Viana to Logroño
Got up at 7:00 am. I couldn't believe it, but I was the second one up.
It was still dark out so I gathered all my stuff and packed while holding
my small flashlight in my teeth. In a half-hour I was ready to go, just
when the others were dragging themselves out of bed. They must have
been extra tired from the previous day's rain and cold.
Found a bar/cafeteria and ordered some café con leche and a breakfast
bocadillo (little sandwich). Made from a small 3-inch loaf of
bread, they can contain just about anything from meat to fish to vegetables
to a combo. This one had scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and ham. Delicious!
Sort of like an EggMcMuffin -only better. Since my carbo guide doesn't
list bocadillos, I used the same figure as a hamburger bun, 20
grams. (Based on my blood level of 93 at lunch later that day, it seems
to have been a correct assumption.)
As I was leaving the sun came up. The sky was bright blue and partly
cloudy, a welcome relief from the day before. While heading down hill
out of town, I saw a sight that surprised me — the mountains in
the distance were covered in snow. These were in the northwest, and
fortunately I was headed south.
I was so taken aback the snow that I had followed the wrong path. Suddenly
I heard a call from another pilgrim ¡Ten cuidado — los
flechas armaillos! (take care — the yellow arrows). I quickly
got back on track. The track at that point went through some beautiful
gardens which had tomatoes, red peppers, and alcochofas (artichokes-alcochofa
is one of my favorite Spanish words, I love the way it sounds). Near
each garden was a small, single-room building. It's probably where the
gardener takes his siesta to get out of the hot Spanish noonday sun.
In about two hours I reached the outskirts of Logroño. There
the camino changed from a dirt path to a five-foot wide asphalt road.
I don't know why this occurred, but I think it was to encourage the
pilgrims not to get on the highways that encircled the city. I didn't
care what the motive was, I was just glad to be walking on a smooth
surface. The asphalt was red, so I imagined I was getting the red carpet
treatment from the people of Logroño.
Soon, I came to a sign that said I was leaving Navarre and entering
the region of Rioja. This represented the completion of the first phase
of the road to Santiago. For some pilgrims, it's as far as they could
go this year. They will return another year and start up from here.
For me, I hope to go all the way, 615.5 kilometers or 382 miles more.
I won't be writing and transmitting for about four days. So —
see you later.