in a park. The proprietor at our albergue last night offered little bagged picnic breakfasts - they were really cute and the contents lasted us a couple of days. On the way out of town we stopped at a bar for coffee and a loo-break.
After that it was a pleasant stroll to Estella. Strangely, we were alone the entire way today, other than a couple of pilgrims stopped for breakfast in Villatuerte, we didn't see a single pilgrim along the walk. It was really lovely having the road to ourselves, although it did give Paula licence to break into song every now and again.... which was not such a good thing, not exactly the voice of an angel.....
|Way markers are found everywhere,even on dustbins!|
|Plants along the way|
We dropped our bags at our hotel, it was too early to check-in, so we strolled around town. I had read mixed reports about Estella, so wasn't expecting much,but I thought it was a nice little town. We went to a shoe shop and Paula and I both bought a pair of shoes.... in my defense, I was finding the plastic sandals I had brought with not great for my feet, so I actively went looking for these shoes, it wasn't an impulse buy (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I plan on alternating the new shoes and my boots on the walk tomorrow as my toes are still a bit sore after all the downhills. I had read a lot of advice suggesting you buy boots a size bigger than your norm for the Camino. I thought I knew better (I was worried that bigger shoes wouldn't support my feet as well..I have insanely narrow feet) I was wrong! Next time I will buy my boots at least a size bigger. Experience is a great teacher!
We had a beer in a bar, wandered some more, and then stopped for a bocadillo for lunch. It is so cute, everywhere we go we see grandparents with their grandchildren. It is school holidays here and clearly all the grandparents are on day-care duty. There were two sets of grandparents with littlies at lunch today, they all looked to be having a great time. One of the great pleasures of this walk is that you see how the locals live, you aren't continually in the tourist jam. I love that.
Finally we made our way back to our hotel for the usual round of clothes washing, showers and siesta. Our days are taking on a distinct rhythm. After a good long rest we nipped out to buy some fruit - the fruit here is absolutely gorgeous! - to go with our Woolies seed bars and the remains of our packed breakfast from this morning when we stop for breakfast tomorrow.
We then had a drink in the hotel bar (Paula and I are loving the tinto de verrano!) before supper here at the hotel. We tried something new-to-us called San Jacobo, which was cheese sandwiched in ham, breaded and fried, with eggs and chips.