Thursday, August 25, 2011

Camino De Santiago - Logroño To Navarrete

My ankle was hurting enough that I decide to do a short stage.  I was hoping a little less walking would help the ankle heal.

I left town early Sunday morning.  Ahead of me were the four Norwegians I'd shared dinner with in Puente La Reina ... singing.  I have to say they had wonderful voices.

The Camino went uphill as it left the city.  It reached a reservoir and crossed a dam.  People were on the dam fishing.  On the other side of the earthen dam was a small park where I ran into EN.  EN had had some major foot and blister issues since her first day.  In Logroño she bought new shoes.  I asked her how her new shoes were and she said they were much better.  They must have been because I didn't see her again for awhile as she raced ahead.

Farther ahead I came across the Hungarians (my hosts in Puente La Reina)  trying to coax a squirrel off a tree with some food.  It was cute.  I passed them and continued on.

I passed a self proclaimed "hermit" selling stuff along side the Camino.  Once again I did not stop.  I should have as he had a sello (credential stamp).  I told myself I would stop for these 'special' sellos from now on.

The next stretch was within sight of the highway.  A chain link fence separated the path from the road below.  Pilgrims had stuck sticks and grass in the fence making crosses.  Parts of the fence were completely full of crosses blocking out the view of the highway.  It was cool.  I added a cross of my own to the fence.

The Camino dropped back down as I entered the town of Navarrete.  I walked around and found the albergue.  Since I 'd kept this leg short it was really early, before 10:00 AM, and the albergue didn't open until 2:00 PM.  I had time to kill.  I seriously thought about continuing to the next major town, Nájera, but I thought about my ankle and fought the urge.

The bar/restaurant next door to the albergue was open so I bought something to drink while I waited.  The Norwegians and the Hungarians showed up and stopped at the bar for their morning coffees.  I talked with them for a while.  I told them I was not going any farther because of my ankle and we said our good byes with hugs and smiles.  They were good people.  I felt like I should have gone with them.

I walked around a little visiting the church.  When I got back to the bar there was HT, GV, and LO.  LO had had some major foot issues (probably tendonitis) and had taken the bus from Logroño.  She was joined by GV who wanted to rest the huge blisters on the bottom of her feet.  HT had walked from Viana where he'd spent the night.  I was once again happy to see familiar faces.

While we waited for the Albergue to open HT bought some tortilla (technically Tortilla Española or Tortilla de patata).  Unlike the tortilla back home - a type of Mexican flatbread - tortilla española is more of a tort/omelette made from eggs and potatoes and fried in olive oil.  I didn't try it in Navarette but I did later on and never regretted it.  It was a perfect breakfast food ... if they would serve it at breakfast time ... which they rarely do.

The albergue finally opened and we got in, got beds, cleaned ourselves, and cleaned our stuff.  The usual routine.  I hung my washed clothes on a rotating clothes line outside the window of the sleeping room (Thank you safety pins).  In the kitchen/dining area the hospitalero (The person in charge of the albergue) was making crepes and giving crepe making lessons.  I skipped on the lessons but I did eat my first chocolate crepe.  Not my favorite food but it wasn't bad either.

GV said that she was going to cook herself dinner.  I offered to buy the food and do clean up if she would make and share her meal with me - the pilgrim's equivalent of I buy, you fly.  She accepted.

We went shopping, which on a Sunday in a small Spanish town, was not the easiest thing to do.  The only thing open was a strange candy store.  It predominantly sold candy and ice cream but it also had some regular food stuff in one corner of the small store.  GV picked out some pasta, tomato sauce, canned mushrooms, and other things that would work in pasta sauce.

That night we had a good meal.  While I usually avoid mushrooms, they tasted damn good.  I discovered that many things I didn't like in the States (dulce de leche ice cream, mushrooms) tasted just fine in Spain.  We had extra so we offered it to HT ... and contributed to his superpower.

During our stay in Navarrete I met two more Americans:  KT, 72, from Ventura, California (close to where I used to live) and who had served at Offutt Air Force Base (Near Omaha where I live now) and JN, a student at NYU (whose father is from Valentine, NE).  I also talked with NV.  I still can't remember if I met her in Logroño but I definitely talked with her in Navarrete.  She complained about not sleeping because of all the snoring and I gave her a pair of purple earplugs (I had several sets).  These earplugs would be an early birthday present.  We celebrated NV's birthday two days later in Grañon - but once again I get ahead of myself.

I was going to ice my ankle while I was in Navarrete but I didn't.  Should have.  Live and learn.

Day eight was in the bag.  I had a good day in Navarrete.  Tomorrow ... Azofra.



Total Distance: 7.47 Miles (12.02 km)
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Total Elevation Up: 1,025 ft (312.42 m)
Total Elevation Down: 708 ft (215.80 m)

[Click on map for a larger version]

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