Walked today: 4.6 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 104.1 miles
Even though we started later (7:15), it was a chilly 56F and perfect for walking. Our distance was short today, like yesterday. We want to stay in Ventosa tonight and it’s only a few miles up the Camino. Also, our bodies have been building stamina and adjusting to the routine well, so having a couple easy days, while still advancing, hopefully will give us a good base to pick up the pace in the coming days.
As the sidewalks of Navarrete ran out, we passed a cemetery with a beautiful gateway
that was recovered from the ruins of the historic pilgrim’s Hospital de San Juan de Acre, which we passed when entering Navarrete yesterday.
Leaving the pavement we followed a dirt path thru several miles of vineyards
and periodic clusters of olive trees abundant with fruit,
ready for harvest in the coming weeks.
We stopped at the first of only 2 bars in Ventosa (pop. 169) and had breakfast and waited until around 10:30 before walking the final distance to Las Aguedas.
Normally check-in time is 1:00, but if we arrive too early, we’re likely to have to wait longer, but, if we get there later, our chances of getting in earlier increase, based on our Camino experience. Go figure!
Las Aguedas is our favorite accommodation on the Camino out of over 120, so far. We stopped here by accident in 2014 and were overwhelmed by the interior decor and comfort.
The owner, Señora Rocio J. Bonet, is a superb hostess, graciously, welcoming you into her beautiful 18th century home, with period furnishings and yet all the facilities of a modern inn.
She prepares a delicious dinner in her dining room featuring Spanish cuisine and fine wines. Consequently we worked our Camino itinerary to stay here again in 2017 and were fortunate to book a room two days ago for tonight. It’s a B&B extraordinaire for 75€ for a large double room and ensuite bathroom +10€x2 for dinner.
After getting lunch at the other bar in Ventosa, we did some planning for the next week or so, to decide our walk for each day, where we’d like to stay, then making reservations via email or Booking.com. The month of August is prime festival time and its not easy to know which towns will no longer have accommodations that match our preferences… a little planning will reduce the stress of finishing a long walk and not having a place to stay.
Our dinner tonight met our expectations, even though it was just Linda and Jim served by Rocio, our hostess. No other guests had arrived in time for dinner at 7:00.
The salad, paella and homemade citron sorbet was delicious and the reserve local wine was exceptional for a Riója and bottled here at the Alvia Bidegas in Ventosa. Hopefully we can buy it at Total Wine when we return home.
Our after dinner conversation included strategies to expand the Las Aguedas business into corporate markets and shared experiences walking the Camino. Señora Bonet is a good businesswoman and very customer oriented. We wished her well and retired to our room after an interesting, engaging evening on the Camino Frances.