The Road to Santiago.

October 11, 2002



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.

Outskirts of Logroño.
Outskirts of Logroño
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