Distance, 26 km
Elevation gain, 323 m
Elevation loss,163 m
Total distance 143.5 km
Daily average, 28.7 km
No wind, no rain…🎼
Well, there was a fresh breeze, but none of the high winds and blow-you-off-your-feet gusts that we have experienced for the last few days. And no clouds, so when the sun came out, it was with us all day. What a difference a day makes…🎼 !
We left a little later this morning and then stopped for a hot drink at the petrol station cafe at the exit from town. When we left a couple of guys (French & Swiss?) who had stayed at the albergue last night were just ahead of us. So we followed them. The wrong way! Luckily we all realised our mistake fairly soon and didn’t add more than 500 m to our journey. The first part of our walk was on agricultural tracks and quiet roads, but at around 8.5 km the track starts to climb through green wilderness with a long ‘table mountain’ as a backdrop. What with the sun to counteract the increasing wind, and interesting scenery, I really enjoyed this stage.
We played cat and mouse with the spanish guys – they passed us when we took a break and vice versa. At one point we had to walk in fields alongside a railway line. Mostly the farmers had left a path free of crops, but one huge field was planted to the very edge and we picked our way through trying not to trample the newly sprouting crops. I can imagine in a month or two, when the crops have grown or in wet weather, this would be a bit of a slog.
At Almansa the Ruta de la Lana and the Camino Levante meet briefly. The Levante starts in Valencia and passes through Toledo and meets with the Via de la Plata in Zamora. At the 20 km point of today’s stage the paths diverge, and the guys that led us in the wrong direction earlier went straight on as we took a right turn.
It was still very windy today, but with the sun on our backs it was not an issue. The albergue in Alpera is in a house, downstairs is a community room that seems to be used for art projects and upstairs are two bedrooms with a total of five beds, bathroom and sitting room. We have use of the microwave in the kitchen below and washing can be hung to dry in the garden. Unless it is hung out when a downpour begins as it did for Nina and me. Luckily there are radiators downstairs and I am hoping it will dry by the morning as I need to wear some of it. Albergue 7 euros, keys from ayuntamiento. If likely to arrive after 14:00 ring ahead and let them know you are coming 967 330 001.