Day 14. Logroño to Ventosa

What a shocker stuck in a Latin sauna with a bunch of MAMILS.
I couldn’t charge the phone either.
Stirring began at 6 but I had already been up earlier to beat the bathroom rush and had fallen asleep again.
I packed up and turned the light on at 7 so I could see what I was doing. Lots of Italian nods that having light was better. Someone had also opened the window too refreshing the atmosphere considerably. I wandered down to the second landing where there was a power outlet in the wall under an extinguisher and plugged the phone in then arranged my pack around it. Then I went and retrieved my still damp laundry which I proceeded to pin the the back of my pack, in vain as it turned out.
I stood and journaled and posted for a bit but as it drew towards eight I rain coverpacked up and headed out the from door.
It was raining a light misty rain.
I walked on for a bit testing the strength but eventually stopped to break out the pack’s rain cover.
Its a long haul out of Logoño but as I pull up at a crossing a pilgrim says he saw me yesterday and how was I doing?
Luc from Montreal and partner have been on the road for 41 days from Le Puy in France and would have already covered over a1000 k’s.
I go ahead as they stop to adjust something. The Camino takes me on a cook’s tour of the outer industrial zone but eventually there is a tar road then a shortcut and I breakout into a park with what looks like a senda or concrete pilgrim highway.
I spot a water fountain and fill up as Luc goes by and while I’m at it a banana and some chocolate will do.
The senda is concrete over tar and not my favourite surface. I walk for 90 minutes mostly alone in the drizzle until I get to a reservoir and stop for a break. I have been carrying a can of coke since Sansol so I relieve it of the contents, open a packet of almonds and add some chocolate. Everything feels good today so I keep going. In the next bit the path begins to climb. In quick succession I see my Malagan friend from breakfast and then the MAMILS. They give a cheer as they pump their cycles slowly bye and the chubby one gives me a big “Buen Camino” and high-five all sticks and handlebars before puffing on to catch his mates.
Eventually I top the hill and can see Navarrete in the distance. I’m damp, a bit cold and my feet are sore from the paved roads.
I pass by an old hospice ruin and take a photo. An old lady engages me in Spanish and we have a sort-of conversation about the ruin which is dated 12th century.
It’s another steep climb into the village and I’m bushed when I get there. Utah John is chatting to a pom and the French lady says hi how am I doing. The Maltese faction from Sansol are also here. I but a Tortilla and Aquarius, a bit like a powerade, and proceed to eat. A young Tassie couple plonk beside. They are on a gap year and decided to do the Camino on a whim.
I call Ali a little after 12.
By a quarter past I’m on my way again as this is a long section. The afternoon is broken only by meeting a gentleman who is convinced the shell sign is wrong. It isn’t.
It’s a long shuffle uphill for two hours and when the sign to Ventosa shows up I take the diversion. At the bar I ask for a salad and a beer and they taste wonderful.
It’s about 10 k to Najera and downhill. At my pace it will probably take me till 5.30 or 6 to finish but my feet are very sore so I head to the Alburgue.
The first face I see is Lainie shortly followed by Connie and Utah John.
I made the right decision and after a shower and a chat with Brian Sheridan of Dublin I start to feel human again.
It’s off to do laundry standing on cold wet tiles in my bare feet and by the time I get a machine and get back to the bed I’m shivering.
Also in my room are the Tassie whimsters and Bill and Shirley from Scotland.
I sit in the foyer journaling and manage to introduce everyone to each other as they converge.
I have arranged to dine with Brian and Billy and Shirly at 7. We are joined by Stephanie from Franfurt and duly saunter up and over the hill to the cantina for a simple meal, mine being paella, pork loin and chips and rice pudding interspersed with Rioja vino tinto. They are sailors although the dinner topics range far and wide. There is no visibility of what is happening in Australia.
It’s after nine by the time we return and my laundry is all dry. It will be a good start for tomorrow.
I sit in the downstairs parlour. Stephanie is also quietly journaling and there is some classical music playing and a nice log fire.
I didn’t take a lot of photos today but there should be some nice ones.
Buen Camino

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