Camino de Santiago: Day 7 (Christina)

From Torres del Rio to Navarrette (33.1 km)

Weather is my friend on the Camino today, at least in the morning.  I get a really early start this morning, on the road at 6:00 am.  It is overcast, cool and breezy.  Perfect walking conditions.  My feet are a mess again and the Compedes and bandaids keep falling off.  I don´t know what to do.  I slowly get into my rhythm and I get used to the pain, it becomes part of my day.  Still, I am in good spirits today, feeling strong and with high energy to burn.

My feet are a mess and the bandaids keep falling off.

I run into Laila early on and walk with her for a while but for the most part I spend the morning walking alone.  I reach Viana at 8:30 and stop for a much needed coffee and I rebandage my feet.  I decide to wait until the shops open at 9:30 to see if I can find a poncho.  It looks like rain today and I would feel better if I had a poncho, just a cheap plastic one that I can throw away later.  I am lucky and I find exactly what I need in a store that reminds me of a dollar store back home – lots of cheap stuff from China.  I also find a little pair of scissors that will come in handy for cutting up bandages.

Typical place to stop for breakfast.  
I bought my poncho just down the street from here.

These pebble paths torture my blistered feet.

Approaching Logrono: a small city, in the distance.

I reach the suburbs of Logrono around 11:00.  It is another 4 km to reach the centre of town.  As I enter the city, I hear lovely female voices coming up behind me.  I turn to see three young girls singing happily in harmony.  They look like they have been friends for a long time, perhaps school chums.  Or maybe they just met this morning on the Camino.  Who knows?

As they pass me, I get choked up with emotion…again, out of nowhere.  I am thinking about friendships, especially female friendships, and how much I miss them.  I think of my two days with Pauline and realize it has been a long time since I have talked with a woman like that.  I think back to the time when I did have close female friends.  Back when I was a Jehovah´s Witness.  I lost these friends when I chose to leave that religion and I realize how this has been missing in my life since then.

I´m a little teary eyed when I hear a voice call out behind me:  Look at those fancy walking sticks!  I turn around to see Pauline coming up behind me.  We walk together into Logrono and I tell her about how I was feeling.  I express my appreciation to her for her friendship.  In the centre of town, we decide to take a rest and have lunch together.  Pauline treats me, she insists.  She has come from Viana today and tells me about her encounter with Javier, the boy who I walked with yesterday.  She was able to offer him some ideas of how to move forward, concrete ideas like European programs offered to young people to help them learn a language and to get some job experience.  She was also moved by how lost he seemed.

Logrono is a bustling city.

Of course there is a marker in the sidewalk to show
the way through the city. 

I decide to continue on to Navarrette with Pauline, another 10 km, even though my feet are very sore.  They feel the same as the morning so I d on´t think I am making them worse.  The sun comes out shortly after we set out and we are roasting on the long, hot walk to Navarrette.  Pauline entertains me with stories.  She is a great story teller, bringing the characters and situations alive with humour and vivid descriptions.  I am dragging myself for the last 2 km and she pulls me along patiently.

A beautiful park on the other side of Logrono,
with an interesting Camino marker to show the way. 

Leaving Logrono, I passed by some ugly industrial areas.
The free standing 
(unsupported) vineyard
in the foreground intrigued me. 

Although she has a reservation already for a private room in an Albergue, we decide to share a private room with two beds.  The offer of privacy, quiet and space is well worth the extra five euros each.

At dinner, I am so surprised to see Chris show up.  He joins our table and eats his meal with us.  Another Irish couple shares our table, Noel and Ronnie.  Noel is a few years older than me and he has recently gone back to school to study Archaeology, his passion.  He talks about doing his Masters afterwards.  I am inspired as I listen to his story: a sadly all too familiar story of someone who has dedicated his life, 38 years, to his employer only to be named redundant when he should be looking forward to retirement.  He has turned that misfortune into a blessing as he now pursues his passion, with the support of his wife, which I think is amazing.

Chris and I catch up with each other´s stories.  I hear about Chris´shoes and I tell him about the people I am meeting.  I must admit I have somewhat mixed feelings running into Chris today.  I am happy to see he is doing well, but I am also feeling greedy to guard my precious solitude.  I know that I lack warmth in my greeting to Chris and he must feel it.  This chance encounter stirs a lot of feelings within me and I am surprised.

But now it is late, and time to get some sleep.  Plenty of time to think about things on the Camino tomorrow.  Now I want to enjoy our lovely room (which by the way Pauline generously offered to give to Chris, but I insisted we keep things as they were – sorry Chris!) and hopefully have a good night´s sleep.

A nice change from dormitories and bunk beds.

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One Response
  1. Angus says:

    Wow, over 180km under your belt, you’r doing amazing! I’m really glad to see you making so many friends on the road. They sound like very interesting people. Soon you’ll have to plan a trip to Ireland.

    Janet and I are camping this weekend with my brother and his wife up at Silver Lake. It’s supposed to rain but we’re in a tent trailer and my brother has a trailer and of course Silver Lake is a few minutes from Perth where Janet loves to shop which I don’t mind as it has several nice pubs.

    Maybe we’ll go for a small hike and think of you and Chris :)