Distance walked: 12.7 miles
Song of the Day: “When the Levee Breaks,” Led Zeppelin
After returning from karaoke the night before, Big Mama went under the knife. (Not literally my knife, but I made sure that the blister wouldn’t be reforming any time soon). When I woke up in the morning, I already knew that my foot was going to feel better. I took my time leaving my private room in Logroño. Sleeping in is so delicious when you are used to over-enthusiastic pilgrims bounding out of bed at 5:30am. I didn’t leave town until about 9:15. Crazy!
Some people that I have spoken to along the road have uttered the phrase, “The Camino provides.” Kind of like, whatever you need will end up finding its way to you. I was walking down the street and realized that I was down to about a half-sheet of Kleenex. I had tried to shop for it the day before, but every time I asked for “Kleenex individual,” I would be pointed to the family-size packs of ten or twenty tissue packages. I could just imagine trying to schlep one of those huge things in my backpack. Don’t Spaniards have to blow their noses on the go? I was getting frustrated because my allergies have been acting up and I didn’t want to be That Snot-Nosed Pilgrim sniffling all day. (I do have my hanky… but that’s for important things like drying my hands in public restrooms and cleaning the avocado and cheese off my Swiss Army knife 😉 ). I walked up to a newsstand and asked the woman behind the counter if she had individual Kleenex packets. She began to say no, but then, thinking better of it, reached into her own purse and pulled out a new packet for me. She refused any payment for it. The Camino provides!
The morning was somewhat gloomy, but the path that led out of Logroño into the surrounding suburbs was beautiful. There were a ton of local people going for walks, and almost every one of them shouted out, “Buen camino!” as I passed. The city path turned into a separate route that wound through a metropark, complete with a pond, playground, a clean public bathrooms. (Yay!)
As I neared Navarette, a slight drizzle began to fall. OK, I thought, I can make it there without having to stop to put my rain gear on. I continued to walk… and then the rain got harder. Sigh. I hauled off my pack, dug out my rain jacket and rain cover so that I could finish the final – seriously- five minute walk into town.
I stopped at a bar for lunch. I don’t know how I manage to find hard rock dive bars on the Camino, but I do. This place was pretty sweet: a spinning record player was embedded under heavy glass under the threshold of the place, and guitars and Metallica posters hung from the walls. Awesome. I ran into Kris and Jasmine there, who had decided that they were going to end their day’s trek in Ventosa. I wasn’t going to attempt to walk any farther than that either: Big Mama was doing well, but The Twins had increased in size and were acting up. Ouch.
I trudged along in the light rain, listening to my hard rock mix. “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin came on, and as if on cue, the rain began to pour down hard.
If it keeps on rainin’, the levee’s going to break
If it keeps on rainin’, the levee’s going to break.
When the levee breaks, I’ll have no place to stay.
Oh crap, I thought. I hope that’s not an omen that the albergue is full.
It wasn’t. I checked into the San Saturnino albergue in Ventosa, which was to this day the nicest place I have seen on the Camino. Clean, warm, extremely friendly, and really beautifully decorated. When I asked if I could rent a blanket, the owner smiled and answered in Spanish, “No, i will give you one.” Wifi, a quaint courtyard, a laundry area, and a kitchen with a coffee machine. Gloriously hot showers with clean floors. They played soft chanting music overhead and lit incense. It was like staying in a really comfy church. (Much better than some other hostels, which can feel more like prisons). Lynn and Garrett had also found their way there, so we ate dinner together at a local restaurant.
I was more than ready for bed when “lights off” came at 10pm.