We woke up in our regrettable hotel, where the wi-fi finally began to work late at night, causing us both technological insomnia. We had breakfast at a local restaurant which wasn’t great, and truly once again probably should’ve just stayed in a local albergue, as it would’ve been cheaper, and the sleep would’ve been just the same. My knee is still killing me, unfortunately… as is my mom’s ankle. So, we are taking things really slow.
On today’s Camino, we saw only two water fountains. It honestly felt like we were in the desert, because of how dry and hot it was. It is interesting to watch the geography slowly change across Spain. On the way, we got to meet this Korean named Tondto, a really sweet guy completing this hike to lose weight. I’ve been asking most pilgrims I run into for their reason for doing this, and the majority state it is either because they watched the movie ‘The Way’ or because they want to lose weight. Otherwise, like me, it’s for a spiritual experience. Hence why I’m dubbing the Camino-Fat Camp.
I’m not feeling too hot, and I’m not sure why. Nothing appeals to me food wise, and it’s difficult to get in carbs when you’re not hungry. However, I’m burning a lot of calories each day, and so it’s important that I eat. The only things I can really take down are cappuccinos, water and olives. When we initially walked into Logroño, I thought it to be pretty hideous, until we got to the old city, which is simply gorgeous. We somehow miraculously got a private room (€30) in Pension La Bilbaina, which is beautiful, but not handicap friendly (see stairs). We even found someone there to wash our clothes for €5. The woman who runs it is this wonderful lady named Magdalena (same as my mama), and she is adorable. Anytime I was in the vicinity, she used me to translate and told me sweet nothings in return. I was ok with this trade. Point is, this place has been a gem on the Camino and I now understand why pilgrims decide to rest here an extra day or two.
We walked around town and people watched, window shopped, and I got some postcards to write to my pen pals. Towards the end of the day, I still was not feeling great, but managed to get a little bit of food down. What saved me was a CLIF Bar, and I’m so glad I packed a box in my backpack. Thank you again, Kenan 😘 Currently, I’m just getting our bags packed for the remainder of the night and chatting it up the other pilgrims. Met Pierre, who is rad. He retired and sold his house, and has no exact future plan except to complete the Camino and live in Paris for some time. Poor guy’s ankle is pretty messed up. Something we discussed is that if you don’t slow down for the Camino, the Camino will force you to slow down. Also, met this gal from Holland who is traveling the world on her bicycle (so Amsterdam of her). Tomorrow it’s 37 km to Azofra, as all of the albergues are full in Najera. I swear, running a marathon by the end of this would be a joke in comparison.
Como Logroño... This is the first city where there have been a profound amount of smokers. It feels like the US in the 80’s... Except men are pushing strollers with their right hand and using their left hand for their cigarettes. Que es fumo de segundo mano ? #Europe
P.S. We both finished 'Peace Pilgrim' and loved it. I highly recommend it as a read.