The long and winding road.
Some nutcase woke me at bonkers o’clock with their alarm, then there was a plastic bag crackling session before they raced off in the dark. Why?
Anyway, everyone was up at 6 and I was walking by 6.45, with the rest of the gang about 20 mins behind me (but not for long). Leone (who is a lively 70yr old) has decided to do a mixture of walking, bus and taxi as far as Sarria, then she will earn her Compostela by walking the whole of the last 100k to Santiago. We missed her on the trail today. There was a range of tarmac (punishing), rocks, stones and lovely soft sandy soil tracks. We have now entered La Rioja, so vines are everywhere, including around many doorways in towns and villages. It’s late Spring but there are still many spring flowers along the paths. Birgit and I love poppies and we have seen so many of them today.
The weather was changeable, with some early drizzle, a little sunshine at times and wind and lightish rain later. I decided to just walk today and maybe stop at Viana (about 20k), We had a picnic lunch before that, with bread, tomatoes, cheese and fruit for 5 of us which was amazingly cheap but so good. We had enough leftovers to give to a group of young Americans who arrived as we were packing up.
As we walked into Viana, I saw a shoe shop and in the window were the very walking sandals that I had wanted to try. The woman who served me was really helpful and I left with a pair of Tevas on my feet. Everyone wears socks with sandals on the Camino. Comfort and practicalities beat fashion every time. The last 10k was tiring but my feet were so grateful to be released from the shrinking confines of my boots as my poor old plates swell so much in the afternoon.
Chris (half of our bros) is booked to go home on Sunday, so we have all decided to have a rest day in Logrono. Finding an Albergue was a challenge as many were full in the centre of town. It’s a long weekend here, having started with the Mayday holiday, and we encountered some larger groups of walkers today, probably just walking a section for a few days. Chris and I were the tail end Charlies, so the others had the unenviable task of traipsing round the Albergues to find room at the inn. The one they found was back out of town and not in my book so it was many exchanges of texts and a chance meeting with lovely Leone, who gave us her map, before we staggered in to our home for the night. There was barely time for a shower and a very quick lie down before walking/hobbling back into town for dinner. We met David in the town square so 7 of us had a cheery evening before the trek back to our beds. Birgit, Andrea and I needed to find a hotel for Sat night, and again, most are fully booked. Gerald tried for us as our internet connection wasn’t good, but the only rooms available were out of our budgets. Leone saved the day again as they had a four bed room in her hotel for 75euros, phew! Maybe there will be a bath. I can only hope.
The long and winding road.