Camino Day 9: Torres Del Rio to Logroño 21km

Mark from Ottawa, today’s walking companion, and I were on our way not long after breakfast at 7.15am. My earliest Camino start, to date.

The reason for the early departure is alcohol. Today’s destination, the town of Logroño, has a wine festival happening. A bet would be that other peregrinos may also like to stop there for a night or two.

Dawn.

A bit of vortexing in the early morning. There were notes underneath many of the rock piles. I didn’t check what was on the notes, but something is commemorated here. There was also a cross there.

Today’s Camino was different yet again. The trail winded up and down and sideways and back and forth, next to vines and olive groves.

The weather was quite cool so good walking weather with a few spits of rain.

Comedians in action at this rock shelter. There were comments like “first free albergue” and “free WiFi” written on rocks. It made me giggle…

And the Camino continues on and on and on…

Mark and I had our one single longer stop for the day in this cute little town called Viana.

On the other side of Viana, on the wall of an underpass, there is this artwork. A familiar one, depicted many times in various Camino forums and media.

Mark and I then arrived at what I called the “Love Bridge”.

Why? As we arrived, 2 pilgrims with bikes were kissing at the top of the bridge. There was a multitude of love declarations written or carved onto and into the bridge.

My message on the “Love Bridge” was not much about love (yes, I know, I shouldn’t have done this…)

Nice view from the “Love Bridge”. Viana in the distance.

A bridge over such a straight road can only mean one thing. There had been accidents or near misses between pilgrims and speeding vehicles here.

Soon we were leaving the Navarra province…

…to enter Spain’s top wine producing region, La Rioja.

According to the sign below, there was 4km left before reaching the town Logroño. Not that far to go.

Mark and I arrived in Logroño before noon and after crossing this bridge into the town centre on the other side.

The first albergue we checked out didn’t open until 1pm.

The next albergue was along a busy thoroughfare called Calle Portales. It was also in the same block as the cathedral.

A bed for 10€ was on offer at this Hostel Entresuenoswhich was on Calle Portales, the thoroughfare right in the middle of town. Taken!

The hostel dorm faces out on to Calle Portales (the 2 windows with bars) so it may be noisy.

After the usual pilgrim housekeeping duties, I skyped Good Mrs back home in Melbourne. Great to see her and hear her voice after 2 1/2 weeks.

A short walk in the vicinity of the hostel and I bumped into several fellow pilgrims. Among them Daina and 2 lady friends. Also Ben and Aaron from the albergue last night.

I started to look for a simple bite to eat to tie me over to dinner. And settled on a bar selling these skewers for an amazing 1€.60 each.

The skewers were delicious. I think they were “pollo a la brasa” as per the top left corner of the blackboard.

Looking it up later, “pollo a la brasa” is also known as “Peruvian Chicken” or Blackened Chicken. A common Peruvian dish.

Yes, I did indeed treat myself to a second “pollo” skewer.

A few more pics along Calle Portales.

This towering figure must somehow be part of Logroño’s wine festival. The guy inside all that kept sliding and almost falling several times. The costume appeared both heavy and awkward. He can keep his job.

It is Wednesday 3pm and Logroño was alive with people eating, drinking and smoking. Don’t they ever work?

How you end up if you arrive too late or haven’t made a bed booking? I think that these guys were pondering their next move as they sat outside our hostel.

Dinner was a 3 Americans, 1 Canadian and myself affair.

Yes, I bumped into Daina again on Calle Portales. She now had 2 new peregrine friends and Mark and I had dinner with them all outside on a terrazza.

I finally ordered the cordero, the roast lamb. I had wanted to try it ever since I saw the movie “The Way”. In it, Joost from Amsterdam was so obsessed with trying it out.

The cordero tasted OK but the quantity was minuscule once you removed the bones and all fat.

Daina seemed to like her vegetarian choice. Great presentation.

We finished dinner around 8.30pm. Then there was only me left as the other peregrinos all went back to their hostels.

Our restaurant was at the end of a park and you could hear distant music and see colourful lights from inside of it. I decided to check out the action.

What!!! The music sounded familiar. Yes, they were doing an ABBA medley…

Logroño was coming to life again at 9pm. The town was pumping.

Not for me. I started to get cold so I called it a day too. It was time for me to walk back to the hostel as well.

165km walked, 621km left to walk after Day 9

Leave a Reply