20 Sep 2019
Logronio was about to launch its big week-long wine festival and, sadly, we saw it being set up as we left town. With some trepidation, I dropped off my big backpack at an albergue, tagged with the JacoTrans backpack transfer company envelope, and crossed my fingers. It turns out that JacoTrans does a great job for 5eu and it couldn’t have been easier to arrange.
Thus began a week-long run of walking with a partner and sharing a room with him, too. That also worked out very well.
For one thing, when you’re walking with someone else you can get your picture taken on the path pretty easily. The trail became less rocky, which was a relief, and our various injuries seemed to take to the short 13Km distance without getting worse.
So let’s talk trekking poles: I use two and find them to be invaluable going up and down hills. Especially when there are a lot of loose rocks on the path, just waiting to deliver a Camino-ending twisted ankle or knee. There’s a bit of a technique to using them but it’s easily and quickly learned on the path. When not in use, I collapse mine and tuck them into one of my pack shoulder straps, so I don’t have to hold them. If I’m using them a lot, I have a pair of fingerless, kayak-paddling gloves I put on to ensure that no hand blisters form.
We made it to Navarette without any issues and, hooray, my backpack was waiting for me. The photo above shows the view out our hotel window Ah, yes, “hotel” – we’re able to stay in hotels now by virtue of sharing a room. Still not the most economical choice (Albergue bunk bed: 6-10eu, hotel room 15-25eu each) but it does mean you don’t have to listen to snoring in the bunk room, and you’re using a private bathroom.
Here’s another interesting cultural fact: lots of bars and restaurants in Spain are closed from 2-5pm, so forget it if you’re starving and want a salad at 3:00 in a small town. The previously mentioned Pilgrim Menu dinner, which many places offer, may not be available until 7:00 or later. Claude and I have become adept at finding an open market and buying the makings for our own picnic lunch.
Tomorrow we’re off to Najera, through more vineyards.