Day 7, September 19, 2017
Cirauqul to Villamayor de Monjarin Spain
My Albergue that I am staying at last night turns out to be located just down down from the festivites of the festival. It was about the locals having a community celebration and for no other reason. It´s a yearly event and it lasted till 4am in the morning. I only stay till 10pm because the aberque locks their doors at 10. Those ear plugs I have are just wonderfull. I slept so good, that I got up before dawn, packed my pack and headed out the door. After all, that´s what the camino is about, doing my own camino. I had proved myself worthy of the challenge, at least in our own minds. Following the camino in the dark is not easy. I knew today was going to be a long day at 14.5 miles. This way I would be finishing before the punishing afternoon sun. An idea I felt had particular merit…..This is where reality and wishful thinking really do not run on parallel tracks.
Walking in the dark is quite wonderful. It is cool and by paying close attention it is a very comfortable time to walk. Unfortunately the darkness does not convince the terrain to be any less severe.
As the sun crested the surrounding mountains I was faced with aggressive uphill paths. One brutal ascent was followed by another….and the temperature started to rise.……
The walk continued relentless. Steep hills and long dry stretches without shade were delivered in abundance.
Why are these flies buzzing around us? I must be smelling …….. oh, wait a minute….I get it…I obviously do smell
One unassuming little town called Lorca had a wonderful fountain. It is astounding how cold, fresh water can reinvigorate and refresh. I filled my water bottle and splashed water all over my head and neck. The effects were immediate and lasted for minutes. The refreshing water evaporated and I were once again on hard, baked dirt paths without shade of any sort.
After an hour I came to the famous Irache Wine Fountain. An impressive steel and brass wall plate fashioned and fastened to a large stone building. Two spigots are attached to the metal plate offering red wine and water to Pilgrims on their journey. This area is surrounded by a tall iron fence and a motion controlled light. Turns are taken by the “early Pilgrims” taking photos and filling their bottles.
I have never had an occasion to drink so early in the day, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The amount of wine I had was actually hallf of my collapable cup about a couple of oz. Before everyone jumps to a conclusion, I am not recommending red wine as a breakfast drink, nor will I make this a part of my daily ritual……. it is just interesting to note.
During the last 3 km I stopped once again in a small-town and soaked my feet in an ice-cold stream. Again the effects of the water were welcomed as my numbed feet were no longer painfull reminders of the extraordinary demands I was putting on them.
Finally, and what seemed like an eternity I came to Villamayor de Monjardin.
Once I arrived at the first albergue as I entered the town, I checked by getting my camino passport stamped and paying 10 euros, for a bunk bed and shower.
I decided I would eat home cooked meal at the alberque comuniial dinner. It was a typical camino meal with a green salad, pasta with sauce and chicken, pudding and an abundant supply of bread and vino.
The music played tll 4 in the morning
Day 8, September 20, 2017
Villamayor de Monjardin to Los Arcos
Waking up at 6:30, layed in bed fr another 30 minutes wainting for others to packup and clear out. I pack up as quietly as possible to not wake up the remaiing few and slipped downstairs. The streets at 7:00 in the morning feel quite surreal. Dim lighting and narrow streets reflecting, the taps my walking sticks, and muted voices gives a feel of being the last people in the world. Leaving the town, was an easy down hill through residential streets at quite a serious rate.
I continued to gain altitude but much more gradually than in past days. After my training during the past week in the hills and mountains this walk presented was very manageable. I are now accustomed to carrying. And when I arrived in a tiny village at the highest point of the trail today the time was just past noon. I still felt quite fresh and it was still so early in the day. Bonus!
….Los Arcos appears to be a small farming community. Oddly, this town has a rather large and astounding cathedral. It was strongly suggested to me that I go in and check out the “Black Virgin Mary”. More impressive to me, an amazing pipe organ complete with enormous pipes and a fan of horizontally arranged trumpets. I can only imagine the power this instrument must have in this environment.
Once I was into the Albergue, did my routine, shower, laundry and blog.
- Just keep walking