The Way, Day 12

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[Rioja]

Total Distance: 21.5 km (mi)
Total Time: 6.5h
Total Euro: 37/person
Route: Viana to Navarrete

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Logrono:  Not impressed.  After a pretty good sleep (we had the Belgian couple and the American mother-daughter pair as roommates and none of them snored, so I got to give my ears a break from the ear plugs, which have been hurting the ear with the tragus piercing.  The mattress however, was wanting), we hit the road and had a fairly easy walk into the Rioja region.  We stopped to snack in a park as we entered Rioja’s capitol city of Logrono and then we spent the rest of the day trying to leave it.  It was a large city and didn’t feel super friendly toward pilgrims (no public restrooms, poorly marked trail).  Once we left the city proper, we found ourselves in a large city park, which then gave way to a sole-crushingly (like what I did there?  Even hard dirt trails are better than pavement) long cement bike trail, which then turned into some sort of nature preserve.  Both E and I were not mentally in the game and we rested frequently.  In the nature preserve, our spirits were somewhat bolstered by watching a pair of swans lead their four goslings (or “swanlets” according to E) into a pond, and after what seemed like ages in the growing heat, we came upon a sign that said Navarrete was in 1.1 km.  This turned out to be a total lie (it was more like 3.5 km), but the trick worked and eventually we made our way to El Cantaro Albergue. 

My feet haven’t hurt this bad since Pamplona (I made a shocking new discovery – I was experiencing some pain around my Achilles in the beginning of this trip and so I padded them with Compeed to prevent blistering.  The pain hasn’t gone away and today the compeed finally peeled off to reveal massive bruises on the backs of both my heels.  I didn’t even know this was possible.) and so after splurging on a private room, I passed out while E did our chores.  When I woke up, we enjoyed some wine, some conversation with the American mother and daughter and then had a delicious (and inexpensive) dinner at a place called Molino. 

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