I awoke to the sound of rain this morning. Thankfully the forecast predicts it to clear by the time we start walking today. We’ve got 31kms ahead of us.
Last night we had a strange meal down at a local cafe. Admittedly it was only €11 each which included a bottle of red wine between us. The cheesecake I had for dessert had a definite pong and taste about it and I couldn’t tell if it was made with an old blue cheese or it was just an old cheesecake. I opted for the latter and left it unfinished. The paella for entree was made with rabbit and the main was sausages and chips with tomato sauce. Not a very classy meal but enough to sustain us.
I think it’s a European thing but when you enter inside whether it be a bar or cafe or hotel in winter the heat always seems to be cranked up to the point where you just want to strip down to a t-shirt and shorts to stay cool. Last night I slept on top of the bed as the heat was just way too much. There doesn’t seem to be a warm setting anywhere. Just hot. We open the windows as soon as we enter a hotel room just to cool it down.
There is an arduous ritual of packing the bags of a morning so we can get going on time. In the evening there is a washing ritual too. As we’re packed light the clothes need washing. Thankfully it’s not every night as being cold the body doesn’t sweat as much while walking and stink out the clothes so I’m getting wear for a couple of days at a time. With the rooms at the hotel being so hot it doesn’t take long for things to dry.
It was raining when we left Navarrete. Nothing unpleasant just a drizzle. The start was walking along a road till we got to some vineyards. Luckily I turned around to see how Ron was going and noticed a path going off the road to our right with the Camino logo and yellow arrow pointing in that direction. If I hadn’t spotted that who knows where we’d have ended up. From then on it was a day walking through vineyards and fields on well made paths that were muddy in patches from the rain.
On this part of the track we met some cyclist passing us. They were doing a four day bike ride and this part of the track happened to be on the map they were using. Having said that we didn’t come across any other pilgrims. Nada, zilch. Just a few people walking dogs and that’s it. A bit different to September where our hotelier was telling us at one point in that month there were 800 entering Santiago de Compostela on one particular day. Thankfully we don’t have the crowds and don’t have to compete for hotels. Most of the albergues are closed at this time. An Albergue is a pilgrim house where for around 10€ you’re given a bed in a room with about 40 other people with a meal. Not my cup of tea.
We stopped in Nájera for lunch and bought some bread, ham and cheese from the supermarket and put our bocadillos together and ate in the park across the road. As soon as we stopped walking we all of a sudden felt the cold temperature. It was time to keep moving again and get warm.
The boots have served me well so far. No blisters to complain of. I’m wearing gaiters too to keep the wet and mud out. They’re worth it as the feet stay nice and dry. They also stop rocks or stones flicking up into the back of the shoes which is needed walking on gravel roads.
We were worn out by this stage and walking on gravel and stoney roads wears thin after awhile. This hill was the gift that kept on giving. Every crest we came up to it proceeded to continue up further.
We’d finally made it to Cirueña after 31kms of walking with a lot of that being uphill. I think we bit off more than we could chew today and both of us were feeling exhausted after such a long walk.
We’re going from right to left (west). We started at Logroño and as you can tell I’ve a few days of hill climbs.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading.
For stats and a map of today’s walk, you’ll find them here.