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Camino de Santiago, Day 13: Logrono to Navarette

Park outside Logrono

Park outside Logrono, Spain

Today was a short day and not the prettiest.  Jamie suggested I start the day without him because he wanted to rest more.  We agreed to meet in the plaza in Navarette later.  I procrastinated till 11 am at the hotel because I didn’t want to start!  A day and a half of luxury makes the pain of starting worse!  Same on the Camino – my feet want me to stop all the time, but stopping just makes starting so hard.  So I try not to.

I left Logrono and walked for miles and miles through the city which was not incredibly charming outside of the old town.  It’s a regular city with modern buildings and hustle and bustle.  I stopped in a market, grabbed a baguette and a pack of manchego cheese and continued on.  I have become a manchego-holic.

I walked for miles through a meandering city park that passed an industrial area and a lake where old men fished.  Leaving the park it seemed that I was in the land of vineyards, forever and ever they stretched.  It’s the Rioja region after all.

After many miles, I caught up with Dot and John, who I hadn’t seen for a few days.  Good to know, I thought, that I can keep up with the elderly!

Unfortunately for Jamie and me, there were several small plazas in Navarette and we missed each other.  We ended up at different hostels.  We shared a drink and mutually decided to walk separately for a few days.  We both needed time to think and when it’s just you and the Camino, there is plenty of time for that.

I went into the main church in Navarette (built in the 16th Century) and was bowled over. That is after I could see.  It took a good ten minutes for my eyes to adjust to the darkness inside.  I sat for about an hour and just stared at the thousands and thousands of details in sculpture and gilded carvings behind the altar.  I lit an electronic candle for 20 cents, said a prayer, and thought about how disappointing an electronic candle is.  I don’t think prayers go to heaven via LED lights.  Pure crap.

I decided to climb the hill behind the church and from up there I got an incredible view:

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

Navarette

I ended up in the closest bar to my hostel (there really is nothing else to do in these tiny towns after you’ve walked the whole town twice) and it was a Heavy Metal bar with bartenders that looked like Satan worshipers.  I would have left but was beckoned by a guy who suggested I take a seat.  On the Camino, everyone is an instant friend.  I sat with Erik (name changed to protect the innocent), who looked like a fat, white version of Mr. T, wearing a Motorhead T-shirt and heavy metal medallions around his fleshy, full neck.  Erik is from Southern Spain and every other word that came out of his mouth was some variation of the word “f&ck”, which I found mildly entertaining.  He is a chef and has been working in Munich for two years.  I asked him why he was on the Camino and he said: “Well, f%ck, I broke the f*ck up with my f%cking girlfriend and f$ck, I got a f#cking tattoo, and here I fu&king am!”  Okkkkay.  Grotesque but oddly endearing.  Maybe you had to be there.

Erik was with another pilgrim, Jyros, an economist who is originally from Brazil but has been living in Barcelona for four years.  Jyros walked with Erik for one day and that’s how they met and ended up together in a bar.  And somehow, I became a part of the mix.  Two beers in and not only was the language losing its luster, but I wanted to get out before Erik got any ideas about me.  He had already invited me to his parents’ house in Grenada.  Not interested.  And tired.

I walked the 50 feet to the hostel and climbed four flights of marble stairs to the top floor.  I stuffed my face with manchego and went to bed.  It was pouring rain as I fell asleep in a room with 20 strangers.

Walked 13 kilometers ( 8 miles) today.

Photos of the Day:

2 Comments

  1. Our camino is looking like your camino a bit so far… We are so slow, the only people we see repeatedly are the elderly! But I keep telling myself that is okay.

    We are in a cafe getting ready to leave Logrono, which we have loved! We are planning in having another glass of wine and then hit the road, only walking to Navarette. Everyone leaves so much earlier than us and walks so much farther than us, but we don’t have fun that way. I feel like half the people here didn’t even check out Logrono, they were so concerned about charging through, which I think is such a shame!

    Anyway, I e joy reading your posts as we get to the same stages, so I wanted to say hello 🙂

    • It’s YOUR Camino to enjoy. Plus the beginning is physically so hard (or it was for me)…I got faster as I got stronger. The Camino is to savor, not rush through. Enjoying your facebook posts! Buen Camino!

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