Day 8 ( May 17) – Los Arcos to Viana: 12 miles
After yesterday’s horror of 18 miles, we started off a little late this morning with the idea of walking only 12 miles. Then, at some point (probably on a downhill stretch) we though it seemed like a good idea to push on to Logrono, another 18 miler. After many uphill pushes, we stopped at Viana for lunch and decided that, indeed, 12 miles was enough. We are staying here for the night! In the meantime, I bought and inserted new gel insoles into my shoes. No relief! Oh well. Foot pain is my daily cross to bear.
Today, we came across another Camino Karma spot, with a table of treats in return for only a “donation.” In this unlikely spot was a cooler of drinks, soothing music and a village of rock towers. So much unexpected along the way.
We keep crossing paths with people we met on our first night in Orisson. We are always happy to meet up with a pair of Spanish guys and an Australian couple, Angus and Alicia, to hear about their trip so far. They feel like old friends.
Our lunch in Viana was really pleasant. Delicious salads with grilled lamb and fish. Of course, vino tinto. A rare encounter with fresh food. Small towns in this part of Spain seem to be dying. The young people have left to work on the cities, with the towns now populated by older people. Most have a single store that sells loaves of bread (delivered from far away), a few pieces of fruit, snacks and some packaged food. It feels like the food deserts of Appalachia or inner city America. Most restaurants offer only paella and Italian dishes advertised on a pre-printed card, obviously frozen or out of a bag. Walking in the towns, small kitchen gardens are evident, so maybe the locals eat well, without sharing with the tourists. So, today’s lunch was a rare treat. Previously, I believe I was on the bread diet.
John and I have been walking together for 8 days. We count on each other for company, silly songs and reaching things we can’t stretch to get with our backpacks on. We are both starting to worry a little about how I’ll cope after he returns to the US in a few days. I must tell myself that just because the situation is unknown doesn’t make it bad. I think there are a world of potential walking companions out there. I’ll find them when I need them. They say ” the Camino provides” and I believe that is true.