Down tools in Logroño…
I had a rest day in Logroño for three reasons:
- I have walked almost 80km in the last three days
- I feel that I want to explore Logroño more.
- I felt a bit lazy and the Logroño hostel is nice and in a brilliant “centre of town” location. It has been 5 days since the last rest day.
I also have the luxury of spare time so why not stay an extra day?
Breakfast for 3.50€ at the hostel was more expensive than normal. Although there were provisions more like a continental breakfast.
Timeout for a day also provides an opportunity for reflections. First music.
Music is such an important mood setter for me. I like most types of music, at the “right” time and place. Exceptions would be teenyboppers, boy bands and studio constructed and arranged simple pop. Muzak more or less.
I have many music playlists on my iPhone that I put together before leaving Australia for the Camino. I seem to return to 2 of the playlists as I find them both inspirational:
The first playlist I call “3 in a row” – 3 continuous songs from one artist multiplied many times. The playlist’s first 2 artists are Lee Clayton and Blue Öyster Cult. American cultural imperialism… aka American rock. Love it!
These 6 songs by the two artists get me pumping any time.
The song “I ride alone” is big time Camino symbolism. Doing it yourself…
“If I can do it (So can you)” is about taking risks and doing what you want to do without listening to the nay-Sayers. A concept I much subscribe to.
I have no idea what “Sexual Moon” is about but all 3 are great 1970/80 rock songs.
Blue Öyster Cult is a great 1970 rock band and I love these 3 songs.
It may be redundant to add that I like to play all these songs LOUD. That is the best (and only) way to enjoy them.
My other favourite playlist consists of soundtracks composed by Thomas Newman.
Thomas Newman wrote music to the movies “American Beauty”, “Road to Perdition”, “The Help” and “The Adjustment Bureau”. And to many other movies.
The music is instrumental only. Moody, dreamy, low key and pleasant to also listen to first thing in the morning. For a gentle start to the day.
Being more introvert than extrovert, I like a combination of “me time” and social time with others. That is also true for the Camino.
So most days, at some time, I put my earbuds in and disappear into my own world. I like it that way.
Midmorning I was out flaneuring for a few hours.
Logroño is a much pleasant town. Modern, clean, with huge green expanses particularly by the river Ebro.
My first stop for the day was Logroño’s Plaza de Toros, the bullfighting arena. Domino’s Pizza bus had parked just outside of it, no doubt awaiting good business. “We are in your city” is what “Estamos en tu ciudad” means.
There was something going on inside Plaza de Toros and it was free to enter so I did. And experienced bullfighting in 3 different ways.
The kids loved it of course and many adults too from what I could tell.
Then there were “inflatable Bulls” “running amok” among the spectators.
One of these inflatable Bulls even chased me… He didn’t get me. I was too fast.
Finally onto the main event; “real” bullfighting with “real” bullfighters. Well, sort of…
Right… I don’t think that there was ever a chance that anybody would get hurt here. Not the bulls either. It was a family day.
The river walk along Rio Ebro continues underneath and beyond Puente Piedra.
So what do you do when you had been flaneuring for a while?
You find a pleasant outdoor cafe and have a cuppa, of course. Americans coffee is the way to go.
For Australians, the Spanish coffee called americano is almost like a long black. The coffee is quite strong and the taste was fine. Check out the colour.
All the while I checked out the outdoor wiring above the cafe. Ad-hoc enough but nothing like the shambles of Southeast Asia or Mexico. I always found dodgy electrical wiring to be fascinating.
Shopping at a supermercado and I found an old favourite brew on the shelves there. Priced somewhat better than in Australia. Yes, I got a bottle of Franziskaner for later consumption tonight.
This “multifrutas” juice was spectacular. Hooked after one bottle. I don’t know what fruits are in it, I assume orange (blood orange?) and grapefruit but there is something else there too. Cheap too, less than 1 Euro per bottle.
Back to the hostel with my perishables.
I followed up with a pre-lunch meal of grapefruit and sardines. Top juicy grapefruit. And tasty sardines in olive oil.
Then a shave… Using the cheap plastic razor and soap which I had just purchased.
A few streaks of blood here and there on the face and not a completely well-done shave but anyway.
As I was then writing in this blog, I spoke to two new pilgrims who had arrived at the hostel. They were Robin from Upper West Side, New York City and Kristin from Berlin, Germany. Robin had walked the Camino at the same time as they were filming the movie “The Way”. We had a nice chat.
After a shower, I was out exploring Logroño again.
Gran Via Juan Carlos 1 was grand as befitting a king. A straight and expensive looking avenue. Logroño has (had?) a bit of money one may think.
I found a pilgrim monument from 2002 celebrating 25 years of something or another it said. I didn’t understand what that was.
I had a late “menu del dia” at almost 4pm. While the food was ordinary, this is the amount of wine that came with it.
Yep. Almost a full bottle for me only. It doesn’t cost much to get pissed in Spain. Better be careful. I had less than a third of the bottle before stopping. Heck, time was not yet 5pm. Back to the hostel for downtime.
Later, I went out for a drink with the lovely ladies Robin and Kristen, who were also in search of a meal.
Logroño was on fire, if anything even more than yesterday.
Robin to the left and Kristin to the right.
The ladies were eating while we all drank some La Rioja Vino Tinto. I had a chicken Caesar salad for dinner earlier back at the hostel so no more food for me.
Robin was writing a book on self-discovery, yoga and “what does power mean to you?”. Hence, plenty of philosophical discussions.
Robin wanted to “interview” Kristin and me for her book.
It was all fun and light-hearted. For me anyway. I can play that game.
Back at the albergue by 10pm. Music was still pumping loud just outside our sleeping quarters. It will not be a quiet night tonight. There was always a risk…