Day #7: Los Arcos to Logroño, (Sansol, 7km)

04.23.2010

Today sucked.  I never seemed to get my feet back.  It was fairly level with a bit of a climb into Sansol.  I ran into Emme from Seattle and made the ascent into Sansol with her.  There was a bar there, so we stopped for cafe con leche.  I also ran into the Canadian family of five again and had a lovely time talking with them.  I decided that since my feet were not doing well, I would take the bus to Logroño.  It was 1.99€ and I waited with a lovely Spanish girl who was patient with me and my poor Spanish.

I arrived in Logroño around Noon and then promptly got LOST.  I couldn't get my bearings and the map I had didn't show the bus station.  I walked about 2-4km in the wrong direction before I heard someone ask in English, "Excuse me, are you lost?".  It was music to my ears!  I turned around and said, "Yes, I think so!".  The woman, Anna, spoke very good English and she offered to give me a ride.  After she showed me how far away I was from where I needed to be, I gladly accepted her offer.  During the ride, I learned that her husband is a winemaker and they lived in the Napa Valley for three months while he worked at Mondavi Winery.  She was very sweet and very proud of her American Chrysler mini-van!  She dropped me off within walking distance of the Albergue.

I think I finally got to the Albergue around 1:30p.  They didn't officially open until 4p, but were allowing people to leave bags from Noon to 2p.  I was able to get a map with places to eat and a clinic to have someone look at my feet.

I decided to go to the clinic first.  They wanted almost 100€ to see me!  Um yeah, even my doctor in the US wouldn't charge me that much if I didn't have insurance.  I decided to pass and go find food next.  I found a place that was open, grabbed a bite to eat, then left there to find a cafe and sat there for an hour, sipping cafe con leche and writing in my journal.

I made my way back to the Albergue a little before 4p and there were about 30 people waiting to get in.  They opened the door and those of us with our bags inside got in first.  They took our pilgrim credential AND our passports.  I was not too excited about that due to recent events in Israel with the Mossad stealing British citizen IDs and using them to create terrorist identities.  Oh well.  There are some things beyond my control, so I just dealt with it......and then decided the next time they ask for my passport, they can have one of my copies.  It's only in the big cities that they seem to be doing this.

I got a shower in and felt much better.  Joani and I were in the same dorm, along with the Italian contingency.  :)

Kimberley and Viviana arrived shortly after and we made plans to meet for dinner.  The pilgrim menus are getting old already.  I had spaghetti for a first course, followed by some kind of beef with.....wait for it.....french fries!  Dessert was icecream.  The best part about the evening was that before dinner, Viviana found this place called Viena that served European-style hot chocolate (thick, like pudding).  It was bordering on comical having three of us trying to ask for it in broken Spanish.  It was also very good!

After dinner I wandered over to the Cathedral and for the first time since St. Jean Pied de Port, I was able to get into a church for some quiet time.  I have been spending so much time worrying about getting my daily mileage in, then making sure I get a shower, do laundry, find food, church has been far from a priority.  Also, many of the churches are closed by the time I get to them.  I was able to sit for a while and enjoy the silence.  The churches here in Spain are HUGE and very ornate.  OLD is also a word that comes to mind.

Over the past few days my feet have become a problem and have not allowed me to travel as far or as fast as I would like and know I am capable of.  I've decided to start cutting my distances in half until my feet get better.

Tomorrow I will wait for the outdoor store to open and will buy new shoes to see if that helps.

Before bed tonight, someone kept accidentally shutting the light off before 10p, the usual time.  At one point, one of the Italians yelled an expletive that even those of us who don't speak the language knew!  It was hilarious!  Everyone in the dorm was laughing!  Good way to end the day.