CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 4

LOS ARCOS – LOGRONO

31 MARCH

28.6km

We started walking early this morning, because we heard there might be rain later and since we had some distance to cover to Logrono, it was sensible to start early if we want to walk in dry conditions.

Leaving Los Arcos early morning with a few rain clouds in the distance

The good news was that we will be entering the great wine-producing region of La Rioja today. Back home, we do like to have a glass of red wine every now and then and the Stellenbosch area near Cape Town really produce world quality wine. We have heard good things about the Rioja wine in Spain and were looking forward to enjoy a few glasses.

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There were a few steep up hills towards Viana, but most of the time it was neatly paved and not too shabby to walk on

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One could almost caption this photo with: How far is it really?

As we walked through Viana, I thought that little has probably changed since medieval pilgrims stumbled along these old streets – it just had this ancient feeling. There was a market in the historical center where food and clothes were being sold, but we did not stop as we were trying to get ahead of the rain.

The ancient streets of Viana

But then, as we left Viana, the rain started to fall. For the first time, we had to get our rain jackets out and cover our backpacks.

With Logrono another 6.8km further, we continued our walk in a light drizzle

Fortunately, this only lasted for about 15 minutes. Our trousers were quite wet, but soon dried again in the light wind … good thing we chose quick-dry walking trousers!

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Pilgrims really make an effort to ensure we’re going in the right direction!

The sun was playing cat and mouse and every now and then there was a hint of a drizzle, but fortunately the heavy rain stayed away.

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We had to cross the busy N-111 … fortunately over a bridge

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“Only” 616km to Santiago 😉

And then, as we reached the outskirts of Logrono, a heavy rainstorm welcomed us! To find your way to an albergue in the rain is not that easy, but fortunately, Conchi (our Camino friend from Spain) joined us. With her being able to ask for directions in Spanish, we were shortly on our way to Hostel Entresuenos.

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The bridge that took us into Logrono

It was really nice to get our wet clothes off to shower and put dry clothes back on. We had our lunch of cheese, chorizo and tomatoes and then walked through the town of Logrono.

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Hostel Entresuenos

Our albergue walked out on a long street filled with little bars and restaurants. As it was weekend, it was quite busy. Later that evening, we gathered with a couple of pilgrim friends at one of the restaurants and had our first taste of the famous Rioja wine … and yes, it was indeed a good drinking wine ☺️.

I just want to mention that it is here in Logrono that we first met Carl from the USA. Before we embarked on our journey, we joined a Camino forum on the internet to get as much information as possible. Carl was also a member on this forum and he told Berto that he will be on the Camino at the same time as what we planned ours. He (jokingly) said we must look out for the guy with the big hat. As we left Puente la Reina on our second day, Berto saw this guy with the big hat … non-other than Carl from the USA!

We had such a great time in Logrono. Carl, John from Ireland, Conchi and Pili from Spain and Deulet from Kazakstan joined us for drinks that evening.

It was also the first time that we had the opportunity to witness the preparations (called “processions”) for Easter Weekend by the Catholic church. Different church communities came together and marched through the streets of Logrono with the air filled with their rhythmical drum sounds.

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Easter processions through the streets of Logrono

It was already dark in our dorm when we finally got to our beds – we had to feel our way to our sleeping bags. But wow, what a great day making wonderful memories.

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