Day Eight: Logroño to Azofra aka The Camino Provides

Logroño was quite rainy this morning, but doable. I got to mail out my postcards (€1 to the USA), which was easier than I thought it would be. In Argentina, they ask you a million questions before they put a stamp on something you'd like to send out. Prior to leaving, we had coffee and a snack (€5) at a cute café we spotted yesterday. It´s a wine bar, with an adorable bathroom (see photo).

Before we knew it, the rain stopped and it became unbearably hot. Except for the few small towns we passed, there were no bathrooms or water fountains. In Najera, we found a city set on red cliffs, looking very Sedona/picturesque. Unfortunately, we felt the city to be sketchy, but nonetheless stopped somewhere for coffee and a pinxto, and purchased a proper European phone charger from a nearby electronics store (€28– electronic anything here is super expensive). Before heading out, we saw that there was a farmers market and made a quick stop. It was mainly really cheap new/used clothing, as well as fruits, vegetables and cheese. All pragmatic items, if you will. On our way out, we came across the town’s church that was also set on the red rock, oh so pretty.

So, how does the Camino provide ? On our way to the next town, Azofra, we found fresh figs, and then for about 6k we passed tons of vineyards, all with fresh grapes that we dined on. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and we appreciate it every time it does. The Camino also provided me with an Italian who lives in France, who doesn’t speak any English, who sang me personalized sonnets all of the way to the albergue. This guy is 74 years old and is walking an average of 32 km a day. Crazy, right? In addition, he’s missing two fingers… From behind, you would think he was in his 20s. When we finally got into Azofra, we went straight to the municipal Albergue. This albergue has many ‘private’ tiny dorm styled rooms, with no locks. It’s clean, and each floor has its own bathroom and showers (€7). We decided to make a home cooked meal, and headed to a local market. The woman there sold us eggs, tomatoes, lemon, bell pepper, cheese and wine, all fresh from her farm (€10). We cooked ourselves a feast back at the alrbergue. Yes, we were exhausted, but man did we miss a good ol’ home cooked meal.

After our meal, we were able to hangout and I missed the opportunity to dip my sore feet in the pool. Outside, I met really cool guy named Mitchell who is from Australia (second Mitchell from AU I’ve met). He is taking the year off to travel the world and seems to know a lot about everything. He has a great story to tell, and I hope to read it in a book someday. Non-related, he also told me about this fantastic app for the Camino called Camino Frances, which gives you great descriptions of each Albergue in all of the towns along the camino. It’s a gem so far, and I highly recommend it. Upon stepping into our cold dormitory style room, I found my mom wrapped up in her cocoon of a sleeping bag. I suppose kind of like a Caterpillar, this is all part of her transformation.

Word of the day: Flecha amarillo- Yellow Arrow (quite important to know on the trail)