Sunday, April 7, 2013
Day 7 - Viana to Ventosa (29.7 kms)
Viana - Logrono - Pantano - Navarette - Ventosa
After the extraordinary events of Day 6, today was as relaxing and delightful as it was uneventful.
The weather was kind, exactly as you predicted Coach (Martin). Packed and ready by 7.30, after a restful night in our hotel room, we had a quick caffe con leche before heading off at 7.45. Though the sun had barely risen, we could already see that the sky was clear. It stayed that way all day, from 4 degrees when we left Viana to a 'high' of 13. But we are used to the weather, and when you're walking (con backpack) you warm up in no time.
It has become our preferred routine to walk for an hour or two before stopping for breakfast and today it could not have worked out more perfectly. We arrived in the lovely town of Logrono shortly before 10 and enjoyed our tortilla potatas and caffe con leche at an outdoor table sitting in the sun. We checked the temperature - just 6 degrees - but sitting in the sunshine felt that much warmer, and we were not going to miss the opportunity.
As we left Logrono, we met up with Peeter (a German pilgrim) and Terry (from Avalon in Sydney). We strolled along with them for a while through the parklands on the outskirts of Logrono. It was a new experience seeing the local people out with family and friends enjoying the sunshine on a crisp, clear Sunday morning. Eventually the path led us through a dryer, browner landscape than we had become accustomed to, with more and more vineyards as the day went on, sometimes alongside olive groves.
We ended today at the small village of Ventosa, staying at the delightful private albergue, San Saturnino. We noted our friend Phil's recommendation of 9/10 so the accommodation decision was an easy one! Just as easy was the decision to take the twin room (photos included) rather than the dorm. Are you sensing a pattern here? At privately run albergues (compared to municipal albergues) there are sometimes individual or twin rooms as well as the dormitories. At San Saturnino, the one twin room with private bathroom is 35 euros compared to 19 euros which we would pay for two beds in the dorm. The comfort and privacy - and a good night's sleep - is certainly worth an extra 8 euros each!
Its around 6pm on Sunday night and we are sitting in the one bar in the village, and we appear to be the only peregrinos among the locals. It has become our routine and it sits well with us. Most days we arrive at our destination around 4 and find our accommodation. Once settled, we shower and do a little laundry, and any other admin. By late afternoon / early evening we find the local establishment (there is always one - but often only one) to enjoy a glass (or two) of vino tinto or blanco. We sit happily in the bar catching up on emails, looking at the day's photos, writing the blog and consulting our book to see what tomorrow might bring. Inevitably, a football match or other sporting event, is playing on a decent sized screen. The other night it was Real Madrid v Galatasary (Turkish team), with great excitement when the 'home team' scored.
There has been some interest in the state of our feet - and we appreciate you thinking of us. We are delighted to be able to say - so far, so good! We are vigilant in preparing our feet each morning (e.g. with paw paw cream or compeeds or both, as needed), taking our shoes off at lunchtime, and re-examining our feet each night. So far - no blisters. We are otherwise feeling great, despite the few aches and pains to be expected after a daily 25-30 km walk. Fingers crossed our good fortune will continue.
Finally, thank you to Lakiesha, Sharon, Phil, Aelwyn and Helen for your lovely emails and comments - your encouragement is wonderful. And special mention and thanks to Martin, the weather guru. We love receiving your weather forecasts - your prediction today again was spot on! We have enjoyed every day so far - and each day has been so different from the day before - but there is something special about sunshine on a cold day.
Time to sign off. Where to have dinner? There's only one restaurant in the village - so yet another easy decision. No wonder The Camino is so stress free!
Love from us
Jenny and Jill xx