torsdag den 21. august 2014

Viana to Ventosa. 21.08 -29,1 kms

Today was better than yesterday. Both my legs and my head were better. The weather had also improved which is always a mood saver. When I arrived at my hostel I was actually surprised to find out that I nearly walked 30 kms today. And I swear, no bus today. ;-)

The sky was beautiful when the sun woke up. As always hard to capture. The colours were quite amazing.

Already at 8.30 it was clear that it was gonna be a warmer day than yesterday.

A safer way to cross the road. Good for safety. Bad for sore legs. ;-)

Bye bye Navarra. Hello La Rioja. And cheers I feel like saying.

Grapes and mountain. All over.

Logroño was the next place and I found the arrows really cute.

Logroño was quite nice. And it was actually nice to be in a bigger city for a change.

And obviously I found a supermarket. My day was made already.

Must be some very expensive canned goods!

I love meat and am a big fan of jamon but even I find this a little too much. I am not naive and I know meat comes from animals but it could be presented a little nicer and maybe in some smaller cuts.

I found a nice park in Logroño and spent some time watching people.

I also had some of the pictured food.

I passed Navarette along the way. Yet another hilly village.

And then I saw the sign for Burgos for the first time. Yay. I am about 107 kms away from Burgos so I think I will reach the city in 4 days. That's a day earlier than planned.

Not surprisingly this was my view all day. 

My goal for today was Ventosa. Getting there I had to walk next to a high way for around 1,5 km. I guess all that healthy mountain air in my lungs were replaced today.

City centre of Ventosa. It is easy to get lost if one doesn't pay attention. ;-)

View from the highest point which is the church.

Tonight I am staying at Albergue Sansaturnino. A bed is €10. 

The room is okay. Not too cramped at the bed is quite comfortable.

The outdoor surroundings are very nice. There is a small water fountain in the corner of the garden.

The albergue also holds the only shop of the city. It is probably the smallest place I have seen. ;-)

For the first time since my arrival I have actually socialised with people today. I have talked to an American girl called Ashley and a Canadian called Amanada. And then I have met the fifth Dane since my arrival. Not bad when I didn't meet a single one last year when I was here. We are still outnumbered by the Germans though. Big time.

Not too many words today. Mainly because I haven't got that much to tell but also because I spenty time being social instead of contemplating. It is good to have alone time but being around nice people is also valuable.

Sleep tight. I know I will.

onsdag den 20. august 2014

Puente La Reina to Viana (via Los Arcos with bus!!) 20.08 - 20-ish kms of walking in total

As I covered yesterday the mental aspect of doing the Camino is quite important. That truly came to show this morning. I didn't sleep well so besides sore thighs and calves I woke up with a headache. 

As I prepared to get up and get ready I tried to convince myself that the walk is good for me, that I have to do it and it is why I am here in the first place. It didn't really help much. I simply couldn't find the energy and the resources to walk 31 kms with sore legs, a painful head and with no motivation. I checked if it was possible to catch a bus which it was.

And then this happened! (And clearly I wasn't the only pilgrim to get on the bus) I wanted to take the bus to the place I had wanted to walk to but unfortunately it  didn't stop there, so I opted for the stop after Los Arcos which is also on the Camino.

It took approximately 50 minutes getting there and during the first half of the tide I beat myself of by thinking what a failure I was taking the bus and so on. Long story short but I am at a place at the moment where I am being very hard on myself and find it difficult to permit even small tasks (which then again leads to me thinking badly about myself and then we have a visions circle..) and I am trying hard to stop going down that path. So on the bus I agreed with myself that instead of today being a cheat day I would call it a rest day. It has a better ring to it and obviously my body (and head!( could use the rest day.

The bus took me through a lot of the places I should have passed. I know Spain is truly hit by the financial crisis and it became very obvious when we passed the small villages. A lot of houses were for sale and a lot of the houses were in desperate need of renovation. The villages had a depressing feel to it and combined with my mood and the clouded weather it was a mix made in heaven. ;-)

Once I reached Los Arcos it was around 9 o'clock and since the albergue wouldn't open for at least another 3 hours I walked around the town to get a fe for it. It was so depressing! It looked like some of the places the bus passed. And it smelled like pee. I found the Albergue and quickly decided I didn't want to stay the. It looked like a present. 

Church in Los Arcos. The only picture I took there.

So I did what any save person would do. I walked away. The next place was 7 kms away and that was a number I felt I could do. I was alone on the trail, so I sang out loud while listening to music.

The scenery has changed and it is clear that I am getting closer to the district of Rioja. I walked by endless and endless of rows of grapes.

As much as I like the flatter roads at the moment (as flat as Nothern Spain is, that is!) I do miss the mountain views. Here in Navarra it is very beige and boring. Of course it didn't help that the sun hid most of the day.

Once I reached Sansol I didn't feel lik staying there either. It was too much a "fake" village with overpriced beds and foods so I decided to carry on to the next place that was just another km away.

That was basically a replicate of the former city except prices were even higher here. They tried to explain it by saying I would get access to a pool. Couldn't care less and I didn't bring swimwear. So I walked on.

There was a sign saying that the next place was roughly 4 kms away. It was. But it turned out it was nothing more than an abindones church and a water fountain. 

The next town, Viana, was another 7 kms away.

So I carried on. The weather cleared a bit. It was still warm even though the sun was a little shy today.

Monuments along the way.

I also passed a lot of olive trees along the way.

Baby Rioja up close and personal.

It wasn't as flat as it might looks and once I passed this sign I did regret a little that I didn't stay at any of the previous places. ;-)

Wine in the making.

In lack of bars during a long stretch a local had started his own business.

I finally I was there. I ended up walking around 20 kms. Not bad for a day where I couldn't even bring myself to walk ten steps.

I encountered this on one of the tiles and it hit me hard since that is exactly what I need to think about! I am always extremely focused on the destination and if I for some reason don't reach it I beat myself up over it instead of focussing on what I have learned. It seems like it is all r lying with me and I would love for it to change and be better to give myself credit and to allow myself to fail and be okay with it. Or just not deliver perfect result all the time. But how do I do that? I spent a lot of time today thinking about that but I am not really certain I am closer the answer. Good thing Burgos is not around the corner. ;-)

I am staying here tonight. Together with 17 other people in a sleeping room.

My bed on the right. The lower one. 

The hostel is €8. I guess it is okay. I could get a bed in a room with fewer people for an additional €2. It wasn't worth it for me. 10 or 18 people hardly make a difference.

A Spanish youth club (or something similar are spending the night here. And they are loud! But I accept them. Mainly because their hot hot teacher keeps pulling up his t-shirt and scratching his stomach right in front of me. ;-)

I have not planned how far to go tomorrow since plans obviously change and going with the flow and my mood probably works best for me at the moment.