Day 14 – Logroño to Navarrete

Walked today: 4.5 miles

Walked Camino 2019: 99.4 miles

We had our taxi take us to a park on the edge of Logroño, avoiding a several mile walk through the city. So you might say initially it was like a walk in the park (sorry).

We stopped at this cafe in the park but closed until 9.

Oh. Did we mention that it was raining when we started?

The park is actually a combination golf course, camp ground, wildlife preserve and agricultural research area for white Tempranilla grapes.

We followed the path for a mile or so then climbed a hill with a nice overview of the park with Logroño in the background.

At the top of the hill we exited the park on a narrow dirt and paved road which paralleled the highway

Pilgrims can’t pass a fence without adding cross art.

until we approached the town of Navarrete and the rain stopped.

We stopped for breakfast after entering town,

Classy Camino marker on Navarrete streets

then walked to the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Asuncíon and went inside.

Its a parish church whose construction started in 1533 and completed in 1645!

It is mostly known for its main alterpiece, considered one of the finest examples of 17th century Baroque works in Spain.

There were several other interesting art forms displayed in the church that captured our attention,

Santiago ( St James)

before we left, in respect for a morning service that was about to begin.

We continued our walk along the Camino into town center and Hotel Rey Sancho(55€). Our room would not be ready until noon, so we settled down in the nearby town square for a supplemental cafe con leche and enjoyed the cool breeze and shade.

We checked in at 11:40. Our room is wonderful and a real bargain.

Jim removed his boots and socks and Linda laughed at his feet.

I don’t see anything funny about his feet, do you?

So, for lunch we went bar hoppin’ for pintxos.  Without the advantage of language, selecting a pintxo is based on visual appeal and an occasional recognized, preferred food component. But like a box of chocolates, you are never sure what you’re gonna’ get until you bite, chew and swallow.  
Mushrooms on right near Linda
Never did figure out what item in foreground was.
Add the ambiance of an outdoor, tree shaded area with a slight breeze and a local red wine… and you have the makin’s of a culinary adventure filled with potential.  
Today’s surprise was the most delicious mushrooms we have ever tasted.  We ordered two and savored every morsel, then sopped the residual garlic/olive oil drippings with torn pieces of baguette. We learned later that mushrooms are a specialty of Navarrete.  How did we miss this in 2014 and 2017?!
While reminiscing our most recent culinary triumph with the last few sips of Riója red, Linda observed an unusual tandem bicycle pull up and an apparent grandfather and grandson disembarked and sat down at an adjacent table.  
Not wanting to appear nosy, Jim didn’t look around, but got up and walked over to the bike, made eye contact with the owners and asked if he could take a photo.
One thing led to another and it turns out, the grandfather was from Belgium, had biked to a town in France, picked up his grandson (one of eight) and they together had crossed the Pyrennes several days ago and were headed for Santiago.  The grandson had recently successfully made the school volleyball team and had been given 3 weeks off between pre-season training sessions.
The proud grandfather had made 3 previous trips via tandem bike to Santiago with family members.  He had purchased the bike in Holland when he retired ten years ago as an incentive to keeping in shape and a unique way of bonding with next generation family members.

We read, blogged, napped, then snacked for supper, still sated from our mid-day pintxos binge.

It was a delightful day spent in Navarrete, Riója, Spain on the Camino Frances.