Each day of this Camino we try to set aside some time, usually in the quiet of the early morning, as our walk for the day is just beginning, to pray a sort of daily office. Usually this includes the rosary and a set of prayers that we offer for those who are in need of God's grace and mercy. This has become a very special part of this journey and helps keep the true nature of this pilgrimage in focus. As the kilometers slip by and the days fall off the calendar we are constantly aware of the power of our Catholic faith, and the strength we derive from it, especially when the road ahead seems always uphill.
This morning we left Los Arcos at 7:40 trying to get a good start on what proved to be a longish day of walking. Temps were hovering just above freezing as we donned headlamps and swept the path for Camino markings as we made our way onto the Camino and out of town. The early stages of our walk were not very challenging. It was mostly flat terrain that gave us a chance to wake up and set our cadence without having to face an immediate climb. This is a very nice way to start the day. It also makes for more reflective morning prayers as well. So, we moved silently along in the morning half light, clouds of breath swirling up through the beams of our headlamps, uttering our prayers and giving thanks for this day as the sun slowly climbed over Navarra.
The climbing began as we approached Sansol and continued for a few hours until we topped the ridge that led us down to Viana, for a well deserved lunch. We stopped at the very first bar we saw, shrugged out of our packs and ordered everything in sight. After a hearty lunch and a couple of cafe con leches we were off again for the last couple of hours into Logrono, our destination for today. We had some reservations about the long walk today, but Robin and I surprised ourselves and made good time arriving in Logrono about 2:45. Nothing was really hurting and it felt that if we had to walk further we could have, but 29 kms was enough for today. We have slipped into a habit of albergue avoidance and have checked into another hotel. We have nothing against albergues, but the lure of a hot tub after a long walk is certainly compelling. We shall do the laundry ( in the sink) check mass times at the cathedral, get something to eat, and call it quits for another day. Off tomorrow (about the same distance as today) to Najera. Temps continue to amaze us. It was 73 F as we crossed the bridge into Lagrono this afternoon. All is well. Robin's cold is on the mend, no blisters and muscle and joint pain seem manageable. No Advil today (but maybe tonight).