The day started out really nice. I had green tea and the rest of my müsli in the hostel kitchen and started walking at 7.30 am. People start getting up at 5:30, sometimes I manage to sleep until 6:20 am thanks to my ear plugs. I don’t get why people want to start to walk in the dark. I understood better when I got the last bed in Logrono when I arrived at 4:30pm. After that it is too late it seems. I was lucky, I heard about people who took taxis to other places to find a bed. Maybe my general confusion during the second part of the day saved me. And sure enough the two ladies from Holland and my Swiss friend were in the same albergo. I missed dinner with them as my confusion continued. A friendly red haired and bearded pilgrim from the North offered me some strawberries which I enjoyed. We discovered the local cathedral together. Then I went to buy some fruit, my plan was to go back to the albergo to meet my friends but I did not understand the map. By chance I found a nice restaurant that was offering a pilgrims menu. I joined two ladies from Australia and then later 3 Italians and a German lady joined us. I had more than my usual half glas of wine and felt a bit dizzy. But found my way back ‘home’ ok. The room had 20 beds, I had the lower bed right across (maybe 1 meter) from the door … Glad I had the wine and my ear plugs, slept ok. Interesting sounds and smells … I need some more getting used to the refugios. And maybe I will start to reserve my private albergo the night before which more and more pilgrims are doing. Not the traditional way though. I needed two days to manifest the letting go of a soft keyboard and a ‘Tupperdose’. Maybe somebody in Logrono can make use of them. The next thing I am considering to let go is half of my towel …
Right now it is already Sunday and I am sitting in a very small cafe in Navarrete. It is raining. After last night’s fight for a bed I checked into an albergo already at 11am, washed my clothes and resting my feet. Only 12 km today after 30 km and some slightly panicky running through Logrono yesterday. Today’s albergo offers only 16 or 18 beds and there is communal pasta dinner tonight.
This morning when I started in Logrono the weather was still ok, nice actually not so cold. Oh, pilgrim’s told me about snow in the pyrenees a few days ago. The pass we crossed a week ago with wonderful sunny weather.
I had envisaged to find a staff in Logrono and sure enough today half way to Navarrete a man was offering natural wooden sticks for a donation. Now I am properly equipped and felt that the staff which is much higher than I am is serving as another connection between heaven and earth. Maybe one reason why pilgrims traditionally carry a staff. I also like the rhythm it helps me to keep. And it makes a different sound than the many nordic walking sticks which at least 50% of the pilgrims carry.
The Beatles are singing in the background and small groups of wet and cold pilgrims come in for cafe.
Good day for a (half) day of rest. Also feeling talkative.
A thought this morning was that this trail is mirroring each of us how we are in life. For me it is easy to get to know people and enjoy brief and sometimes longer encounters, I am loyal to a group for some time and then move on to other groups. Some I am sure I will meet often.