Monday, October 19 – Day 40
It was very quiet and I slept very well, at least during the first part of the night. It seems like I never sleep well after 3. I’m always waking up every 20 minutes or so. Anyway, it was good enough.
I got all packed up and got ready for the rain. It took me a while to figure out how to get my poncho on over my pack. Turns out it’s a whole lot easier if you unzip it first.
I ran into Mickey in the lobby. We were both leaving at the same time, but he’s taking a bus to Logroño and then going a bit north. He said after doing this 7 times he likes to see other things.
I stopped in the cafe on the corner and got a little egg and ham sandwich and a pain au chocolat. I was off and walking at 8:40, which was a little later than I would have liked.
I’d been awake since 7, but I was really debating about how far I would go today. I did the math, and I have to walk at least 20k a day to make it in my timeframe, and that’s with no rest days at all. I’m feeling a little pressure, because I would like to take some rest days! But since I’m not caught up on my blog, I wanted to make sure I had a good place to myself tonight, so I spent a while searching online. I finally decided to book a hostal in Logroño for 33 E, which isn’t too bad.
It was cloudy and cool, and very nice walking weather for this part of Spain where there is absolutely no shade at all. I wonder if most of the rest of Spain is like that as well.
Since I was going farther, I was also walking faster than most people ahead of me and caught and passed a few. I talked for a few minutes with a couple from Spain. She spoke English and her husband didn’t. I said I had started in Le Puy and she said she was very impressed. As I started to go on, she said her husband said I should take smaller steps. My stride was too long. I said I’d been walking for 6 weeks and it worked for me, and no blisters (well, one, but that doesn’t count. Not for this conversation, anyway.). So she said, “oh, I guess you’re ok then.”
Really? Everyone is different. What works for one person isn’t always going to work for another. It’s funny, because Tracy and I were talking about that the other day. People can have very strong opinions on things, though. I hope there’s not much more of that, though.
I passed Remi, whom I met in France. I’ve seen a few Le Puy people, but no one I was close to. I haven’t heard from Claire in over two weeks, so I don’t know how she is doing.
It started raining around 9:30, and it rained the whole day.
The first town I came to was Sansol. I caught up with Denise and Mimi, but quickly passed them.
The next town, Torres del Rio, is on the hill right next to Sansol. It’s kind of comical how close the two towns are, yet they are still separate. I stopped in Torres del Rio and bought an orange and a banana. I ate the banana.
From there it was a long, wet, walk to Viana.
I found an almond tree and cracked open an almond and ate it. Well, I tasted it, and then I spit it out. I don’t know if it was because it was raw, or it wasn’t ripe yet, but it tasted exactly like almond extract. At least, I think that’s what it was. I remember having a cookie once that was almond flavored, and it tasted sweet, but not sweet, and kind of chemically, or alcoholly, like vanilla extract. That’s exactly what this almond tasted like.
In Viana I stopped at a cafe and got another egg sandwich and a colacao, which is hot chocolate. I really wanted to use the restroom, but the food was a good thing, too.
Around the corner from the cafe I found a smushed penny machine. It’s amazing how happy that makes me. I get stinking happy to have smushed pennies. I need to make sure I have plenty of supplies.
Viana is the last place to stop before Logroño. Even if I hadn’t made a reservation, I think I still would have continued. I was feeling pretty good.
I had been warned the the walk into Logroño wasn’t so nice, and it was very industrial. I know there’s a lot more of that to come in Spain. I don’t think I went through any cities in France that were as big as Pamplona and Logroño. It really is very different. Everything about the two caminos is different. I think I’m getting more used to it, but I’m still having a hard time adjusting.
I found my hostal at 3:30. It’s really nice to be back at my pace again. I like having more time to decompress. I went to take a shower and discovered that I left my shampoo at the last hotel! At this rate I will lose everything in my pack before I get to Santiago.
I was hoping it would stop raining, but it doesn’t look like it will. The app says it will rain through the morning. I need to find some new shampoo and a bookstore. I really, really want a copy of Miam Miam Dodo if I can find it.
I left my room about 6 pm to go explore a bit. I’m not planning on spending a full day here, so I have to take advantage of the evening. I also think some of the churches are only open at night.
I went to the Cathedral and was able to go in. These Spanish Cathedrals sure are dark. You have to pay to turn the lights on to see anything. Very different from France. A French man came up and asked me if I was doing the Chemin de Saint Jacques, and I said, “oui,” so then we had a nice little conversation in French. He did it from Le Puy in 64 days. Crazy people not taking rest days! He and his wife are here touring with a car.
After the Cathedral I went to find a bookstore. They didn’t have Miam Miam Dodo, but I asked a clerk and he told me to check the really big bookstore down the way.
It probably took 10 minutes to walk there, but they had even less selection than the first store, and no MMDD. *Sadface* I decided to walk a different way back to try to see new things.
I also went into a pharmacy to buy some new shampoo, and I paid a ridiculous amount, 4.30 for 50 ml of shampoo. I hope it lasts the month. At least it’s small. While I was in the pharmacy I got some more 5 cent pieces to squash!
I happened to see a cute couple walking happily together, and it was Angie and Adam! It was super fun to catch up for a few minutes. It was awesome, actually, because I was thinking about them earlier today when I got colacao, because I couldn’t remember the name of the other chocolate drink. It’s… of course I just forgot again…it reminds me of sumo wrestling or something. Dang it, I totally had it, now it’s gone. I think it starts with a P. Anyway, Angie had also recommended churros con chocolate, and she told me there was a street truck near their hotel. They also reminded me of the tapas bar street and recommended I try the octopus place.
I found the churro place, but this just goes to show how hard things are when you don’t understand the basics of the language. I walked up and said, “churros con chocolate?” I assumed there would be a standard serving, but apparently there isn’t. I’ve never had them before, so I didn’t know how much to get. I know she was asking, but I didn’t know. She asked how much chocolate, and I said, “a lot!” The small one looked too small, but the next bigger size was actually way too big. So then she asked how many churros, 10 or 12? or less. That sounded like way too much, so I said less, and ended up with 8. 8 churros, and a tub full of chocolate. And it cost 7 E. LOL. I just have to shake my head because the whole time I was thinking how ridiculous it was, and what an idiot I was, but I really didn’t know what to do about it. So I was a trooper and ate 8 churros con chocolate! And you will be very proud of me, because I am, because I threw away half of the chocolate. At least now I know what an appropriate serving is, and it’s not 8. I thought they were quite good, except they needed a little salt. With a little salt they would be crack.
So at this point I was feeling rather ill. I tried to go around and take some more pictures, but I was losing light fast.
I found the tapas street and found the octopus place. Adam had given me some great advice. He said to order mosto (idk if that’s how you spell it or not) but it’s grape juice. It’s what everyone orders if they’re not drinking alcohol. So I sat down and ordered mosto, and then two different types of octopus. One was in a croquette, but it wasn’t as good as the mushroom one was. The other one was served with olive oil and paprika. It was cooked right, unlike any octopus I’ve ever had before. It was actually an odd sensation, because the texture didn’t seem like octopus at all. It was still good. I was trying to think of something to compare it to, but I can’t.
I walked up and down looking at the rest of the bars and what they had to offer. After all of the sugar, I wanted some real food to try to balance the churros con chocolate, but fried bar food (tapas) didn’t exactly look appealing at this point.
I got some salad type things. One was a russian salad with pimento, and the other one was a crab salad with a sardine, or maybe another fish.
It was all good, but it would have been a lot better without a whole circus carnival in my stomach.
I had a great time running around Logroño, and so glad I ran into Angie and Adam for the advice! And I know the chocolate thing is going to come back to me. The problem is I think it starts with a P, but all I can think of is Primitivo (which is a camino) or Primal. Ugh. And watch it not even start with P. Primo?