Day 17 – Logroño to Navarrete

  1. Distance today:                     8.1 mi
  2. Distance Camino 2017:   113.7mi

Today was a walk-in-the-park, at least for the first 4 miles. Shortly after walking through and leaving Logroño center city, we were directed to a wide, brick paver walkway surrounded by green grass and children’s play areas, which divided what appeared to be large apartment buildings, which extended for at least a half-mile.

The walkway then began winding through more green areas and a small pond and eventually narrowed as we left the city, but continued as a paved walk/bike trail with concrete benches every few hundred feet for at least another 1.5 miles. The concrete path became a dirt path through a camping park with playgrounds, a lake and a nearby golf course (according to signage). We stopped at a bar in the park that was just opening and had a cafe and shared a tortilla.

During our combination breakfast stop/feet rest, we chatted with a young couple in their late 60’s from Holland, Pete & Katia. They were walking their 5th Camino, but started from Pamplona each time to avoid the difficult first stage over the Pyrenees. We asked them to take a photo of us before they departed. They were walking a bit faster than we, so we wished them “buen Camino” as we left the rest stop together.

Rain has been threatening all morning and we can see showers in the distance. When a few drops hit us, we stopped, put on our pack rain covers and put our ponchos in an easy to reach place, then continued on.  Like carrying an umbrella, activating our rain gear can prevent rain as it did today!

The rest of the walk was also on pavement, a road winding through and up the side of a hill through vineyards and an asphalt path parallel to the highway until we got on dirt again just outside Navarrete, where we got back on asphalt and climbed a very steep hill into this small town (pop. 2865).

After a steep climb into Navarrete, time for some fresh “oj” and a rest for tired feet

As soon as we entered Navarrete at the top of the hill, we stopped at the first bar for orange juice/cafe con leche and another feet rest.

We continued on into and almost to the opposite side of town before reaching albergue El Cántaro.

The owner, whose wife completed the Camino in 2015, said they didn’t open until 12:00 but he allowed us to check in anyway and guided us to our room.

There is a festival going on in town, so immediately after we completed our chores, we walked back to town center for a pintxos lunch

plus a visit to the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, which has one of the most impressive baroque retablos in all of Spain.

Linda acquired two small blisters with today’s longer walk, but applied her standard treatment and as with previous ones, should not be a problem.

We walked back into the main town square at 6:00 p.m. to get something to eat. But every restaurant or pintxos bar we went to, the food was either gone or picked over due to the apparent large festival turnout. We finally found a couple of sandwiches and were about to return to the room when a band marched by and we followed it to an arena next to the square. We couldn’t believe our eyes, so we bought two tickets and attended a bullfight!

It was really neat. Great fun to watch 5 young toreros (a torero is a bullfighter, whereas, a matador is a torero who actually kills the bull in the bullfight) ranging from low teens to maybe 20 perform in the ring and neither toreros nor bulls were hurt.

So ended another gem of a day on the Camino Frances.

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