Camino Road Trip (Part 2)

Road Trip Day 5 : Alarcón and Belmonte (Camino de la Santa Cruz)

Today was our last day with the castles and endless landscapes of Castilla-La Mancha and we were travelling through the lands of Don Quixote and El Cid. These vast plains are dotted with vineyards, almond and olive orchards, castles and windmills.

First stop was to one of the oldest castles in the region, again settled in a gorge on the Júcar River, Alarcón castillo rises above the flatlands and has its own natural moat. The area has been settled since prehistoric times and the first defences were built in the 8th century. Today the castle is home to a Parador but we’re not staying the night here. However we did make a quick stop in the village bar to warm up; we still have blue skies but gosh it really was cold today!

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Camino Road Trip (Part 1)

Normally when walking alone I choose an albergue for my bed but when I walk with Gerry he prefers private rooms; and his rule is that if there’s a Parador in town then we must take advantage of it… and who am I to argue?! Because of this rule we became a Parador Amigo, which means we get advance notice of any special offers (and a free glass of wine whenever we stay). The card is free so you should sign up.

We had advance notice of a special offer for December 2021 with rooms from 67€ a night! We had already planned to head south to Estepona in Southern Spain for Christmas so the offer simply meant that we could make a road trip of the journey… and this of course meant that I could plan a journey that would weave us in and out of some of the lesser known camino routes.

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