Stage 8: Los Arcos to Viana

17 Sep 2019

My feet were in no condition to make my originally planned 28Km walk to Logroño so I let my schedule slip a day and shortened my distance to Viana, only 18Kms away.

The terrain was mercifully fairly flat but the trail was still rocky as I passed through many acres of harvested wheat fields. This is definitely farm country.

It’s hard to let your mind go and be open to whatever thoughts the Camino may bring when you’re totally focused on putting your feet down in the least painful place on the path.

I finally limped into Viana to find a festival going on and parts of the Camino path through town closed for bull running. Yes, just like in Pamplona: bulls in the streets, with men in white shirts and red bandannas baiting them and running like hell. I didn’t care for it; the bulls were scrawny and pitiful looking and it just seemed cruel.

I arrived at the albergue to find the private room I’d reserved given away to some tour group. I did however get a coveted bottom bunk.

Bad Pilgrim Etiquette: Pack on bed

The other end of the bunk room is shown above. Pretty tight quarters. Europeans are somewhat less concerned about modesty, so facilities not segregated by gender are common and, hey, everyone behaves like an adult.

The albergue served a Pilgrim Menu dinner and I spent time with a group of women with whom I’d gotten acquainted on the path. All were over 50, two were from Australia, one from the U.S., one from Canada, and one from France. We got on very well and had fun discussing our Camino so far. These are the kinds of connections you make on the Camino.

I also ran into a retired Canadian Army Major, whom I had met in Orisson on our 1st Camino stage. He was one of the guys I got together with for pinchos in Pamplona and he was having significant pain from an old ankle injury.

I had planned a rest day in Logroño, and so he and I hatched a plan to split the cost of a two-bedroom Airbnb-type apartment I found there in order to rest our injuries.

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