Day 5: Lorca to Los Arcos

Rainbow outside Lorca

The morning dawned grey and damp, but the forecast promised sun, so I remained hopeful. The last of the sprinkles fell as the sun burst through the clouds treating me to a colorful rainbow on the horizon.

The Camino split into two routes today. I opted for the road less traveled, following the route frequented until the 15th century when the city of Estella was developed primarily to cater to pilgrims. I passed the ruins of an 8th century monastery, which became a hospital (place for pilgrims to sleep, not a medical facility) in 1050, the remaining stone walls glinting in the morning sun.

Ancient Hospital ruins near Lorca

I didn’t see another pilgrim except when I backtracked from the alternate route a bit to visit the Fuente de Vino (wine fountain) on the main route through Irache, because free wine!

Fuente de Vino - Irache

Fuente de Vino - Irache

Back on the historic route, I walked through low slung forest of encina trees (closely related to the oak tree – I learned this from Alvaro yesterday) and pines. Solitude is hard to come by on the Camino Frances owing to its growing popularity. And to paraphrase Robert Frost, for me, taking the road less traveled made all the difference. It offered me a chance to be alone with my thoughts and take my time, both of which are difficult when you walk with other people.

Alternate Route: Lorca to Los Arcos

Every so often, the trail broke out of the forest, offering breathtaking views of the stone escarpments of the surrounding mountains and the valley towns below.

Alternate Route: Lorca to Los Arcos

After lunch in the tiny villge of Luquin, where coats of arms decorate the 17th and 18th century homes of the town’s well-heeled families…

Coat of Arms in Luquin

…the trail descended into the valley where it rejoined the current more traveled route. It meandered through olive orchards, vineyards and fields of wheat, green waves rippling in the chilly wind that blew throughout the day. Cotton ball clouds dotted the sky.

Near Los Arcos

I was exhausted by the time I reached Los Arcos but buoyed by my time off the beaten path.

On the road to Los Arcos

Today I walked 18.8 miles.

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Categories: Camino de Santiago, Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Day 5: Lorca to Los Arcos

  1. Diane

    Erin, Our sons, Bryan & Colin McLean, went to high school with Alex at Grant. My husband, Bill and I walked half of the Camino in 2014, about the same time of year. My husband & a friend and her husband from college wanted to celebrate their 70th birthday walking the Camino. We started just before Leon. Today I ran into Don & Allie and they were sharing your adventures. Of course we wanted to follow your blog, and very much enjoy reading about your experiences. It was an amazing trip for us. One of the best things we ever did. We very much relate with your goals and observations. You are making us discover and remember all over again. Thank you for that! We look forward to your daily posts. (Or whenever you choose to do an entry) Happy trails! Buen Camino! Diane McLean

    Like

  2. Diane

    Erin, Our sons, Bryan & Colin McLean, went to high school with Alex at Grant. My husband, Bill and I walked half of the Camino in 2014, about the same time of year. My husband & a friend and her husband from college wanted to celebrate their 70th birthday walking the Camino. We started just before Leon. Today I ran into Don & Allie and they were sharing your adventures. Of course we wanted to follow your blog, and very much enjoy reading about your experiences. It was an amazing trip for us. One of the best things we ever did. We very much relate with your goals and observations. You are making us discover and remember all over again. Thank you for that! We look forward to your daily posts. (Or whenever you choose to do an entry) Happy trails! Buen Camino! Diane McLean.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Day 14: Fromista to Carrion de los Condes | Lower the Bar for More Fun

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