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Published: September 27th 2016
We set off from Logrono at 7.10 this morning, intending to walk about 20 kilometres but our pace suggested we could do more.
The walk through Logrono was lovely, through gardens, around a lake and finally through a spruce forest where squirrels chased each other up and down trees in some sort of game. The only problem was we walked on concrete and asphalt for 5 kilometers before reaching an earth path. This tough surface was pretty constant all the way to Navarette and is very hard on your legs and feet. It's always advisable to walk on the edge of a path to avoid concrete and small paths indicate that this is a widely held view.
Navarette was going to be the highlight of the day as we were going to eat tapas at the bar near the church for a couple of hours before the short 8km walk to Ventosa for the night. I had recommended this bar, we were all excited, and then found out it was closed on Tuesdays; great ! Instead we had coffee ( I tripped and spilt the first one all over the table and chairs ) and ham and cheese rolls.
With Plan A foiled, I came up with Plan B; let's walk an extra 10 kms to Najera. Receiving no strong objections, we walked to Ventosa, had a drink and collected Irena's pack from the Alburgue we booked, and turned towards Najera. This walk is mainly through the vineyards of the La Rioja wine district, and although it was long, it was also stunning. We arrived in Najera at 4pm and was lucky to get the last 3 beds in the second Albergue we tried. The room sleeps 8 and the bathroom seemed clean and adequate.
The showers in the Alburgue in Logrono were small with no room for your clothes. My approach to most things on the Camino is, if they are not up to standard ( read, a bit crappy), don't worry, you'll never use or visit them again.
Najera has a large African population that congregates around the bus station. I think they may be seasonal workers, and were there last time as well. Tonight, one of them will become the recipient of my zip up hoodie, as it weighs at least a kilogram and I don't really need it.its strange that my life's
possessions currently weigh 12 kilograms and fit in a pack and I'm giving stuff away, but you really need to travel light.
Tonight we may have dinner at a bar near the river but we will play it by ear. My feet are sore and absolutely burn during the day but are holding together. No new blisters, well, maybe one, and I will start off in sandals tomorrow . I may even investigate walking shoes when we get to Burgos and if I buy some, bin the old boots. Tomorrow is uphill but only 21 kilometres so it's almost a rest after today. After their plans changed today, Irana commented on how much she was enjoying our afternoon off; she has ankle pain and struggles a bit, like most people on the Camino.
I hope the pics shoe a bit more, cheers
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