My walk today got off to a rocky start as I got lost exiting the fairly large town of Logrono. The Camino is well-marked and easy to follow in small towns and the country side. In large towns, however, the simple way marks get swallowed up in the urban landscape of advertisements and other signage. I drifted off course and lost my bearings. Thankfully a good soul eventually pointed me in the right direction. Quite bit of the trail today led through urban and even industrial settings which I find more tiring than the pastoral treks.
I am now traveling through one of Spain’s most important winemaking regions of Rioja. The land has a rolling quality with red and rocky soil. Apparently the grapevines thrive in this environment. The region produces mostly red wines (tinto) like Tempranillo. I have been sampling liberally, and can say that the wine is good and inexpensive!
During my walk, I saw a few interesting sites including a beautiful church at Navarrete where a group of older ladies were cleaning the massive space…vacuuming, dusting, etc. Pilgrims were encouraged to place a pin indicating their home on a map at the back of the church…I included a picture of this great visual summary of the Camino’s broad country representation.
Along the way I also saw a couple of examples of the kind of care pilgrims could expect during earlier times…the ruins of a hospital from the Middle Ages, and a less old example of a stone “beehive” that is still in use today.
Made it to Najera after 19 miles of walking; no energy for more site seeing today just a good meal and then to bed. Tomorrow’s walk to Santo Domingo will be substantially shorter.