Monday 29 September 2014

Hard drugs, pilgrim style

This was day 7 of our almost one month long Camino de Santiago adventure. Click on the Camino de Santiago label to see all related posts.

When we got on the way we were surprised again by how cold it can get in these parts during early mornings at the end of May. Skies were cloudy once again. This was great for walking but we were definitely hoping it would stay dry.

By this time we were already deep in the wine region of Rioja. The main feature of daily beautiful vistas were endless vineyards. The winding road led us literally through them.

Unfortunately, there were not many opportunities to stop and sample local liquid products.

It felt strange walking without company again (we parted our ways with our Italian friends the day before). We hardly saw any pilgrims during the day. I guess this added to the feel of a really looong day. During the last stretch of the walk M. felt pretty much without energy.
I guess most people on the Camino have at least a few of "What was I thinking? What am I doing here?" moments. Well, for her this was one of those moments. The wool allergy on her feet did not help either. I on the other hand was doing pretty good and tried to encourage her when the road started climbing up a steep hill.

Our walking pace was getting slower by the minute and just before I suggested another short stop M. found a cure for the situation. She turned to hard drugs - Bon Jovi music. She put on her headphones and pumped up the volume.

We picked up our pace almost immediately and before I could comment on the terrible music choice, she was already jumping uphill and singing the tunes out loud. She would not have heard my comments anyway...

After a few minutes I could hardly keep up the pace. We were literally flying uphill! A small group of pilgrims just taking a short break at the top of the hill looked at us with disbelief as we flew by.

When the music drug effects started wearing off, we were already near our destination for the day - Albergue Virgen de Guadalupe.
It is a small private albergue on the outskirts of Cirueña. It was a long walk from Navarette - just over 33 kilometres for the second day in a row.

Since the albergue in Cirueña is rather small (only 23 beds) and the next option is roughly 10 kilometres further down the road, we made a reservation for two in advance.

When we got greeted by the owner it seemed like he did not remember anything about our reservation. Nevertheless he quickly found a solution, a small extra room in the attic. For once we did not mind an extra flight of stairs - we got our own private room! Just outside our room there was also a small chapel.

Pedro, the owner and hospitalero in one person is quite a character. He reminded us both of Ramón - a character in the film The Way. He is not crazy as the guy in the film and his place is not as creepy. Both him and his place are however a bit unusual and the albergue has lots of genuine character.
We definitely had a few laughs before we went to bed that day.

Since Cirueña is not very interesting and the nearest place with food is quite a bit away, we decided to have dinner in the albergue. So did everybody else staying there for the night. It also started raining pretty soon after we hung our laundry outside.

Dinner was pretty simple but quite tasty and there was plenty of food to feed a bunch of hungry pilgrims. Lentil stew was served in olive wooden bowls.

Clicking on any one of above photos will reveal them all in a much more flattering resolution.


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