Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 10: Logroño - Najera (30 kms)

This is my longest walking day so far, and the first day that my sister, Sonya, starts her Camino.  I forget to put on the alarm and we sleep so soundly in our comfortable twin room.  It is 8:15 by the time we wake up -- time is changed to DST or Daylight Saving Time.  We hurry so as not to start too late -- go for breakfast at the town center and start our walk at 9:30 am.  We see some event happening right at Plaza Mercados in front of the Cathedral.  It is the Tour Rioja, and a group of cyclists are just getting ready to begin the race.

The sun is out, the skies are blue, the weather is just right -- about 18 degrees. A great day for our walk.  On the trail through a park right outside Logrono, we pass a limping pilgrim-- a Swiss guy, Yves, who has tendinitis.  We stop a while to talk with him.  He is studying alternative medicine -- and I remember that I brought some arnica homeopathy pills.  I dig around in my backpack and give him some of the little round white pills -- great for all around pain, bruising, swelling-- and he is really happy to get them, as we are happy to be able to help.

It takes a while to go through this huge Logroño park, then we pass through flatlands and a bit of uphill, reaching Navarette at 1300.  We pass by the church, where we stamp our credencial. There is an Easter mass just beginning.  It is still a long way to go -- about 17 kms.  We have a great lunch of 7 different kinds of tapas and a cafe con leche, of course. Lunch takes a leisurely hour out in the Riojan sun.

Next comes a gradual uphill through vineyards to Ventosa by 1430. Then we really have to hurry for the last 14 kms over flat plains to Najera.  We change into our Teva sandals as our feet really start expanding and getting sore in our boots.  We arrive at 6:20 pm and snag the last 2 beds at Puerta de Najera -- a really nice private pilgrim hostel. After washing up, we have our 12 euro pilgrim dinner from 7 to 9:30 pm at Las Parillas in town, chatting with Helen, a London based architect.  We both have the wonderful trout main dish, and wash it down with Riojan red wine.  

Tour de Rioja -- Logrono leg starts from the Cathedral

Walking through the large Logrono park

Sonya's first day on the Camino -- maybe 30 kilometers was a little too much?

Ruins right outside Navarette

Riojan vineyards
Great tapas in Navarette!


Boots and walking sticks in Puerto de Najera Albergue

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