We decided yesterday to make today an easy hiking day as we needed to get back on the 10-12 mile per day track starting tomorrow. Also, an easy day would hopefully allow our tired knees to recover a bit more quickly. Today we depart from the Navarre Region and finish the day in the region called La Rioja. While we already have hiked through lots of vineyards, La Rioja is one of Spain’s leading wine regions, so we can expect lots more and great wine for the next week.
Hiking out of Viana we crossed a highway which afforded us one last look back at the hill town. It really was a nice quiet place to stop.
On the camino you sometimes hike for hours without seeing a tree. Then, out of nowhere comes a neat little forest to give you a break from the sun.
Hiking through countless vineyards causes one to observe the unique way the grape growers keep their vines cut back. Honestly, I have no idea if it is because of the differences in the grapes or just the different preferences of the farmers, but just about every vineyard’s vine trunks are cut back differently. Some are left tall, some are cut short, others look like T’s and some spread out along wires to touch the adjoining vines. These are some of the observations and thoughts which occur while hiking miles through wine country.
Sandy finally had the opportunity to see one of her favorite flowering plants, the poppy. Unfortunately our focus on the nice flowering plants was short lived as a Spanish bee (abeja) flew directly into my mouth. As I attempted to spit it out it stung me in my upper lip. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I looked like Sandy just beat me. Yes, we went to the Farmacia once we arrived in Logrono. Farmacias in Europe are quite different than pharmacies in the states. The doctors working in farmacias are able to treat and prescribe medication without a patient having to see a “real” doctor. It is quite efficient. Anyway, the farmicists gave me some oral tablets which immediately ended the pain and soon reduced the swelling.
This is Logrono’s stretch of the camino as you enter town. It is neat to see how the individual towns and cities treat the camino as you enter their city limits. They really understand the immence economic impact that the camino has on their economy. They each seem to try to outdo the other communities. It is really a nice thing and well appreciated after a long hike.
Crossed the Rio Ebro before entering the old part of the city.
Our municipal albergue has room for 68 peregrinos. It is located on the right.
After checking in, paying our €14 and getting our camino passport stamped, we headed off to the busy city plaza before it shut down for siesta.
We enjoyed tapas and beer next to the huge Cathedral de Santa Maria de la Redonda XIV.
We also people watched. What an active and vibrant city! These young ladies were on their stage 1 of a bachelorette party.
We have become accustomed to the Italian/Spanish siesta lifestyle. At 1400 hours, even on weekends, the shops and restaurants close and the streets and plazas empty. Siesta time. At 1700 some of the shops open. Restaurants open between 1900-1930. Peregrinos eat first and are long gone by the time the locals arrive for their late dinners (2030-2200). We are usually in bed by the time the locals are at the dinner table.