Day 9: An Oasis

Casa de la Abuela continued to impress us. We stepped up dinner last night and went to the store. Opening at 7 after a long siesta, the store was packed with hungry pilgrims. We bought food, and Kat showed her Italian roots by making pasta with a wonderful tuna marinara sauce with a bit of a kick. It totally hit the spot. The owner would not let us wash, and put everything in the dishwasher. The other pilgrims came and ate, including the three boys and their grandfather. Due to an unexpected situation, we had to do some internet searching while nursing our teas. Casa de la Abuela, five thumbs up.

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The next morning, our Camino took an unexpected turn, a turn that seems to be written as part of our journey along the Way. After a light breakfast, we caught a bus to Longrono, passing through rolling hills of olive trees and the villages of Torres del Rio, thought to be Templar in origin.

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It wa pretty amazing to see the distance we cover on foot, and how quickly that would be covered by bus. We arrived in Longrono, the capital of the La Rioja region, saying farewell to two lovely women from Belgian who rode with us, with whom we exchanged information. We hope they share with Zomppa some of their food traditions.

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We found the Hotel F&G, where we were greeted by Marga and Raquel, two sweet young women. The place was like an oasis, a welcome break after a week of wear and tear on all joints. Located right on the Camino and near the pilgrim office, it is highly recommended for weary pilgrims.

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A rest and then we were ready for a proper meal. We stopped at a promising place for some croquettes, pizza, and paella. Unfortunately, it all looked better than it tasted. Thankfully, we finished off with Kat’s espresso, Z’s iced cafe, and B’s chocolate milk (real chocolate).

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We stopped at a small shop to buy some bread and chorizo for tomorrow’s lunch, fruit, and Chinese ramen for dinner. The shop was owned by a Chinese woman who said that there were a lot of Chinese in Logrono.

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Logrono is a large city, but one with a relaxed, easy atmosphere. The architecture was not quite as old as Pamplona, but beautiful nonetheless, fantastic shops along cobblestone streets. B is going to move here.

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Though today was cool, tomorrow’s walk will be in hotter weather. Best to relish the chill ambiance of this charming city now.