12 July 2012

Camino de Santiago day 6: Los Arcos - Tosantos

We managed to get an early start and were on the road by 7:30am, which was good because it was predicted to be another hot one with temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit). We passed many pilgirms in the morning, but the camino was generally wide and not too gravelly, so we had no problem getting around them. We were making good time and made it to Logroño shortly after 9am. We took advantage of being in a bigger town by replenishing our supplies of cash and taking a trip to the pharmacy where I could buy some better sunscreen.

Entering Logroño
Wide Camino in La Rioja
We then pressed on a while longer until we stopped for some jamón in Najera. The day was starting to get very hot, and after Azorfa we hit a nasty climb, made nastier by the heat. I was able to make it up the whole thing without walking but reached the top feeling very weak. It was so wonderful to find a fuente and some benches, although there wasn't much shade. I had to rest for a few minutes until I felt back to normal. I guess that climb causes lots of people problems as this sign was displayed at the edge of the farm near the rest area:

That's me cresting the hill (behind the walker)
Just after the climb we went through a town called Cirueña which was a striking sign of the economic crisis in Spain. It was a completely new town, with a golf club and loads of newly built houses, but it was completely empty, like a ghost town. All of the flats had 'for sale' signs on them - I guess they were built during the boom and now no one can be found to buy them.

Next we passed through Grañon and stopped for a much-needed coke before setting off on the final stretch of the day. As we were cycling along up a gentle climb, my chain came off (which had become a common occurence) and I couldn't manage to unclip in time--I fell over to the right and banged my knee hard on a rock on the side of the Camino. It hurt, but it was just another injury to add to my growing list.

We passed through Belorado, which seemed to be a pretty big stopping point for walkers, and carried on a few more kilometers to Tosantos, which had been recommended to us by the hostalero back in Dax. It was a very old building that we could tell had been serving pilgrims for many centuries.

The hostel in Tosantos
When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by the hosts, who sat down with us, gave us a glass of water, and chatted with us about our journey. Jose Luis, the man in charge, explained the few rules that they had in the house: No one was to get up before 6:30am as the house was so old that noises can be heard everywhere and it wakes everyone else up. Breakfast was at 7. We were surprised that the place wasn't full, but they said most pilgrims don't like to sleep on mattresses on the floor. They were very pleased to hear that Alberto spoke English as they had some notes written by previous pilgrims in English that they asked him to translate.

We showered and did some laundry while the Italian pilgrims cooked dinner. They made pasta carbonara in a massive pot - Alberto and I had three servings each! Jose Luis had many announcements to make over dinner, and he got Alberto to translate them into English and another pilgrim, David, to translate into Italian. One of which was that the electricity had gone out due to a flash thunderstorm, so we would hopefully finish dinner before the sun went down! He was also obsessed with communicating to us that there was no point in getting up in the middle of the night to walk, and then spending all afternoon inside a hostel. He said, enjoy the camino in the daytime and spend your night indoors, not the other way around!

Interior of the hostel in Tosantos

Then Jose Luis started singing songs, and getting otheres to join in. It was amusing but also kind of sweet. After dinner we did the dishes, with several people (including Alberto and I) bringing down their headtorches as the lights still weren't back on. We all joked that we were glad we had to use them as it meant we could justify having carried it all this way! Then the lights came back on so they were able to have their prayer in the hostel's chapel. We gave it a miss and got ready for bed instead. Tomorrow we would be heading into Burgos to meet up with our friend Miguel who would join us for the rest of the trip.

Stats for the day:
Odometer: 110km
Moving average: 14.9kph
Overall average:10.3kph
Moving time: 7h 24m
Stopped time: 2h 40m
Max speed: 54kph

No comments:

Post a Comment