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Shortcut to Santa Lucía del Trampal from Aljucen to Alcuéscar

Discussion in 'Via de la Plata' started by alansykes, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    On my first camino, I did the quite long stage from Mérida to Alcuéscar, and by the time I got to the albergue after c36km was not in the mood to make the 6km return trip out to the lovely Visigothic church of Santa Lucía del Trampal.

    So I was looking at wikiloc, and see that it's possible to visit the basilica on the way to Alcuéscar. You turn right on agricultural tracks shortly after the Cruz del Niño Muerto, about 16km from Aljucén, and head across wooden country to the basilica. The path on to Alcuéscar is well marked and easy. The detour adds about 1km to the day, and if you're starting from Aljucén it would be easy to get there while the interior of the church is open (until 2pm, or after 4 or 5pm if coming from Mérida).

    It's an astonishingly lovely simple church, and thinking that it survived from before the moorish occupation makes it very special. The setting is serenely lovely as well, with warm springs nearby, and rolling dehesa around it. There is evidence that it was a sacred site before the Romans arrived in Spain.
     
    KinkyOne, peregrina2000 and LTfit like this.
  2. LTfit

    LTfit Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thanks @alansykes, I remember Laurie talking about this church in the past. Should I ever go for another round ;) I will need to take this detour.
     
    alansykes likes this.
  3. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Oh, this is great! LT you are right about my blabbering on in delight about the church. It is a very nice 3km walk on country roads from the fountain in Alcuéscar´s main square!

    I had spent the night in Aljucén, which is only about 16 from Alcuéscar, I think. So the little trip was easy for me. But for anyone walking from Mérida, it would be a very long haul.

    I am SO happy to learn of this option, because I will be walking the Mozárabe from Almería in 2018 and will only have a month of walking. :( So I will be hoofing it at the end, probably. I had thought that I would have to go without a visit to Santa Lucía, but this option is absolutely perfect for me.

    I know I have added pics before, but it really is special. The church was part of a monastery, and the exhibits inside the church give a lot of interesting information about monastic life and the surrounding social history.

    Now I'll just have to make sure I don't wind up walking into Alcuéscar on a Monday!!! Thanks so much, Alan.


    Alcuescar.jpg alcuescar2.jpg
     
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  4. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    And just a ps to add the visiting hours:

    Tuesday through Saturday. Mornings: 10 - 2 pm.
    Afternoons: 5 pm to 8 pm (from June 15 till September 30) OR 4 - 7 pm (from Oct. 1 till June 14)

    Sunday: 10-2 pm

    Closed Monday

    No charge.

    Horario de Visitas: Martes a Sábados: Mañana: de 10 a 14 h, Tarde de 15 de junio a 30 de septiembre: de 17 a 20 h de 1 de octubre a 14 de junio: de 16 a 19 h. Domingos de 10 a 14 h. Lunes cerrado. Entrada gratuita.
     
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  5. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Just hear the Mozárabe whisper -- April 14 from Almería. :D
     
  6. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Alan, you will probably not be surprised to learn that I cannot find those tracks on wikiloc. Can you link to them? I am definitely going to head this way next spring! Buen camino and muchas gracias, Laurie
     
  7. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi again,

    This wikiloc trail marks the Cruz del Niño Muerto, and it's relatively easy to work out the agricultural tracks on to the basilica https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=12415090
    Maps.me seems to have better marked footpaths and gets the same result (the cross is called the Cruz San Juan on maps.me). When I walk that way next month or early November (dv) I will try to upload a proper wikiloc of the full route Aljucén to Alcuéscar via Santa Lucía.
     
    handzondeck2 and peregrina2000 like this.
  8. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Once again, Alan, you are my camino angel! If you have your itinerary finalized, remind me of how you will be wandering through Portugal and Spain. If you're going to be on the Camino Torres, know that @Magwood and maybe @george.g will find themselves there in May 2018. For me, it will have to wait till 2019 I am afraid!
     
  9. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    On Sunday I got my second fix of lovely lovely lonely Santa Lucía del Trampal, deviating to visit it by turning right off the camino shortly before Alcuéscar.

    I left Aljucén at dawn, with Jupiter trying to get amorous with Venus in the gathering light. The detour, about 4 hours later, was very pleasant, going up into sweet smelling pine and oak groves with views back to Mérida and on (I think) to Montánchez. I had the church to myself for almost an hour before 2pm closing, also enjoying a couple of delicious bitter tangerines the guard suggested I eat. The simple beauty of the structure, the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings, the rarity of the Visigothic churches that survived the conquista, and the mysterious feeling places get which have been sacred for centuries (and it was a religious site before the Romans arrived). Then, at chucking out time, an hour on to Alcuéscar, a decent lunch, and well earned siesta in the albergue (where the six of us each got our own cell to ourselves). Oh, and perfect walking weather - not a cloud, not a breath, and max temperature of perhaps 20c or a tiny bit more.

    I've had some good days on the camino, but that was up there with the best.

    This is my wikiloc trail of the detour:

    https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=20969061
     

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  10. LTfit

    LTfit Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Lovely account @alansykes. As they say in Spanish - envía sana. If I ever pass by for third time...

    Correction typo - envidia sana ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 8:18 PM
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  11. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Alan, your prose is so evocative, I know I've used that word to describe your writing before, but I so envy your ability to capture it all in so few words. Thank you so much. (Feel free to keep on describing, even though you are on the Vdlp now, we love reading your impressions even when you are on well-trodden caminos!).

    Unfortunately, I cannot "like" this post a million times. Oh how grand. Cannot wait to get back there, hopefully next April. So good to hear you are chugging along, Alan, and I looking forward to seeing where you detour off the Vdlp.

    This Santa Lucia church is absolutely five star. And now with this detour, pilgrims can easily see it on their way from Aljucen to Alcuescar! No afternoon walk required. Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  12. Hikoi

    Hikoi Member Donating Member

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    Stunning - so annoying that I missed it. Next time...
     

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