Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer, I spent 9 days walking around 180km along the Camino de Santiago, from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Logroño in Spain. I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way already but had so many people ask me if I was going to blog about the entire experience that I’ve decided to make this a nine part series over the next 3 months or so. Noone wants to read a recap featuring 100s of photos and 1000s of words and I feel like this might be more helpful for people who are looking for information about the specific stages. This is Part 9 (Parts 1-8 linked at the end of this post).
Camino Frances Day 9: Viana to Logroño (approx 14km)
We woke up on this morning not particularly well rested (parties all round the town went well into the night!) but knowing that we only had a “few” kilometres to go. Energized by this thought, we got on the road early so as to arrive in Logroño early enough to rest up and enjoy a few pinxtos.
We came across a stall manned by monks – not a store, but a stand selling things you might be needing en route (snacks, drinks) or souvenirs (there are a few of these along the way). We didn’t buy anything but gave a euro gladly for a stamp in our pilgrim passports and chatted with the monks about American politics, in French (as you do…).
I have to say the best thing about this picture (above) is that our hotel is actually IN the photo. Just over the bridge on the left. In nearly every town we stayed in, our place of lodging was at the entrance to the town. We loved this (because some days you just can’t walk any more!).
We got to the hotel SO EARLY (at 11am!) and did our usual routine of unpacking and re-packing (SO many clothes I didn’t use… Lesson for next time) and promptly collapsed into a long nap. We resurfaced just before siesta time and headed to the hotel lobby where we inhaled sandwiches and beers then went back to nap again (I swear, at this point, when we knew our walk was over, it was like our bodies were thinking “Ok, I’m REALLY tired now”.
After another nap and showers, we changed into nice (read: non walking) clothes and headed out to pretty Logroño to check things out…
Though we thought we were out late (9.30 – VERY late for our pilgrim standards!) it was still light when we were heading home.
Verdict: THIS was the way to enjoy a town with great food. Splitting the long Los Arcos – Logroño leg by stopping in Viana meant that we had two easier days walking and a lot of time to explore Logroño. Wish we had done that with our Pamplona leg. But, live and learn.
This is the final post about my 2016 Camino experience but…. stay tuned next summer when I walk from Logroño to Burgos with Neil!
Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trip, they were a pleasure to deal with and we were very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking another Camino walk with them for next summer right now!
Read more about the Camino de Santiago:
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – questions and answers
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 1: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Valcarlos
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 2: Valcarlos to Roncesvalles
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 4: Zubiri to Pamplona
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 5: Pamplona to Puente la Reina
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 6: Puente la Reina to Estella
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 7: Estella to Los Arcos
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 8: Los Arcos to Viana
Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago – Day 9: Viana to Logroño