On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Puente la Reina to Estella

January 11, 2012 — 4 Comments
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From Cirauqui to Lorca was the most important stretch of Roman road left on the French Way. The path started gently rolling through vineyards and farmland… The original road was not always clear, but when I saw the laid-out stones, I slowed and watched every step… Millions of pilgrims had walked on this very road, and I felt special and honored to be able to join them… From Page 53, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days.

At the end of my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Uterga to Puente la Reina, I looked back at the magnificent bridge that spanned the Arga in Puente la Reina. I was in such awe, but that was only one of many incredible features on this memorable day. Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago, in the chapter, Day 3: Canadian Boy. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).

The poppies in full bloom adorned this part of the Camino.

Photo of red poppies along the Camino the Santiago near Puente la Reina, Spain

 

I also admired the rock walls of red earth or stone that look brilliant with the green vegetation and flowers.

Photo of red poppies against a red stone wall along the Camino de Santiago near Puente la Reina, Spain

 

This worn and broken-down boot was turned into an interesting memorial.

Image of a memorial for a boot on top of a rock besides the Camino de Santiago

 

From Puente la Reina, the Camino gently climbed into the hills, with low pine trees and again, the red earth was prominent. I believe this area was a park and since it was Saturday, many day walkers were among the pilgrims. Well, maybe not right here.

Photo of the dirt path, Camino de Santiago, in the hills between Puente la Reina and Mañeru, Spain, red Earth, soil

 

 The 18th century Iglesia de San Pedro and the village of Mañeru.

Photo of Mañeru, Spain, Church and bright green farmland

 

The village of Cirauqui is in the distance.

Photo of farmland and dirt path of the Camino de Santiago, red poppies and yellow mustard, approaching Cirauqui, Spain

 

According to Gitlitz & Davidson on page 89 in their book, The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, Cirauqui is a Basque name meaning “nest of vipers.” I’ll never forget the mud on sections such as these. The joys of walking during a rainy Spanish Springtime.

Photo of the muddy trail, Camino de Santiago, approaching Cirauqui, Spain, the church on top of the hill

 

Narrow streets of Cirauqui. The Camino was well marked. Otherwise, it would have been a maze for those who don’t know their way around.

Photo of the narrow streets in the village of Cirauqui, Spain on the Camino de Santiago

 

Farmland and scrubby hills outside Cirauqui.

Photo of bright green farmland and scrubby hillsides near Cirauqui, Spain on the Camino de Santiago

 

Between Cirauqui and Lorca was the most important stretch of Roman Road left along the French Way. This photo is a particular favorite. Although it took me a while to figure out, but I believe it’s the Roman bridge that Gitlitz & Davidson referenced on page 91 in their book, The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago. The yellow of the mustard flowers makes this scene all the more beautiful.

Image of an ancient stone bridge, in a small valley with mustard flowers

 

Vast vineyards were common in this area of Navarra as it is an important wine producing region. In the far distance, the hills were covered with snow.

Photo of vineyard besides the Camino de Santiago between Lorca and Cirauqui, red soil and green hillside

 

 Medieval bridge where pilgrims rested.

Image of a medieval stone bridge on the Roman Road of the Camino de Santiago near Lorca, Spain

 

Another vineyard along the Camino. I’m not quite sure why the south-facing hillsides were not used for vineyards instead of the muddy, lower area.

Photo of a vineyard besides the Camino de Santiago between Lorca and Cirauqui, red soil and green hillside

 

The Roman Road, another highlight from the French Way.

Photo of the Roman Road along the Camino de Santiago in Spain, mustard flowers lining the path, between Lorca and Cirauqui,

Photo of the Roman Road, the Camino de Santiago, between Lorca and Cirauqui, Spain

 

The bridge over the Río Salado.

Image of the rebuilt medieval bridge over Río Salado on the Roman Road of the Camino de Santiago near Lorca, Spain

 

Again, the contrasting colors were striking.

Photo of bright green farmland and scrubby shrubs on a hillside near Lorca, Spain on the Camino de Santiago

 

Lorca had more modern building than I would have expected.

Photo of Lorca, Spain along the Camino de Santiago, whitewashed buildings, hillside

 

The colorful window of a home along the Camino in Lorca.

Photo of Flowers in front of home, Lorca, Spain

 

The bridge and the Río Iranzu, in Villatuerta.

Image of a stone bridge over the muddy Rio Iranzu, whitewashed buildings in the background, Villatuerta, Spain

 

 Freshly changed into my shorts, here I’m in front of the church in Villatuerta.

Photo of Randall St. Germain standing in front of a church long the Camino de Santiago in Villatuerta, Spain

 

The simple and very rustic 11th century Ermita de San Miguel Arcángel was about 100 meters off the Camino.

Image of the simple stone Ermita de San Miguel Arcángel church off the Camino de Santiago

 

I tired from the small climb to an alto overlooking the city of Estella. The afternoon had much better weather than the morning.

Photo of Estella, Spain from the East hillside on the Camino de Santiago, farmland parkland and the highway

I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop here with Estella in the distance. On my next post, ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO: ESTELLA TO VILLAMAYOR DE MONJARDIN, SPAIN, I walked through Estella, indulged (not really) at a wine fountain in Irache, walked through more peaceful farmland and vineyards, before scrambling to find a place to sleep in Villamayor de Monjardín. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.




About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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4 responses to On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Puente la Reina to Estella

  1. Hi, Randall:
    I’m enjoying your postings. The photos are gorgeous. I’m going at the end of April. Can’t wait!

    • Judy

      Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until now. I am bombarded with spam, at least 40 every day, and yours was missed. Thanks, I hope you enjoy the postings even more, now that I have figured out how to use the photo display properly. I went at the end of April also. I hope you have better weather than I did. Bring some warm clothes just in case. The scenery is quite lovely in the spring, though. Buen Camino.

  2. Randall, your postings and your photos are an answer to prayer!! I plan on walking in September, 2014. I wasn’t sure if beginning in St. Jean was too demanding a climb but after reading your blog, I know that I want to start there! Do you have any idea what the weather is like in Sept? And could you tell me how many kms a day you walked? I’m planning to walk for 3 weeks, beginning in St. Jean and ending in Campostela….somewhere in between I’ll have to take a bus….would you suggest doing so from Burgos to Leon? If I were to purchase your book from you, can you mail it to Belize in Central America? How much would it cost, including shipping? Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

    • Carolee, thanks for your comment. September would likely still be very warm, depending what time of the month you are starting, but I’m told by others, it is more pleasant than July and August. There are less people walking too. I averaged 40km a day for 20 days straight. Many pilgrims with limited time skip the Meseta because of the ease of transportation. You can also play it by ear and decide along the way. Many large towns have buses but planning may be more difficult. I really enjoyed the Meseta though and would have trouble thinking of any section to skip. If you buy a book directly from me, it is US$27 including shipping. If interested, I can include a Skype session if you need further help. Let me know randall@caminomyway.com. Thanks again and Buen Camino 🙂

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