Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jan 8, 2013 Logrono to Najera: A long cold day

Pilgrim statue in Logrono on the Camino
After spending last night at the Hotel Husa Bracos (55 euros) we, once again, got going early. We skipped breakfast and just had coffee. We were underway by 7:40 working our way through the early morning crowds heading off to work. Leaving Logrono takes a little bit of care to stay on course, but we managed to find the Camino and not lose it as we headed out through the suburbs. Temps were in the mid 30's as we shuffled through the city trying to find Camino arrows, wake up tired muscles and engage the work of the day (30 kms). It was a dry cold day all the way to Najera. We left with our usual attire and hard shell jackets to ward off the cold. We anticipated dropping our jackets off once we started climbing, but the wind picked up and we wore them all the way to Najera.

Logrono waking up
Today was a bit more difficult than yesterday due to the buffeting from a 20-25 mph headwind for most of the day. We found one bar open in Navarette ( the only one for the day until reaching Najera). We stopped for a coffee and a pastry, worked on a sore spot on my left foot, and pushed off again 30 minutes later. The day remained clear but the temperatures never got north of 48 F. We simply slogged on, and km by km we closed on Najera. We crossed the bridge into the city with legs aching and arrived at the municipal albergue at 2:45. The hospitalero arrived 15 minutes later and checked us in. The albergue is donativo (pay what you feel is appropriate). There are only three of us at the moment. Robin and I, and an older Korean gentleman with a sore knee. We have done our daily laundry and are tucked into a local tapas bar, that has WiFi, drafting this post and enjoying some well earned libations. We will check mass times for the local church, grab some dinner (only after 8:00 pm) and head back to the albergue where our sleeping bags await us. Tomorrow is a shorter day to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (21 kms). As we walked today we could see more clouds forming over the distant mountain ridges. A change in weather is in the offing. Yesterday, as we looked down on Viana we could see the snow capped peaks of the Monte de Oca range which we will be crossing in a few days. Today those same peaks were just that much closer. The extended forecast for that area is for colder temperatures and snow. What a change from the 70 F temps we have seen in Navarra. All is well as we continue to inch our way west to Santiago. God willing we will make it.

Najera two hours away
We are now in Rioja


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