Dat 12 9th day walking

People were moving about, as usual for five. The camp commandant switched on the lights at six. To think, I gave up work to avoid this hour of the day.
We had learned our lesson about albergue breakfasts, but the breakfast here looked good. It was too late now to book, and we know there is always something on the road.
We never said a proper goodbye to John and Vanessa, because we thought they would catch us up when we stopped for coffee.
The town was deserted. Not a thing was open, well, just one panedaria, no coffee.
We trudged along the trail, meeting the French lady from last night, who spoke very little. We were passing through many vineyards now, this is real Rioja country.
The mountains and hills in the distance seemed to be there just to frame the vine groves. But we never passed a cafe.
Only a short walk today and we soon arrived at Rioja itself, there must be something here. But no, it is all very industrial. Too busy making wine to drink coffee.
On and on we went with no break or sign of coffee. Typical, on the day we forego the alburge breakfast.
We crossed the main auto route again and started downhill. Painted on the street was “sellos timbro” I was not sure what was meant by timbro but we could get a stamp in our passports.
We passed a little house offering coffee and a stamp. Inside was a little old woman and the two dutch ladies we had met last night. Amsterdam, and still walking. We had read about this house in a couple of books, so we knew of its existance.
We rested a short while, enjoyed the coffee and left her a donation.
Only a kilometer more to Logrono now.
We approached over the beautiful stone bridge. Before the first parapet there was a booth “help for peregrinos” Good espanglish for you.
I went in and got myself a city map. The guy showed me how to get through the city and said “you should be and out in two hours” he seemed pleased when I said we should be here two days.
After a short wander around we finally got our breakfast at just after ten and even Viv’s hungry camera got fed. I had to unplug a light first though. When you are a pilgrim, nobody seems to mind what you do.
The big disadvantage is that everyone wants to help. We knew where the Camino was and the shrine to St James. We were looking for somewhere to stay.
We got coralled into a place for pilgrims, but they could not offer us a double room for two nights. We sneeked out trying to avoid all the helpers, and went in search of the tourist information.
“Senor! El porta de Santiago esta aqui” but I was not about to be redirected again. “quieremos el infomacion turistic” I said. We got the direction we needed.
The tourist office directed us back down the hill again to an albergue with private rooms. I was fed up of going up and down here, but needs must.
The building looked a state, the stairs were rickety and Viv kept saying “why do you always ask for cheap?”
We rang the door bell and there was no reply. I was starting to get a bad feeling, then someone came down the stairs and he let us in.
The room is beautiful, clean, private bathroom and towels only 66e for two nights.
We showered and changed and gave a load of laundry to the receptionist (again only 5e) and went out for a beer.
We were expecting to meet up with our good friends Roger and Mirta here, but had no idea when they would arrive, so we set about seeing something of the place but keeping my phone handy.
There is a college building with a fountain and I fell asleap on a bench while Viv went off exploring. I woke worried that she had got lost but it was the draw of the shops that had kept her.
While we were in the post office we finally got the call. Roger and Mirta were in the Market Square having a drink.
We sat drinking beer and catching up before deciding it was too cold and heading inside. While we sat there Viv suddenly rushed out, she had seen Vanessa. We have now arranged to meet them in the morning.
What we needed now was food and Mirta was on a mission. She asked a local who directed us back the way we had come. The board said “menu del dia 11euros” so we went inside. Viv and I had, by now, some experience of menu del dia, but Mirta seemed to like it.
The wiatress had a face like the bride who had been left at the altar. We asked about the menu, not until 7:30 she said. We debated and decided to have some tortilla and beer while we waited. It must have taken 20 minutes to come. Roger had taken an instant dislike to out waitress, Mirta was not too happy either, Viv and I were not keen on the menu idea. So we paid and left.
Viv managed to find a place down an alley way. They served a plate of meats, a bit like an Argentine parrilla. So we ate black pudding, sausage, bacon and what looked like crackling. Viv wanted to know what it was (never a good idea). Now all she can say is ” I can’t believe I’ve eated pigs snout”. We had more wine, beer for Viv, extra raciones of black pudding. Of course we had to have puddings as well. I was starting to worry about the bill. When it came we were all astounded it was just over 44e. Less than if we had had menu del dia at the other place.
We said our goodbyes in the square where we had met and crawled off to bed.


1 Comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago

One response to “Dat 12 9th day walking

  1. Irene

    As I always have Rob, I am really enjoying your blog. It is as if I am travelling alongside you and I can’t wait to see your passport, recording each step of the way and of course all Viv’s photos. I am impressed that you conversed with the French lady – I knew that you were an expert in Spanish but you didn’t tell me that tu sais parler en français. : ). The bullfight sounded rather disturbing – I just hope that Manuel Valls isn’t elected President in next year’s French elections! Take care and I look forward to your next missive. Love to you both, Irene. X

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