Day 5: Uterga to Villatuerte

La Casa Magica, our albergue in Uterga, is a very pleasant place. But the beds are awful. The bunks had some strange metal mesh grid onto which was placed a mattress. The trouble with the grid was that anytime you moved in bed, the grid pieces should slide past each other – at least I think that was the designer’s plan – but in practice the metal pieces didn’t slide. Instead they got stuck and then would move all of a sudden and make a noise like someone hitting a metal chair with a baseball bat. So, the act of just turning over in bed made 3 or 4 rapid pistol-like bangs and the whole room would wake up. There were maybe 20 beds in the dorm and this cacophony went on all night. Not much sleep was had. But, thanks to the excellent WiFi, I was able to listen to Radio 4. I was still awake at the 4am news, such was the heat and the racket. Oh dear. A truly terrible nights sleep. It does occur to me that the hospitaleros might not actually know this. La Casa Magica is a very nice place in all other respects, but if they never sleep in their own dorms, and if the clientele changes every day and no-one ever tells them (us included) – how would they find out?

We’re up and out at some point. I was so sozzled that I can’t recall when…

On the way out we pass our Texan friends from dinner the previous evening. Mike, at some point in the evening, had dropped off two wooden Camino shells that he’d made back in Houston. During yesterday’s dinner we’d been talking about the day and Llew asked me what was so special about Alto del Perdon. I started to explain, and of course, became a quivering wreck in 5 seconds flat. Mike, bless him, reckoned I needed cheering up. He’d made about 50 small (c1cm) wooden Camino shells to bring and hand out to people he met. So I am now the proud recipient of two shells, one for me and one for M. Thank you Mike!

Across from the albergue was another albergue which seemed to be the home of half a dozen cats.

We head on out…

Fashion advice

On through Muruzabal and Obanos.

The weather is a little restrained, for which I’m very grateful. Sadly this makes the pics muted, but here they are anyway – hopefully you’ll get some idea of the landscape through which we passed.

Not quite sure what this is about but we did see quite a lot of pro-feminist and pro-LGBT murals and grafitti. Always encouraging, even if I don’t quite know what it actually says…

We walk through Puente La Reina, stopping at least twice for tortilla and cafe con leche.

We see evidence of recent bull-bothering activities. I wonder how long such casual animal torture will last?

Huge wooden and steel barriers are found throughout many towns. These are used in the bull running.

On through Maneru and Ciraqui…

…and then to Lorca. I remember this place fondly from last time – the cafe owner was, I think, Korean, and she would look at the customers as they came in, size them up, and then talk to them in their own language. As far as I could tell she was correct most of the time. Very impressive. Our multi-lingual host wasn’t around when I arrived but I ordered orange juice and a sandwich and sat down on the ground to recover.

We are in wine country. It’s not visible in this pic but there seemed to be quite of lot of rain damage to the vines.
Too much wine for the tractor driver?

We arrive in Villatuerta and find La Casa Magica. We check in and do the clothes washing and pin the results to the washing line.

Llew and I signed up for the communal dinner and were treated to an enormous veggie paella.

At the end of dinner the heavens opened again and our clothes get soaked, again. Oh well. It’s another thunderbolts and lightning special…

Off to bed. The four of us have our own room, and no bunk beds!

Day 5: Stats

Uterga to Villatuerte

  • Steps: 35, 068
  • Distance covered: 28.1km
  • Apple Watch stats
    • 87 ‘Flights Climbed’