Fields of Poppies and Rape Seed

Left the Auberge Santiago Apostol around 5.20am in the dark. The Korean group started moving shortly after 5am with flashing lights and thundering  rolling luggage wheels and then they were gone long before dawn. We strode down the hill and turned right along the Arca River out past the nun’s monastry Comendadoras del Espiritu Santo. It was a steep climb to Maneru about 5km from Puente. Certainly steeper than the topographic profile indicated – the Devil is in the detail -. Maybe better to be a passimist on this journey as expectations control your mood. If it is much easier than you expected then you are elated but when much tougher then you are a little down – as in life. Reached Maneru at about 9.30am and I had a choizo and fried egg bocadillo, fairy cake and cafe con leche for all of €7.
Just another 2.5km to Cirauqui. The most beautifully preserved medieval village on a hill with sturdy buildinds of massive stone and ornate balconies. Pushed through almost 6km to Lorca arrived just after noon. Delicious lentil soup and Tortilla and freshly squeezed orange juice. Then down plunge to La Casa Magica in Villatuerta arriving just after 2pm  just 4km sky of Estella. A bit of a zen feel in this ancient house with candles mood music and incense. The foot was excellenr. A giant Paella for dinner and white asparagus from the local fields. The proprietor is very serious but kid and the place is spotless. Got some hand-washed laundry done in cold but bearable water. All bed and no bunks this stop for the first time. It is the small pleasures in life that make you smile on the Way like freshly squeezed oranges from Seville and homemade potatoe y lomo tortilla pie!

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