C#10, 18 Sept – Torres Del Rio to Logrono, 21kms

We left this morning the earliest so far and walked in the dark as the sun rose. Very special. Today’s walk was exposed with only one town. The town however, Viana, was defended by the Spain pope, Alexander VI’s son. Cesar Borgia was the gorgeous second son (yep, work that out?) in the HBO series, oh and in real life. The Borgias series is awesome, with the pope played by Jeremy Irons! Recommend watching it. So we stepped on poor old Cesar’s remains at the entrance as we walked into the town church to celebrate his saving of the city! On the way in we passed historic vineyard guard houses called beehives. Too small for Tony.  He’d take out a WHS claim if he was the guard. So while in Viana, I took advantage of a Christian pilgrims rest to soak my feet. Very New Testament, don’t you think?  I had a short black at the same time. Once we arrived at our destination, Logrono, we found our little hotel where we will rest for two days. As the town is celebrating its annual harvest festival, we expect to be busy seeing the locals indulge and celebrate. We met our pilgrim buddies in town indulging ourselves on tapas.

 

 

C#9, Sept 17 Azqueta to Torres del Rio, 21.9 kms

So the rhythm of our daily walking is

1. Get up to the murmurings and scratchings around in the dark of our fellow bunkers after a sleep punctuated by night music. Night music, you ask? Well, it is a musical arrangement consisting of a regular underlying beat usually and predictably provide by a bloke, with high pitch squeaks by the regular ladies climbing out of their bunks to the toilet, the solo bluster and booms by the rugged snorer topped off by the occasional solo nightmare -that was me. But the high point of this musical experience is the sleeping farter. Wow, can they let rip.

2. Pack up quickly and Eat a pilgrim’s breakfast of toast, coffee and juice.

3. Hit the road, usually downhill because each village is on a hill!

4. Then walking along paths through farmland of wheat, vineyards, almond trees, olive groves, vegatable patches and then slowly down to a river.

5. Usually there is a town on the river where we rest.

6. Cross the river, more wandering paths through farmland,

7. Then the finale, an uphill slog to the pilgrims hostel.

8. It is then book in, choose our bunk, wait for a turn in the shower and then nap! Heaven.

9. At about 7 pm we are called to dinner. We eat. Eat and eat. And the din of the dinners is amazing with us all shared Deep and meaningfuls mostly about blisters, sweat, where to do you washing and where we come from. Always fun.

Today we were served dinner in the only hotel in town all in rows. We had great wine and Tony acted as waiter briefly. We also got to have a swim in the hotel’s pool.

C#8, 16th Sept – from Cirauqui to Azqueta, 21.5 kms

We decided to see what it felt like sending our packs ahead and only having a day pack for water and food. We walked burden free.

So as we left this morning passing through the final partiers, still going at 7.30am. The town was trashed and some Nonas will be cranky that there pot plants are wrecked.

Later we walked through a little town called Estella where the locals were reenacting a local war between regions. They looked fabulous in their red and white uniforms.

The big moment of the day was coming across the famous wine fountain. Yep. Red wine or water -take your pick! It was a very nice red. Free for pilgrims.

And finally we arrived at the albergue where we sent our packs. It was run by an American called Pete. Larger than life. He plied is with beer and wine and lots of stories of the sorry state of our times. The food at dinner was awesome and the conversation great. I tried my Spanish on three sisters from Brazil. Pity they speak Portuguese!