Tuesday we arrived in Naverrete after 22+ km of hiking. We started with Maria, Beth & Jerry and crossed very pretty countryside under overcast skies. During the morning part of our trek we left Basque Country and arrived in the Rioja region of Spain, noted for great wine. So far, we haven’t been disappointed.
Mid-morning we stopped in Logrona, a sizeable city, where we met up with Sofia. She had taken the bus from Los Arcos to see a doctor for her tendinitis. The primary prescription was rest so Maria and Sofia stayed behind to give Sofia an extra recovery day. Sofia had also visited a sporting goods store where she picked up a pair of trekking poles. She had been using only a single pole, but noted a real difference on her knees when she borrowed my trekking poles. Tip: get yourself a pair if you’re going to do some real hiking.
Jerry, Beth, Laurie and I set out for Navarrete, our next destination on the Camino. We were sorry to leave behind our two friends from Puerto Rico, but hope we’ll see the pair again in Santiago.
In some respects the Camino (Spanish for road) is more like a river of humanity. Sometimes you flow at the same pace as others for many days and others pass you by on faster currents. Laurie and I were caught in “an eddy” of a slow start as she recovered from her cold and many people we connected with initially are now days ahead.
But sometimes we connect with people we never expected to see again. Late last week we shared albergue rooms on two successive nights with Elena, a young woman from Holland who starts before dawn each day to avoid the strong sun. She says that her early morning companions are usually the garbage collectors and joggers. We last saw her several days before and didn’t expect to encounter her again. But we walked into a bar in Naverrete for a late afternoon snack and she was there, writing in her journal—about us. Sometimes the “Rio de Santiago” reconnects us with friends.
The title of this post, “If this is Tuesday, it must be Navarrete” is a takeoff of an old movie called “If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium” about a whirlwind European tour. Our journey on foot is anything but whirlwind, but things do blend together. One thing that is surprising is that most of the many villages we visit have astounding churches or other landmarks. In Navarrete, a town of less than 3000, they have the amazing Church of the Assumption. In America, it would be an attraction. But in Spain, it’s just another just another of many jewels.