Camino Day 11: Logroño to Najera 29km

Hans left the building at 7am after having breakfast an hour earlier.

Some revelers had still not left downtown Logroño. Now, the party people competed for the space with the clean-up crew. The latter did their best to spruce up the public areas by washing the pavements clean. Perhaps the clean-up crew could wash away the stragglers as well.

Lovely artwork at an underpass on the path leading out of Logroño.

A Camino map was on the wall inside the tunnel. Well, it was still dark outside at this time so you didn’t see much.

Finally dawn. Lovely early morning light. It is the best time of the day.

A selfie next to a dam in a park on the western outskirts of Logroño. It was a beautiful, clear and crisp morning and I loved it.

Today’s first music selection was Calexico, my current favourite band.

Calexico is from Tucson, AZ and plays laid back cross-border music. Calexico, by the way, is the name of a small US border town between US and Mexico.

Sometimes Calexico sings in English and sometimes they sing in Spanish. Some songs are sung in both languages.

Then, I got a bit sentimental and listened to Australian music. It was “Down under”, “Sounds of Then”, “Solid Rock” etc. Those tunes made me a bit homesick. At least for a short little while.

Well well. Are we in wine country now or not?

Looking back towards Logroño. Sun is still not fully up from this angle.

And this boot is no longer made for walking… At least it pointed in the right direction. I wonder how its owner felt at the time.

Just before Navarrete, there were ruins of an old pilgrim hospital.

You could read a spiel about the hospital in Spanish.

Looking east from the eastern side just before Navarette. It was a lovely view.

After the cool start in the morning, the day turned out to be hot and dusty. It felt like an Australian summer at times.

The theme for today in the province of La Rioja was of course wine. No surprises there. Vineyard after vineyard appeared along the Camino.

A few more vine and wine pics.

It must be harvesting time.

It appeared that they were harvesting the low hanging grapes now. Higher up, most vines were empty of fruit or the grapes still looked green.

Up a dusty hill and the vortexing had company…

Suddenly, there was Stairway… I mean Stairway… I mean “Stairway to Heaven”. The oh so familiar chords came out of somewhere.

Not denied!! The bloke below had found himself a shady spot under a tree to sit and play his guitar. As I arrived, he played “Stairway to heaven” for bypassing pilgrims. For donations of course.

His version of “Stairway to Heaven” was crap but I gave the Led Zep wannabe a euro or so for effort. Of course, then I felt like listening to the real version from my iPhone. Which I did. Loud. And I sang along too. Such a dag!

There were other entrepreneurs too. Somebody was advertising massage services to peregrinos under a bridge.

I had a final break for the day an hour before arriving in Najera, today’s destination. The feet had a full on day and needed airing out.

Tonight’s albergue was a lovely place called Puerta de Najera in… The town of Najera.

An odd situation occurred when I asked the lady manager at the reception something in English and she replied in Spanish. That was despite the fact that she was able to speak English well, as I found out later.

I am picking up keywords here and there so I do get the general context.

The adjacent lovely artwork in a breakout area next to the reception was interesting and looked good.

Across the street from the albergue and still overlooking the river was a pasta joint. Heck, I haven’t had pasta for quite a while. Not since the Spag Bol in Zubiri where the Bol came out of a can. That was awful but I did give pasta in Spain another go.

So just before 4pm I had an early ravioli pesto dinner. Below is the dish underlay. No escaping the Camino.

The drink above was not a gin and tonic. The drink is just agua con gas. Much refreshing.

The ravioli pesto was good. Who knows what came out of a can, but it was all hot and tasty. I was happy as a… Peregrino.

6.50€ later and by 4.30pm I am back in my albergue bed for a catnap.

There were no meals on offer at the albergue. But there was an Eroski supermercado nearby. I got myself some snacks there that worked as dinner. Chatting to other peregrinos at the hostel before an earlyish night. All good.

194km walked, 592km left to walk after Day 11

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