Sunday, March 29, 2009
Belorado - 541 km
Okay, I cheated a little and skipped one 30km day (between Logrono and Najera, for those who are counting). Today I came from Santo Domingo da la Calzado to Belorado, which is a pretty small town but with a nice albergue, which is very important (it´s warm, it has washing machines, etc). It was a 25 km day and not too bad, even though it rained and hailed a bit. The hail is actually much better than rain because you don´t really get wet, like I did yesterday all day). For the first four days the weather was great, and it´s supposed to get better tomorrow, but the weekend was pretty nasty.
The walking has been alright so far, it´s tiring, but my knee feels a lot better (with lots of cream and a knee brace, now). Even with the sore feet and the rain the last two days, it´s beautiful. On the second or third day, the camino follows the old roman road, a lot of which is still there, inlcuding a couple of very cool old bridges. For most of the last few days we´ve been walking through La Rioja, wine country, and a lot of the trail goes straight through vineyards or farms, passing through small villages along the way (which are always strangely empty and seem abandoned during the day). So far most days are like this: wake up pretty early, have a small breakfast in the hostel, start walking. After a couple of hours, maybe meet up with someone else, maybe not, stop for a tea and my second breakfast. i usually don´t stop again until i get to the town im staying, unless it´s a really long day (so far average has been 20-25km a day). once i get to the albergue, usually we eat a lunch of whatever we have left of snacks from the day (today it was bread, cheese, chorizo, apples, and some cookies with chocolate in them, and wine, of course). then, a shower, a few hours of rest, whatever, and around 5 or 6 go into the town, walk around, see whatever church or thing there is to see there, have a tea (cafe for most people), and buy food to make dinner. in the hostel everyone usually makes dinner together, a group of 5 or 6 or 10 or whoever wants, and so far the dinners have been awesome. simple, but delicious. then, early to bed, and wake up again the next day, doing the same thing.
That´s enough for today, but next time, i´ll write about the cast of characters i´ve been spending time with so far (Chema, Paco and Coldo, the four French ladies, Fernando, Jose the Brasilian that lives in Bar Harbor, to name just a few).
And the pictures, if the upload worked, are of the first day (the big climb after Pamplona) and me arriving in Estella a couple of days ago (very happy after a long day with a sore knee).