CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 5

LOGRONO – NAJERA

1 APRIL

30.1km

When we woke up this morning, I could feel the pain in my leg – it was now more intense than the previous days. My blisters also increased and it took me more time to get my feet ready than getting dressed and my backpack organised … let’s just say, I hope for the best for today.

It was a long walk to get out of Logrono. First you need to get through the suburbs of Logrono – always tricky in the bigger cities. One really need to keep your eyes focused on the yellow arrows.

At last we reached La Grajera Park which took us away from the busy streets. This lead to a pine forest that eventually gave us a lovely view over a lake. When we left Logrono behind, we already walked more than 3km!

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A walk through La Grajera Park, leaving Logrono

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With the pine forest ahead, we knew we were now out of the city

We walked around the lake and then towards the pine forest. I was moving a bit difficult today – my aching leg and blisters really hindered me to enjoy the beautiful walk. Berto realised that I was struggling and he walked much slower than previous days. He also suggested that we rest often … which was a good thing 😌.

On our way to Navarrete, we walked passed the ruins of the medieval monastery of the Order of San Juan de Acre that used to look after pilgrims – this would have been the perfect stop for me back in the 12th century to receive treatment for my blisters.

Ruins of the medieval monastery of the Order of San Juan de Acre (12th century) where pilgrims were taken care of

On our way to Ventosa, we walked through vineyards and had to climb a hill or two on wide farm tracks.

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Quiet farm tracks with a group of pilgrims in the distance

In Ventosa, we saw a small café where we stopped for a well-deserved cup of coffee. I must admit – it was really nice to sit down to give my leg a bit of a rest and to free my blistered feet from my hiking sandals.

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Red plastic chairs outside on the street, means a café or bar is near … time to sit down and relax

Coffee in Ventosa. I gave my mini muffin to this dog. It’s almost impossible for me to walk past any animal without giving them something to eat

More farm tracks followed and we felt a chill in the air … the snow on the mountains might have something to do with this.

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More farm tracks – on our way to Najera

About 2km outside Najera I was done! Today was just 2km too far! Berto took my backpack without hesitation and carried both of our backpacks to Najera as I slowly followed him.

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Berto with both our backpacks … I had enough of this day!

In Najera, we walked to Albergue Puerta de Najera. It was already quite full with pilgrims and we were lucky to get 2 beds. We had our lunch (by now you know the usual items – tomato, chorizo and cheese with an apple as dessert!) As we left the albergue to explore the town (and to buy snacks for the next day), we overheard how the lady at the front desk informed pilgrims (who just arrived), that they were full … phew, we were just in time!

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A full boot rack means a FULL albergue

In town, we saw Carl from the USA, as well as our Spanish friends Conchi and Pili and Deulet from Kazakhstan. We had a couple “cervezas” (and a couple more) and thus the evening turned out to be a lot of fun. While we were in the bar, a group with music instruments walked past while making beautiful music. We all went out to listen and it was not long before we joined them with a dance in the streets!

Lesson learnedYou don’t need to speak the same language, to have fun together!

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Berto with Conchi and Pili from Spain – dear friends made on the Camino

Before we went to bed, I was sitting in the communal area, taking care of my blisters. One of the pilgrims came to me and asked if he could help me. He was from Scotland and turned out to be a professional nurse! He cleaned my blisters and put some dressing on. I would be forever grateful for his help, because that meant I were able to walk again the next day!

A day that started out difficult, ended with joy in the streets of Najera.

15 thoughts on “CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 5

      1. May I ask how old your boots were? I know modern boots take a lot less walking in than the old leather clodhoppers I started with but even the softest ones take a few mile to mould to your feet, that was why I was so heartbroken when my old Line7’s died.

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      2. Me and Berto bought our boots on the same day – think it was in 2013 (in other words, it was already 4 years old at the start of our first Camino). Now Berto’s boots has done just over 2000km and mine barely made it to 500km – and still looks as good as new (well, if you count the kilometres it hung at the back of his backpack, that should be more, hey 😉).
        We’ve come to the conclusion that the boots are just too heavy for me feet – they get easily hot and bothered (perfect conditions for blisters) – so, it’s either sandals or trainers

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      3. I was going to suggest trainers and I think it is a good solution for you. Your Salomon’s look quite hefty and I am in no way denigrating you when I say you are a lady of, shall we say, petite dimensions. Sandals are great until you get into “moist” or “chilly conditions” at which point you are stuffed.

        What about a pair of trainers and replace your flip-flops with a pair of (well-broken in) sandals. You get the advantage of breathable feet, light weight and something you can shower etc. in. Just a thought.

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  1. Uh oh, as I read this I emphasise and sympathise with you. It reminds me of when Karen and I undertook the Kumano Kodo in Japan. It’s the other UNESCO recognised sacred walk apart from the Camino walks to Santiago de Compostela. After walking 24 kms on the first day my knee wasn’t good (https://markallison55.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/kumano-kodo-day-1/) and by the fourth day I was icing it at the end of every day. We also weren’t carrying any painkillers and as the walk is out in the middle of nowhere couldn’t buy any. Like you I gritted my teeth and kept going. Just as well we could take some ‘medicine’ of another kind (beer). Mark

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    1. Oh, wonderful … I will have to read about your Kumano Kodo! That was very close to the top of our list before Covid and we even looked at flights to Japan and how we will embark on this journey. Well, we all know what then happened. I think there is something about a “special certificate” one can receive if you walked both the Camino in Spain and the Kumano Kodo – we would love to have this! Maybe we’ll still get that opportunity one day!
      Yes, an aching knee (or any pain for that matter) while walking a long distance is … well, it’s a pain! There was no way that I would stop walking, so I had my fair share of Ibuprofen pain tablets … and more than enough of Spain’s big beers and great (cheap) wines!

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    1. Dis veral die landelike areas wat pragtig is … en hoe wonderlik dat die dorpies partykeer net so 5-10km uitmekaar is. Ja, aan die begin is dit erg seer en ongemaklik om met al die seer te stap … maar dan raak mens so half en half gewoond daaraan 😄.

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  2. It must’ve been quite a walk with leg problem plus the blisters on the feet. Thankfully you got a kind professional nurse that could help with some relieve and you could still share with us this beautiful walk.

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