Here’s the routine….
Brush your teeth, and pack your bag the night before. Have everything ready so you can collect everything up with a minimum of effort, and noise. When you wake up at 6am roll up your sleeping bag, attach it or stuff it into your pack and move out of the sleeping areas as quietly as possible. Brush your teeth, close up your pack, throw it over your shoulder, and head out the door. Look for yellow arrows and shells. Keep walking and find the signs confirming you are on the right path. Sometimes the indications are far apart, and sometimes they are absurdly close together. At times it looks like someone has painted a yellow arrow on a rock with a frayed stick.
To date we have repeated this morning ritual only 8 times and we will be repeating this process until October 23rd. It’s so hard to imagine we are roughly 25% into the trip.
Today started the same way each previous day began, but today’s forecast is for rain. We decide to try and avoid walking in the rain and aim for Lagrono, a very manageable distance from Viana. Eddie, our best friend, has managed to make it to Lagrono despite very bad feet. We plan to join up with him there.
We finally started out, albeit a little later than usual. Not too many people stayed in Viana last night, so the number of Pilgrims walking the Camino path this morning appears to be few. Many of our Camino family stayed in Lagrono last night instead. They are now a half day ahead.
Our Albergue appeared to be only 10% full in Viana….. I suspect the high season may be coming an end.
They daylight was almost upon us as we walked out of this town and the ominous clouds on the horizon appeared to be perched on the mountains tops, ready to pour down the slopes. Our plan to limit the walking day to Logrono really does seem to be the most sensible.
Despite the cooler temperatures and the partly cloudy skys, our progress was laboured. We stopped around 10 to eat some nuts, and have some water. We pressed on heavily.
Four Spanish Pilgrims were walking with us. Sometimes they would be in front, and a little later we would be in the lead. On one ocassion they were standing under a tree and called us over. This was an almond tree and they had been crushing the seed casing to release the almond nut. Susan, Bene, and I made ourselves right at home gathering, crushing and eating the nuts. In fact the process to get an almond from these seed cases requires a lot of effort. It is defintely worth buying almonds from the store.
The distance wasn’t difficult today, but Bene was low on energy. The only time she came alive is when she met a dog chained to it’s dog house and the two of them started acting like they hadn’t seen each other in years. Bene was getting dog kisses and giving scratches for 5 minutes…..all the time I was saying “if she gets fleas…” (I’m of course talking about Bene, not the other way around)
When we arrived in Logrono we booked into a private Albergue recommended by two other Pilgrims we recognised from days before. Bene had a shower and immediately went to sleep. We arranged have the laundry done by the owner of the Albergue and Susan, our well rested Bene and I set out to find something to eat. While we were out in Logrono the rain started falling. Our timing, it turns out, had been perfect.
Eating, or doing anything for that matter, at this time of day is a bit of a problem in Spain. Between the hours of roughly 2 to 5 PM siesta is the order the day. Shops and restaurants close while people take some time to kickback and relax.
This is an issue when you are looking for a restaurant during the mid afternoon. We managed to find a nice looking place and gorged ourselves on pasta, pizza and a salad. We are now full and moving slowly. Walking down the streets I am diverted when I see a music store. While I look at ukuleles, banjos, guitars and mandolins Susan and Bene are buying 3 kazoos.
After leaving the store we come across 30 people sitting in a cafe patio… All with kazoos. We start kazooing to them, and they respond by “kazooing” back at us. Everyone had a great laugh.
Logrono is a university town and sitting in the Plaza Major is entertainment in itself. I am so glad I got a picture of the guy in the pink tu-tu….where else?
Finally we were able to contact Eddie. His feet are improving slowly, but he will still need a couple of days at least to recover.
We decide we will go ahead tomorrow and Eddie will try to catch up. (of course)
Tomorrow is planned to be a very early start….let’s see how this goes.