Distance from Puente la Reina to Villatuerta, Spain – 20 kilometers
Some people describe walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago as an enlightening or magical experience. I am not a religious person but, as we begin our second week traveling this ancient pilgrimage route, I can see how people can feel that way. The simple act of waking up each morning without goals beyond putting one foot in front of the other and propelling yourself to the next village allows thought and contemplation that we don’t seem to have time for anymore in the modern world. People say the Camino helps you find yourself, but I think walking along “The Way” simply allows us to listen to our own minds in ways that we have forgotten.
Today was one of those days that “nothing much” happened other than further enjoying what has been and what will be for the next few weeks, our new reality. We left Puenta la Reina across its famous 12th century bridge and began to walk. We stopped for café con leche at the tiny medieval village of Maneru where most of the young people have left for big cities and “opportunity”, leaving the old people behind with the ruins of an old gothic church and memories of more “prosperous ” days.
We entered the town of Cirauqui (a Basque word meaning “viper’s nest), enjoyed the hilltop views and departed down an old Roman road lined with ancient walls, cypress trees and wheat fields. Soon stopped to have some water and a piece of fruit on and old Roman bridge. From there we again climbed the hills to the village of Lorca, where we enjoyed a huge plate of homemade paella, talked with some other pilgrims we had met a few villages back all the while listening to a recording of famous 20th century tenor Jose Carreras, while we relaxed at on of the restaurant’s three tables.
We arrived into our day’s destination, Villatuerta, around 3pm, checked into the six bed dorm room at our albergue “Casa Magica”, bought a bottle of wine and snoozed in hammocks until it was dinner time. Again, it wasn’t an eventful day, but it was a fine and enjoyable one.