In Logrono it was the festival of San Mateo. Marching bands and other fascinating parades.
We were disappointed to discover that our hotel had no laundry service on Sundays. Ah, the trials of pilgrimage. Laundry had to wait. We strolled around and watched people fiesta then went early to bed.
We wound our way out of Logrono at 7:15 this morning. It was tricky because it was not as well marked as other cities and towns have been. We found the way in spite of ample opportunity for confusion and lengthened our strides as we walked through parkland around the edge of a lake. As we left the park we came to open country covered with vineyards. it is harvest time and we stopped to watch a load of freshly picked grapes being carried by fork-lift to the end of a row and set down on the red earth. a pair of Korean pilgrims also stopped to take a picture. The driver of the lift saw us and indicated that we could have some. We all hesitated, unsure we'd understood his gesture correctly. He waved us towards the grapes again and opened the window of his cab to shout, "Buen Camino!" Beautiful, juicy grapes, just picked, their flavor foreshadowing the wine they'll be used to make = a perfect mid-morning snack.
As we came to the outskirts of Navarette, we passed the ruins of a pilgrim hostel built in the 1100's. Passing it slowly, on weary feet, looking at the outlines of the ancient entryway and rooms, gave a sense of how many pilgrims over the centuries have walked and rested together along the Camino.
We arrived at the albergue by 11:00 a.m. having walked about nine miles. It is a new one that opened last year and feels like luxury accommodations with bunks tall enough so those on lower bunks can sit up in bed! We took showers and did laundry (I wrung water out of the clothes while Dad leant out the window to hang them on the line).
Chores done,we headed in the direction of the church knowing that the square (and center of activity) would be nearby. We arrived at the church just after morning mass ended. The spectacular altar was still lit. The wall of gold soared to a high, gothic arched ceiling. As we sat amazed, the lights switched off, leaving only the statue of the Virgin and Child lit in the low center - like a nightlight in the grey stone gloom.
Out into the Spanish sunlight and wandering downhill we found "Casa de Comida Begonia Antonio", and had our first TAPAS. We were joined by a French couple we met yesterday on the way to Logrono. We compared notes about where we all were staying. She laughed and said she is doing the Camino of Hotels.
Back at the albergue, beds are beginning to fill and a line has formed for the shower. Once again, I hear someone meeting Dad, "You're Harold from Houston? I've heard about you!" It's a kick. An Australian who'd just been sharing his woes of tendinitis, looks up from his laptop and announces, "I've just posted 'There's an 82 year old gentleman from Texas walking the Camino; so I'll just stop my b----ing.'"
We're taking a quick nap then we'll go out again, sit in a cafe and visit with out fellow peregrinos … maybe attend the pilgrims mass at 8 pm.