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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.