Day 12: Viana to Navarette


Viana behind us.

Distance to go 633.4 Kms

We had a lovely night in the Casa San Pedro in Viana last night. We shared a glass of wine with our walking friend Keith and Tanya then retired to our room. 


Keith and I with a glass of Rioja on a sofa in the street.

We bought some cheese and meats and tomatoes from a local supermarket and a slab of carrot cake for dessert and had an anniversary picnic dinner on our bed washed down with water would you believe. There are two things you become intimate with on the camino. One is what you eat and drink and the other is your feet. Alcohol is kept to a minimum and feet are examined after every days walk. I know more about my feet than I ever did. Normally they were just things stuck on the end of my legs to stop me falling over. Now they are my best friends. I have really discovered my feet. Ignore them at your peril!


San Pedro Church at sunrise


Early morning mists on the horizon as the moon sets.

We set off this morning at 0615. It was a cool morning, bright and clear. Only a few other pilgrims disturbed the silence with the click clack of their walking poles on the cobbles of the streets. Today was much cooler and we made good progress out through the fields to the north of Viana making the most of the beautiful morning.

We arrived at the border between the Navarra region which we first entered on day two crossing the Pyrenees from France and the La Rioja region that would take us through to the city of Burgos. Just across the border is a small house that is well known on the Camino. For here there once lived Felisa a legendary gatekeeper of the Camino whose niece also called Felisa stamps our pilgrim passport and gives you a very welcome cup of coffee for a donation only. Actually today Felisas mum was in charge of the post. Although she spoke no English she was just lovely. Debbie and I sat there for around 20 minutes soaking up the history before moving on into Logroņo.


The border post.

As soon as we entered the city we could see stork nests dotted around the skyline. Their messy nests were perched in the most unusual places.


Storks nesting.


Puente de Piedra: entrance to Logroņo city.

I must admit to not being particularly fond of the city. True, we did not see much of it. But what we did see seemed a little tatty. We walked on through and by this time the hard pavements which were a feature of today were playing havoc with both Debbie and my knees. Even with shock absorbing insoles in our boots we both suffered today as most of the walking was on either pavements, roads or hard cinder paths.


Simply follow the arrows.


Santiago Real church in Logroņo



Heading north from Logroņo we again followed hard tarmac paths out to a large lake called Pantano de La Grajera and stopped at the cafe Cabaņa Tio Juarvi for a cup of tea, chocolate croissant and to use the restrooms. That gave our knees a much needed rest.


Only 576  Kms to go. Not according to our guide book but its still a long way.


Home for the night.

From there we met an ex marine also called Mark who was having a tough time and accompanied him the remaining 4 Kms into Navarette and our stop for the night in the Casa del Peregrino. We are on bunk beds tonight and guess who got the top bunk again. In the room with us are two young Austrians that we met way back on day one in Orisson, our ex marine Mark, a lovely Irish couple Jimmy and Antoinette that we first met three days ago, Miriam a young Spanish girl that we met on day 8 and a few strangers from France and Spain I think.


Much needed rest after tending to my feet!

As for dog of the day? Well this soft mutt licked my nasty sweaty feet when we stopped at Felisas mums place where I changed my socks for a dry pair so deserves the stardom. It lived afterwards by the way.

Distance walked today: 22.7 Kms

 Š Mark Dexter 2015