Ruta de la Lana, stage 1, Alicante to Novelda, 32 km

How annoying! I wrote my blog last night but couldn’t post it due to no signal in the apartment, and this morning there it was, gone.
So here goes again…


Distance, 32 km
Elevation gain, 463 m
Elevation loss, 279 m

As usual at the beginning of a camino, I forgot to turn on Wikiloc until we had walked a couple of kms.

The Ruta de la Lana commences at the Basílica de Santa María, the Church we visited yesterday to get our initial stamp in our credenciales. We returned to the church square later in the day for a glass of wine. So, having walked back and forth a couple of times, we didn’t feel the need to do it again this morning, so just started from our accommodation.

The walk out of Alicante was much the same as any other large city, endless streets of high rise buildings. The sky was a very threatening dark grey and there was a significant wind. All as predicted by the weather forecast.

After around 5 km we reached the edge of the city and entered a very dismal industrial area, which had been used at regular intervals for fly tipping and in the stregthening wind there was all sorts of rubbish whooshing around. The only highlight was a wild boar (could have been a pot bellied pig) roaming free in the streets looking for anything useful amongst the myriad of rubbish. She must have had some piglets waiting for her back at home as her teats we almost dragging on the ground.

Even when we got to the ‘countryside’ it was still very dingy with rubbish flying around in the high wind. We are walking on a quiet (on a Sunday morning) road with little or no shoulder for a few kms and it is not until 8-9 km that we step on our first track, but it is very stony and alongside a railway track and only serves to lead us to another road. The sun has finally broken through, but the wind is getting continually stronger.

At around 18 km we are at last on an interesting track through scrubland and occasional stands of pine trees. High above us, atop a ridge, I see what is probably a chapel clinging onto the rock face. And then I make out a huge statue towering above us in the form of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, but is apparently San Pascual. We come to an option to climb a bit higher to get up close and personal with the saint, but don’t find it too difficult to turn in the opposite direction and head instead downhill towards the first town on this stage – Orito at 24 km. On looking up to the statue from this angle I can see another giant form of San Pascual etched into the hillside.

 

We had planned to stop at Orito for the night, but we have heard good things about the albergue in Novelda and reckon we have another eight km in our legs, so after stopping for a beer, we continue the 4 km through Montfort del Cid, and the final 4 to Novelda where I phone the hospitalero (Paco Serra, ideally phone the day before on 629668829 or 965600842). Paco is a star and arrives on his bicycle within five minutes. The albergue is in an apartment block, three bedrooms each with two singles, two bathrooms, sitting room and fully functioning kitchen, central terrace with washing machine. Donativo. Thank you Paco and Novelda.

We wandered around the sprawling town, mostly newly built, but with some interesting older buildings and churches and a very pretty main square. Definitely worth the extra effort which also gives us a shorter day tomorrow.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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19 Responses to Ruta de la Lana, stage 1, Alicante to Novelda, 32 km

  1. Maureen says:

    I am ready to live your Camino vicariously once again! While I am looking out at a snowstorm building for today and tomorrow, it is lovely to be taken away to Spain and to experience yet another of your spring walks. Buen Camino!

    Like

  2. David Wolfe says:

    Some great pictures as always but a long walk for your first day and the albergue sounded fine.
    I thought I was the only who lost things on the Internet

    Like

  3. ourcamino777 says:

    Buen Camino!

    Knowing how we are at the mercy of slow or non-existent wi-fi when walking the Camino, I plan to write my blog post on the notepad of the tablet and then copy and paste it onto a new post and insert photos in the appropriate place. I hope that helps prevent losing a blog post How frustrating to have to write a post twice …Grrrrr…

    I am very much enjoying your blog.

    Judy.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  4. alan lampard says:

    And we’re off. Looking forward to your journey Maggie. Stay healthy.Ultreia

    Like

  5. Maggie Gardner says:

    More beautiful blue skies. It looks very sandy or is that a trick of the light? The albergue sounds very civilised you should get a good nights sleep.

    Like

  6. Jeannette says:

    Sounds like a very good start Maggi, you’re amazing! BUEN CAMINO !

    Like

  7. trynke says:

    I love to read your stories and admire your perseverance.
    Wish you good luck on the long road ahead.
    Stay healthy .
    from Holland,with love, Trynke

    Like

  8. Bill says:

    Just love the pictures. I’ll be sure to follow you from my work desk…lol Like I’ve done the past 3 Camino’s.

    Like

  9. Tony Rice says:

    To walk the caminos without blowing your camino budget, what a wonderful thing. Looking forward to your stories and photos. Buena Camino Maggie.

    Happy Trails. Tony

    Like

  10. ingridfolkers says:

    on board as well, enjoying you walking and me observing. Buen Camino

    Like

  11. Cecilia Kennedy says:

    Great to hear the adventure has begun, I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking of you striding out towards the West as I go about my own walking and pottering about here in Yorkshire. Buen Camino. X

    Like

  12. Jenny Heesh says:

    On the road again Maggie!
    May you have much joy on this camino –
    Camino hugs from Oz –
    Jenny

    Like

  13. Been looking forward to this Maggie. I’m returning to the Norte next month and I too maintain a blog if you’re interested (see below).
    It’s a delight reading your story and seeing the pictures.
    Buen Camino x

    http://www.yorkshireramblings.com

    Like

  14. Marilyn van Graan says:

    Just loved walking with you through this day even though I am only reading it tonight (Tues) – all looks so fab – ouch this is tough – love reading your blog as always and the photos are just super as always – travel well my friendXXXX

    Like

  15. Kay Caldwell says:

    Will be alongside you in spirit, Maggie. Looking forward to more.

    Like

  16. Pia says:

    Hello! Looking forward to reading your account of the Lana. I’m on the Levante at the moment and there are 3 other people which I was quite surprised about, quite a crowd. The Lana and Levante meet in Almansa where we are headed today. Buen Camino!

    Like

  17. dougyharry says:

    Looking forward to reading your accounts as we are thinking of doing the same route starting early May. Just trying to organise it now. Followed your last Camino also (last year) with great interest.

    Like

  18. Kevin O'Brien says:

    Great Maggie!! Wasn’t the Albergue at Novelda worth the walk!! Great you met Paco as well. Yes, it is a bit horrible walking out of Alicante. Quite a relief to see San Pascual. Good luck. We are on the Levante at La Roda this evening. Hope to be in Santiago sometime in May. Best. Kevin

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Kevin. I want to say a huge thank you for all your help with the guide. I have a few updates for you. I will link the guide in a resources list when I have finished walking so others can benefit from your hard work. Buen camino!

      Like

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