A short, 22km day. We sailed through, winding up averaging 5km/hr and getting around noon. While my muscles have adapted and are perfectly fine, my joints are not entirely amused. But, that could also have to do with going quite fast. In a very uncharacteristic move, I did not attempt to push on to the next town, 8km away to make tomorrow easier. But instead opted to rest in Los Arcos and push 28km to Logroño tomorrow.
We started the day at the famous wine fountain, that luckily, was running. Though we only tried a bit, using our shells, many others filled water bottles for the road. We walked southwest with threatening rain clouds to our right and clear skies to our left. Though the wind picked up we stayed miraculously dry the whole day.
The landscape was much the same, farms, vineyards, and small villages. Pleasant, though all beginning to blur a bit. We walked with Ben today, also from the Bay Area. Though we’d seen him before, as with everyone now, we rarely see anyone we don’t recognize at all. He was telling us that the groups he’s seen have been talking constantly about whole towns being booked up with a great fear of not finding a bed. We’ve found nothing of the sort. In fact, it feels like the Camino is pretty empty. Sure there are people, but we’re spoilt for choice in accommodations. Of course, as we get closer to Santiago and people join up on shorter trips that may change, but so far so good. And I’m glad we aren’t surrounding ourselves with that sort of negativity or anxiousness, it seems like a terribly unpleasant way to walk.
We have however, mostly been staying in private alburgues as they are usually only a few euro more. Tonight however, we’re in a municipal alburgues. It’s €6. And while I prefer the private ones the facilities here are good, and it’s part of the experience. Though, it’s far from a youth hostel. The majority of people in our adjoining rooms (there are 4 of us in our mini room, Aoiffe, Ben, and someone we don’t know) are well over 50. So not so much noise during the day, but lots of snoring and getting up in the night. My gel earplugs were an excellent purchase the few times I’ve needed them.
Tomorrow is Logroño, the capital of the Rioja region. It is also the longest day walking thus far, aside from the first day. The four of us (Aoiffe, Olivia, Neika, and I) have booked a private quad room so we don’t have to worry about when we get there. It’s a staggering €14/ person and well worth it!