After an unscheduled rest stop on Los Arcos, we arranged to forward our packs and headed to Viana, not quite 20 kms away. More hills and steep descents – the hills are taxing for me, however although I am no longer fearful of the steep descents, the pressure on my hips and knees in particular is significant, and I am very very slow. Not far out we came to a little village, Sansol and topped up with a cuppa and some fruit.
Down we went again into a ravine, and then up into the village of Torres del Rio only a couple of kms further along the track. We hadn’t planned to stop here, however walking past a bar come cafe we noticed a picture of a bowl of soup. We had been craving veggie soup for days, and further investigation indicated it was leek soup. It was an easy decision to head in, our mouths watering in anticipation. It was just on 12 noon, but alas, the menu didn’t start until 2.00pm…. so tortilla and tea it was again.
The cafe was quite impressive with it’s artifacts and decorative decor – a knight in shining armour greeted us in the door way, and a framed Desiderata in Spanish took pride of place on the wall.
As we headed out of Torres del Rio we started another climb, and of course, going up means coming down. This descent was very very steep with hairpin bends along with way. The path led us deep into a dry ravine, it was very hot and there was limited shelter. There are, fortunately, always things of interest to offer some distraction – an old church and something that resembled an altar on the other side. My travelling companion decided it was perfect for her to stretch her back…. a “sacrificial virgin” maybe….. 🙂
We finally arrived in Viana, and headed to our accommodation, a 15th century Casa – a translation of the services via iTranslate reassured us we could be served a piece of beef or fish in a full dress shirt!!! We had been using the iTranslate App to communicate, so goodness only knows what we had been saying in our translations. As we approached the Pension it was clear that the town was preparing for some sort of festival. People were dressed in white with red scarves and there was excitement in the air. The music started and we were caught up in a parade with huge effigies of royal looking figures – just outside our accomodation a Spanish gentlemen started dancing with us in the street…
We got out of our boots & headed off in search of a laundromat – to no avail. We did find a van selling churros – straight Spanish donut things – very yummy. As we made our way back to the Pension the main square was fenced off….. the festival was running of the bulls…. thank goodness I had sent my red coat home – my new one is dark pink…. not red!!
We eventually got back to our room and tried to sleep with fireworks and festivities continuing long into the night.
Leaving Viana the next day I was not in a good space and I would prefer to forget the next few days as we passed through Logrono and Navarette. A war raged within me, as I battled the dark recesses of my mind. It is funny how we tend to overlook what we know to be true when we are desperate for a quick solution. I haven’t taken antihistamines or cold & flu tablets for many many years because the compounds within them mess with my head, and exaggerate my mood. I was already on a bit of a down when I started the antihistamines in Los Arcos, and it didn’t take long for the darkness to close in to the point where there was no light at all. At one point I was walking along thinking over and over that I had come a long way and spent a lot of money to validate I was physically weak, mentally weak and spiritually weak – and had an ugly character, and struggled to get beyond that for a couple of days.
My travelling companion, bless her, still loved me when I could not see or feel anything lovable within myself – and I will always be eternally grateful to her for that.
It was her faith and trust that got us through those few days – and saw us arrive in Najera – a town with no available accommodation. Maybe it was a little bit of stardust that facilitated her getting us a room – feathers lined her path as she walked from the Information Centre to the Pension to enquire about a vacancy. Someone was vacating their room at 5.00pm and it would be available for us at 6.00pm – can you believe that?
A couple of nights there to rest, regroup, ditch the antihistamines and engage in a little retail therapy… and things started to improve.