Day 8: The Magic Pool (Los Arcos to Logrono)
Setting out from Los Arcos this morning we picked up a stray, a mousy, little Italian named Claudio. He's a 52 year old who has an affinity for saying the wrong things in front of women and embaressing a wide contingent within albergues, it's actually quite impressive.
With Claudio jabbering away at the rear of our brigade we strode away from the sun rise towards the distant Logrono, the capital of the Rioja Province, buried at the foot of the Corres mountain.
The back of the 30km hike was broken when we reached the small town of Vianna, which boasted a fine but small selection of cafes and hotels. After a quick baton of bread and some parma ham, washed down with a cappuccino, we were off again.
Since the third day of the Camino my leg hasn't been as bad as it has been today, I'm not really sure what's happened to it but it's been really painful and tender - I'm sure that it will sort itself out though. I bought some paracetamol in Logrono which I'm hoping will help towards the tail end of the walks - they do a 350g or 600g dosage here!
Once we had traipsed, in silence due to fatigue and hunger, to our albergue we were greeted by the heavenly sounds and sight of a small pool and fountain - never has sitting down with a beer and dangling my feet into an icy, cool pool been so appreciated. The kms melted out of my tired limbs and laughter and smiles returned to everyone's faces.
Following our check in at 1pm and a swift shower we headed for the scrumptious Laurel Street, a street famous for its pincho (tapas) and wine from the local Rioja region. It didn't disappoint, I completely lost my mind there and did a sort of food restaurant crawl where I sampled dishes from various restaurants from the entire street. It was heaven. The wine tasted sublime and I have to say that I prefer the Spanish way of chilling it, rather than having it at room temperature at home.
Travelling alone has made me painfully organised and potentially too rigid as I have immediately adopted a regime that I like to follow every night so that I can get up and go early the following morning. Travelling alone makes you realise how much there is to do when it is just you. When travelling before: cooking, shopping, planning, booking, buying and talking have all been shared endeavours which result in a sort of diluted list of responsibilities. It has been strange to self medicate myself with very little advice, hand-wash my clothes everyday, sew my clothes and equipment, look after my body's various woes, initially it was quite an overwhelming thought but now it is almost an autonomous thing - it has to be done, no one else will do so I just crack on. I'm actually quite enjoying it, thought the washing can b***** right off!
Another 30km to Najerra tomorrow. Oh 'eck!