Brukna – Skaistkalne
This stage will lead you across the fields, through forests, along the Iecava River. Technically it can be divided into two stages: Brukna – Bārbele 12 km (shops, coffee machine, canteen, accommodation) and Bārbele – Skaistkalne 17 km.
The stage starts in Brukna manor and you should start your walk by turning left to the bridge over the Iecava river.
For 6.3 km you should walk along the dirt road without turning anywhere along the houses “Glezes”, “Mazbatari”, “Batari”, along the Fishermen’s Cemetery (Zvejnieku kapi) until you reach the crossroad. To the right, the road leads to Jaunsaule (17 km), but you should go straight by following the sign Gaisma (2.5 km). After 200 m the road to Bārbele turns right (signpost 5 km) – you should also turn right and continue your walk.
Without turning anywhere, you need to walk for 4.7 km until you reach a fork in the road. Right in front is the road sign Main Road 200 m, to the right you can see the tower of Bārbeles Church. You must also turn right and head in that direction. After 300 m you will come out on an asphalt road.
If you want to see Bārbele sulphur spring, Auseklis mill or enjoy the Bee SPA offer (it is also possible to spend the night in the holiday home “Stiebriņi”) you have to go directly across the road, turn slightly to the right and follow the sign Sēravots (sulphur spring).
But the stage continues with a left turn. You should go to the Bārbele post office and folk house building. Opposite the road you will see the church. To the right you can see the grocery stores, the Lavazza coffee machine, and the café “Bārbelīte” with indescribably delicious zeppelins.
Further on, the road leads straight across the highway Riga – Skaistkalne and along the church and cemetery along the gravel highway you continue your walk for 1.7 km straight. Sign – Bārbele ends. You will see a spectacular view of the Barber boys’ school building by plane on the wall. At school it is possible to stay overnight, get acquainted with it, visit the very beautiful prayer room with a glass wall instead of the altar, and outside to see the planes.
But if you do not plan to visit the Bārbele boys’ school then 200 m before the school, just before the old buildings on the right side of the road, along the woodshed, the dirt road starts right across the field. You should go there.
You should walk 2.1 km along this sandy road. Exiting between two large farms on both sides of the road, going down the hill, you will be at a T-junction. Here you have to go right, across the ditch.
After winding for 2.7 km, the road winds across the fields until you will reach the forest edge. Upon entering the forest, the road immediately splits, you should go left and after 300 m you will be at a crossroad.
At the crossroad you go straight over and walk along the house “Zemītes”, through the spruce forest, along the house “Stepiņi”, down the hill after 2.4 km you will meet the river – Iecava. 200 m ahead the road will turn left, but on the right, you will see a hanging pedestrian bridge over the river. You sure must cross it!
After crossing the bridge, turn left. After 1 km near the house “Upenieki” the road turns right. You should follow the road.
Do not turn anywhere until after 1.1 km you will reach a T-junction. Here you should turn left and continue your way along an embanked forest road, with large ditches on both sides.
For 2.2 km you should continue walking straight without turning anywhere until you will reach the gravel highway Skaistkalne – Valle. Turn right.
You should walk for 2 km to the sign Skaistkalne on the highway. Along the way you will see a sign to the Hot Fall (karsta kritene).
There is still 1.7 km from the sign Skaistkalne to the center of the village. Along the way you will see a summer stage, a restored bridge, manor houses, a folk house, a pond, a market square, shops, but directly opposite you will be the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Skaistkalne. Crossing the highway Riga -Skaistkalne along the pedestrian crossing, slightly left on the sidewalk, turning a small bend, and turning right, you will reach the stairs. They will take you to the ending of the Meinarda stage – Skaistkalne Church.
THANK YOU for walking St. James Way in Latvia!
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