Day 8: Los Arcos to Viana

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18.6 km (10 miles) of hiking today through mostly farmland as we get closer to the next big city called Logrono. The weather improved quite a bit over yesterday as we had a partly cloudy day. However, we also had to fight an extremely strong head wind all day long.

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To be honest, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot to see today as villages were few and far between.   We needed to add extra water, so our packs were a bit heavier than normal.  We had several grueling hills to climb. Again, no switchbacks, just straight up the 30% grades, then down 30% grades on the other side, over and over again. Honestly, the climbs are pretty miserable…but onward we move!

Sandy and I are starting to feel the strain on our knees and feet, so we have decided to back off our planned long distance hikes to keep us in the 10-12 mile range per day.  Sometimes it isn’t possible, as towns with albergues or rooms to rent are not available at those distances. So we may be forced to have some days below 10 miles (please) and other days above 12. Hopefully no more 16 mile hiking days for us. We know this means we will fall a bit behind schedule but are seriously considering renting a couple of mountain bikes to ride the camino across the Meseta from Burgos to Astorga. This terrain is mostly flat.

Barry S. – If you are reading this..please send me a comment with the bike rental company name and contact numbers you previously gave me.  We misplaced it somewhere. Thanks!

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When you get bored hiking through endless miles of pasture land, these are the kind of pictures you get. Sandy commented that she wished our legs were this long, as we would be able to finish each day’s hike sooner. 

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I guess over the years we weren’t the first peregrinos to get bored through this stretch of the camino. There must have been 50 carins alongside this portion of the way. Of course we added a rock to a couple of them for good luck as we passed.

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This was one of the few towns along this segment of the camino. This little village had one shop and this entrepreneur had a bit of everything in his tiny mercado. He used a home sized  espresso machine and proudly made cafe con leche for eyeryone who wanted one. The group seated out front were fellow pilgrims we see from time to time along the way.

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Finally, our little mountain top destination town of Viana came into view. With the strong headwind and our sore bones it seemed to take forever to reach it.

We checked in at the tourism office and found a Apartment Tourismo which had a room available. We found it just outside the walls of the city, a few meters off the camino.  €30 was well spent as we both got a nice shower and were able to wash clothes in their machine. Now, back into the city center for an €9 peregrino meal. Peregrino meals are offered at most restaurants for usually 1/2 the costs of their regular meals. They are  usually three courses dinners featuring local foods.  All have lots of protein and always come with water and a bottle of local wine.
Buen Camino!

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9 Comments

Filed under Mark & Sandy's Camino 2014

9 responses to “Day 8: Los Arcos to Viana

  1. Steve

    Hey guys keep on truckin’ and when the goin gets tough take a few steps for me…I’m lovin the adventure from this end!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Steve. We are going to celebrate hiking over 100 miles so far with a short 6 mile hike tomorrow and some extra time in the big city ahead.

  3. Allan Estroff

    Hi. I’m one of Barry’s friends who experienced the CAMINO in October. Here is the information on our bike rental: Tomas Sanchez Camino de Santiago en bicicleta , bicigrino | Mobile: 34 627 92 82 13 tomas@bicigrino.com | http://www.bicigrino.com

    Contact me: camino-santiago-bicicleta

    Tomas, the owner is very helpful and has great integrity. I have been enjoying your blog and photographs very much.

    Buen Camino and safe travels

    Allan Estroff

    >

  4. Hi. I’m one of Barry’s friends who experienced the CAMINO in October. Since you asked here is the information on our bike rental:

    Tomas Sanchez Camino de Santiago en bicicleta , bicigrino
    | Mobile: 34 627 92 82 13
    tomas@bicigrino.com | http://www.bicigrino.com
    Contact on Skype: camino-santiago-bicicleta

    Tomas, the owner is very helpful and has great integrity. I have been enjoying your blog and photographs very much.

    Buen Camino and safe travels

    Allan Estroff

  5. Contact Tomas at
    http://www.bicigrino.com/en/
    tele: 34 627 928 213

    mention me and my group rental (Phil and Allan) in October.

    He does not speak english so email is the best way to translate back and forth.
    Riding a bike from Burgos to Astorga sounds good, he supplies panniers and it is easy to load everything. The high point between Astorga and Ponferrada would also be worth riding as it is really not that steep and then you coast for miles to Ponferrada, downhill.
    If you do ride, in Burgos, there is a well outfitted bike store and buy some padded bike shorts (it will save your bottoms). Be sure that the bike is adjusted for your leg length properly or it will bother your knees.
    When riding, some days, to give myself a break, I followed a secondary road rather than staying directly on the camino.
    on the bikes, it took me 4 days from Burgos to Astorga and then 2 more days to Ponferrada.

    IN Astorga, a splurge but very worth staying at:
    http://www.hotelviadelaplata.es/en/hotel (I loved it)

    The cities , IMO, worth stopping to see are: Logrono, Santo Domingo (we stayed in the large town Aubergue but could not sleep well due to the crowds), Burgos (good rest day), Leon(another good rest day), Astorga, Rabinal del Camino(a pretty mtn town), and O’Cereiro (we stayed at a farm house B&B just past the top and the meal was out of this world (unlimited steak and wine with a cozy fireplace burning).

    We definitely got more rest staying in little hotels rather than Auberges which tended to be noisy. The closer you get to Santiago de Compostela, the more crowded things will become. Call ahead for hotel reservations no later than lunch time once you figure out how far you are going.

    I will read your blog everyday, so if you have questions, I will answer!

    • Thanks very much Barry. We will email Tomas later today. Great tips. I wonder if Tomas will take our backpacks while we are in bike mode and return them when transition back to hiking?

  6. Kathleen Salvas

    You’ve come along way so far, proud of the both of you. Great pics! I only have one problem with your blog, I wish you would convert the euros into American money so we can understand what you are saying. and paying.hehe

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