Trekcapri’s Camino de Santiago – Logroño to Navarrete
Challenges are what makes life interesting,
overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
~ Joshua J. Marine
After getting some encouragements from my sister and FB friends, I revised my itinerary, mailed more excess weight from my pack on to Santiago, ate lots of pasta at my favorite Italian Restaurant near my hotel, played tourist exploring this beautiful town, went to church and slept. Let me just say that if you need to have some rest and recovery days as a pilgrim on the Camino, Pamplona is definitely the place to have them. I love this town.
Feeling rested and reenergized, I was so ready to re-start and continue on with my Camino. I wanted to catch up with my original Orisson group so by my calculations, I decided to skip ahead to the town of Logroño where I had already made hotel reservations. In hindsight, this is probably the one regret on my Camino as this stage was high on my must see list. I’m actually seriously thinking of returning to Pamplona and walking this stage (Pamplona to Logrono) either in addition to or in place of walking the Camino Portuguese or other Camino route (there are several). But on the other hand, if I had not skipped these stages, I would not have met my camino friends, Jerry and Sharon. I love this quote:
I trust that everything happens for a reason. Even if we are not yet wise enough to see it. ~ Oprah Winfrey
The bus system is very efficient along the Camino and it was very easy to navigate it and get myself to Logroño.
My hotel in Logroño is very nice and I even found a wonderful nearby Italian Restaurant to load up on carbs. Although I was feeling a bit nervous, I was excited and ready to restart my Camno Journey to Santiago de Compostela.
After a good night’s sleep, I woke up very early so I can avoid the afternoon heat. The Camino arrows which I had spotted the other day while exploring around takes me through the town and back on the Camino path.
The initial path is through a very pleasant park where the locals do their morning walks. So far I’m doing okay. At this point I wasn’t overflowing with self-confidence, but I was well rested and most importantly I was enjoying my walk. Welcome back Trekcapri!
Since I revised my itinerary for more short days, today’s walk is only 7.395 miles long which by pilgrim’s standards is a very “short” walking day. But that’s okay. I wanted to continue on my Camino with a brand new attitude. I’m not going to worry about my pre-Camino self-expectations or what others are doing. I decided in Pamplona that I was going to walk the Camino “my” way, I was going to get myself to Santiago de Compostela and I was going to have fun doing it.
Nestled in-between the Basque Country, Navarre, Aragón and Castilla y León, I am now in the La Rioja region, which is well known for producing some of the world’s finest vino tinto (red wine). The weather is beautiful and it was wonderful walking along this reservoir park and in the middle of these beautiful vineyards where I can see these plump delicious looking grapes growing.
As I neared the town, I felt my confidence soar and when I reached the town’s edge, I raised my trekking poles in the air and clicked them together. It became a cool tradition I made up for myself. Each time I arrived at my next destination I would raise my trekking poles and give it a click, the final click of which takes place while standing in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
I was tired but my hotel room is very nice and the view from the window overlooked the town below. In the distance I can see where I had just walked. I felt so proud. I quickly showered and went exploring.
Up the street from my hotel, is the Church of Santa María de la Asunción. The amazing Baroque altarpiece was made by Fernando de la Peña. This is a nice size town that is well serviced for pilgrims. I found a nice Tapas bar and enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner. Pilgrims were spread out in a nice outdoor seating area where a young couple was singing and playing ukulele. I found a small store to treat myself to a nice dessert. Nothing rewards better than an ice cream cone. Next I wandered over to a grocery store I had spotted from my hotel room. I bought more water and snacks for tomorrow’s walk. I still have not seen any familiar faces from Orisson but I was feeling pretty happy. Maybe I’ll catch up with them later.
It’s dark and getting late, so I head back to my hotel to reorganize my pack (a nightly ritual), so I can be ready to leave a bit earlier in the morning. I said my nightly prayer and went to bed.
I made it to Navarrete! I enjoyed the walk and I feel good. Thank you God for getting me here.