The last day of our camino came too quickly. Still in Northern Spain, we had a lovely walk from Torres del Rio to Logroño, about 23k or 13.9 miles. Once again, we had wonderful scenery, a well groomed trail with good signage and picturesque towns for lovely breaks in our day.
When we first planned this adventure, we decided to walk only 8 days of the Camino to see what it was like. We weren’t sure if walking all day with a bit of weight on our backs would become tiresome, boring or too much work. Keeping our packs light certainly helped. But the great walking paths, beautiful towns and camaraderie of the “Peregrinos” made it a wonderful adventure. We would like to do it again.
The hardest part about finishing our camino in Logoño was watching our friends continue on. We didn’t always walk with others, in fact, there were many times we had the trail almost to ourselves. But, we usually found some familiar faces when we stopped for a morning coffee or a nice lunch. These were moments when many of us exchanged ideas on how to take care of our feet or sore muscles.
It was also easy to make new friends late in the afternoon at one of the delightful plazas we would find in any town. The warm summer nights made it fun to dine alfresco in Northern Spain. Sometimes there was even live music.
Stopping in these pristine towns was always a good idea. Finding a great place to eat or grab a quick bocadillo was never a problem. The architecture was worth a stop in itself!
In early June when we were walking, the days became warmer and sunnier. At this point of the Camino, most of the trail is in the open. It was important to have a good hat and plenty of sunscreen. We always made sure that our water bottles were refilled for the long stretches between towns.
After climbing the steep trails of the Pyrenees, slogging through muddy paths and dangerously uneven arroyos—even crossing a few narrow, manmade bridges, we had no mishaps. However, when we came to this last bridge leading into Logroño, Bob had a minor collision with an elderly lady pushing her friend in a wheelchair. They didn’t even seem to notice that they had knocked him down. I turned around and saw him lying in the busy street, struggling to get back up. It was the scariest part of the walk! But luckily, all was well and he only had a few small bruises and his glasses were in tact.
Although we were sad to be finished with our walk, we were glad we had scheduled an extra night’s stay in Logoño. Located in the province of La Rioja, this beautiful city is known for the excellent Rioja wine produced nearby. The old city center has lovely architecture and pleasant pedestrian only lanes for exploring the town. There are plenty of excellent restaurants and interesting shops to explore. There are many options for lodging, including several very nice hostels and small hotels.
Now that we’ve finished a small section of the Camino de Santiago, we think we’re ready to go again. Stay tuned.