30 June 2008

Cirauqui to Los Arcos

Day 4
6:25 am - 4:25 pm
36.3 km

I fell back into my stride on this day. Leaving Cirauqui early, I made it to the next town, Lorca, where I had originally planned to stay, at a reasonable enough hour to enjoy a cafe con leche with my (self-prepared) breakfast. The going on this day was easy in that it was mostly flat, but difficult in that it was extremely hot and a little bit dull. This is not an overpopulated country, clearly, because the towns are small, begin and end abruptly, and are few and far between. The countryside is beautiful and all, but try walking through it for hours and hours, days and days. As I said about Mt. Ventoux, it is well, perhaps, that such things are generally appreciated from a distance. That's not to say I don't like what I'm doing! I love walking, and I am enjoying this walk immensely. But this wouldn't be much of a blog if I didn't squeeze a few barbs into even the most innocuous of posts. For example, why the f*ck don't these people speak English??

From the second to last town of the day to the last, Los Arcos, it was flat, flat, flat and boring. The camino cut a more or less straight path through endless fields with no interesting features on the landscape. When Los Arcos finally appeared, after 12 km of this, I felt it was a miracle. The very name had a mythic quality to me, like some far away and slightly mysterious Mexican town, and I was eager to reach this sanctuary, a haven safely removed from the previous days' pilgrims, who had mostly decided to stay the night in the last town. When I arrived at the local albergue, surprisingly run by Austrians, I was even more surprised to meet a Japanese woman manning (womanning?) the desk. She spoke some Spanish but was quite pleased to be able to speak Japanese for a change, which I was more than happy to do myself, since my Japanese is still better than my Spanish. She put me in a giant dorm room that was completely empty except for me. I slept like a kitten.

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