Camino La Rioja… Torres Del Rio to Logrono
Distance: 14.6 miles – WE DID IT! (12 started, 12 finished!).
Weather: Lovely sunshine and a cool breeze for most of the day. By 2pm the sun was just too hot and the last few miles were challenging.
Health: I’m pleased to report that everyone made it to the end with only minor scrapes and a few tiny blisters. All good!
The one with the naked runner, the flower people and a big celebration of reaching the end!
SUMMARY I think today was my most enjoyable day of the whole week. I had the pleasure of walking with Sue & Hilly for most of the day. We had such a good giggle and even some dancing! We took our time, enjoyed time exploring the Spanish villages, sang songs, and walked all the way to Logrono.
THE LONG WINDED VERSION:-
8.45am – Briefing and we are off. Some people slept like a log (me!) and others were kept awake by a party that was going on until 4am (I didn’t hear a thing!).
Right out of the gate we were faced with an uphill climb. Within a few miles, we’d reached the “prayer garden”. We spent time reading the little prayer ribbons that hung from the tree and admired the stone cairns that people had built-in memory of a loved one.
Our first cafe stop was a little shack called Bar Castia Lucia. The little Spanish guy serving us was a real character and I had a selfie with him. Fresh orange juice, cafe con leche and little almond cake things. Yum!
We weave our way up and down through gorgeous vineyards and we can see snow-capped mountains in the distance. Sue is in front of me and turns around to smile at me mouthing “look at what’s coming!”. I look up and a guy with no clothes on apart from speedos and headphones is running by. We both say “hola” and giggle after he has passed.
As we approach Viana there is a lovely sight of a lady riding a horse in the distance (see video). I feel completely at peace today and I’m very much enjoying this pace. Hilly & Sue know their flowers and are fascinated by the wild flowers. I’m learning a lot from both of them. “Oh, look, we see the cathedral of Viana” says Hilly! Not long now until our next stop.
We reach the town of Viana around 12.30 pm and the place is buzzing. We found a seat in the shade and enjoyed a cold coke, fresh orange and a sandwich. As we were relaxing, Sue spotted what looked like Morris Dancers exiting a building down the street.
We finished our lunch and went to explore. There were men and women dressed in wonderful costumes that were full of flowers and colour. We had no idea what was going on so we just took loads of photos and they were happy to pose for selfies. We left them to it and went in search of a stamp for our Camino passports. “What’s that music?” The “flower people were now dancing and had been joined by a group playing musical instruments” the trombone was absolutely massive! And I thought my rucksack was heavy! We stayed for quite a while enjoying the parade and folk dancing. It’s 1st May and someone told us that they were celebrating all mothers.
2 pm – We really should make a move now! We put on our rucksacks and hunt for yellow arrows. It’s not long before the wonderful palace of Viana is a dot on the horizon.
We laughed as I spotted a cactus plant and I asked Sue & Hilly what it was. They looked at each other and in a London accent they both chimed “Ello Vera!” It was indeed a massive Aloe Vera plant.
The last 4 miles was starting to get uncomfortable in the Spanish sun. The rare shaded area such as the pockets of woods or the subway passes were a welcome break from the heat. We eventually crossed the bridge over the river and celebrated with a few high fives. I put our hotel into Google maps and was pleased to see it was only 8 mins away! Phew! Even my umbrella wasn’t helping with this heat!
As we reached the hotel, Mother Hen (aka Andrea) was waiting for us which was lovely. We checked in and collapsed into lush clean white linen. We did it!
I’m so very thankful for to each and everyone one of you that walked with me this week.
I hope you all enjoyed your Camino experience.
We’ve been so very lucky with the weather, it’s been a blast!