The wild frenzy of yesterday’s San Mateo festival in Logrono was just a memory this morning, and we woke up to a peaceful, quieter city. The revellers were home recovering from hangovers while city workers were busy picking up after them. Their heavy-duty hoses were washing garbage into manageable piles for pick-up. Judging by the smell, they are using a strong cleanser to make the city streets squeaky clean.We weren’t in a rush to leave our hotel this morning because we only had 12.7 km to walk to Navarette, our destination for the day. A simple breakfast in the hotel cafe came first. The freshly squeezed orange juice is always delicious as is the cafe con leche. It was 10 o’clock by the time we were back on the Camino.
We wound our way through the streets of Logrono stopping in at one of the remarkable churches on the way as well as a market for some bananas, plums, and nuts.
Eventually the streets gave way to a wide, concrete path through a linear park to a lake/reservoir – a popular path for everyone, peregrinos and residents alike. Then the path wound up through a pine forest and over a foot bridge where people were feeding bread to the biggest, ugliest, hungriest fish ever. The fish were swimming over each other and even having the odd altercation with the ducks and swans.
The trail led through areas where the Rioja grapes are grown, but this time we didn’t feel welcome to help ourselves to grapes or almonds since signs were posted to the contrary. Boo-hoo!
From Alto de la Grajera there is a good view back over the route and Logrono. Alongside the highway, hundreds of crosses have been made mainly out of strips of bark from the adjoining sawmill and placed on the wire fence that separates the Camino from the busy city bypass. Actually, the noise from the highway traffic followed us all the way out of town.
Just before we arrived in Navarette, we came to the ruins of the medieval monastery of the Order of San Juan de Acre founded in the 12th century to look after pilgrims.
Navarette, our destination for the day, is a historic Camino town and is in a lovely setting on a hill surrounded by vineyards. The imposing 16th century Church of the Assumption occupies a commanding position overlooking the top square.
We easily found our El Cantaro Albergue and settled into our private twin-bedded room with shared bath then went straight to the bar for our well-deserved cervezas!
We lost some of the magic of the Camino yesterday and today because so much of our walking was through the frenzied suburbs of Logrono on pavement and alongside busy highways.
Tomorrow we might walk 17.4 km to Najera or 23.2 km to Azofra, possibly backward. The days have been sunny and we are getting tanned on the left side. If we walk backwards, maybe we can even things out! We’ll let you know how THAT goes!