Day Five: Estella-Torres del Rio,
28,26 km, asc/desc 528/526m, 8:48h
September 16th, 2016
- Started the day with a couple of shells of free Wine at the Fountain of Irache.
- In Los Arcos I saw a man walking the entire Camino carrying a cross the size Jesus carried.
- Torres del Rio is an atmospheric, small village.
- Again, I was completely alone on the trail after 3 pm.
- I have now established a walking rhythm: Aim >30 km. I walk from 9 am-7 pm. Three breaks: After 10 km (coffee), 20 km (lunch) and around 28-30 (Coca-Cola).
- I prefer booking cheap hotels/private hostels to communal refuges: Arriving late, the only spaces left are upper bunks next to the entrance.
Day Six: Torres del Rio-Logrono,
18,64 km, asc/desc 318/440m, 6:42h
September 17th, 2016
- Great tapas places can be found in all villages on the road, I stopped for lunch in Viana.
- I tasted some grapes at one of the numerous Riojas wine fields and they tasted surprisingly well.
- In Logrono, it was the first day of the annual Rioja Wine Festival.
- I have decided to wait doing long stages (35+ km) until after Burgos, to be sure I will not be exhausted too early on.
Day Seven: Logrono-Ventosa,
22,48km, asc/desc 343/133m, 9:24h
September 18th, 2016
- Ventosa is a beautiful little hilltop village, where I stayed in the wonderful casa rural Las Aguedas.
- Tried a Pilgrim´s Menu for the first (and last) time: The menu generally consist of soup/salad + pasta + dessert. Filling, but I´d rather order only one dish for dinner.
- The church in Navarette is stunning, as well as huge, considering how small this village was.
- Trying to book accommodation for the next days, avoiding the communal albergues if possible. Not so easy, but not impossible either. I wish I had brought my tent. There are places to camp everywhere.
Day Eight: Ventosa-Santo Domingo de la Calzada,
31,07 km, asc/desc 435/443m, 7:57h
September 19th, 2016
- The Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is exceptional and include two live chicken.
- I participated in the Pilgrim´s mass, during which a funeral also took place.
- I stayed in the famous Parador, which was slightly disappointing, more like a basic hotel and very dark
- Najera has a great location and is the a common overnight stop
- Met several people, who had arranged their accommodation via Caminoways – the downside being the lack of flexibility when walking, it nevertheless makes sense to have the accommodation arranged in advance to avoid the race-to-the-next-refuge:
- In order to secure a spot at the next communal refuge, many people get up around 6 am, then walk very fast to arrive at a refuge around 1 pm. Glad I never participated in that race, it would have ruined my trip.
This post is part of the Camino de Santiago in 24 days series.