Camino de Santiago, Day 6
Villamayor de Monjardin to Torres del Rio 14 Miles
This article is the fifth in my series of walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago with my husband Scott. Some articles will be only about one day of walking, and some may include a few days of walking, for the lengths will vary. To begin with the first article click here.
The first thing we did in the morning was buy our apples and bananas for the day. We met Louise and our pre-arranged taxi, and headed back to Villamayor to begin our walk. It was a strange feeling to be in a car, and to pass pilgrims walking the same path we would be, but just hours ahead of us.
We were dropped off right where we left off, on top of the hill at Villamayor.
In the beginning, Scott and I walked with Louise, but we quickly realized we were faster walkers than we had been at the end of the previous day. Our plan was to walk to Torres Del Rio and stay at the same hostal rural again, making it a 14-mile day. Louise planned to walk farther on to another town. We said our good-byes and were on our way, once again by ourselves. We never did run into Louise again on the Camino. It was so strange how people would pass through our lives daily, and many we never saw again, but just kept the memories of their moments with us.
After walking an hour or so, up ahead we spotted an oasis between the vineyards. A food truck with cafe con leche and hard-boiled eggs! There were many other snacks to choose from, but we needed protein.
After our break, we walked miles and miles, gradually downhill, past grapevines and fresh cut wheat fields. My feet were killing me. Each step was painful and making me miserable. I started thinking about what I didn’t need in my backpack. I would need to send some things home from my backpack to reduce the weight and relieve the stress on my feet. In the beginning, I didn’t think 14 pounds was too heavy, but it was really making me miserable. It didn’t help matters when the quarter sized blister on the inside of my left heel popped unexpectedly. I had to stop to rebandage it, and apply a new dressing to get me through the day.
As we passed through one town, we found a pharmacy. I was able to buy a variety of bandages, tape and Compeed. Compeed was turning out to be a necessity on the Camino. It was especially good for blister prevention, or for new blisters just forming. Compeed makes a thick layer of protection, which is waterproof, and it can stay on for a few days.
As we passed through the Plaza Mayor (town square) we ran into our friend Mark from Tennessee. We hadn’t seen each other in days. He told us he had stayed at the campground the previous night. He stayed in one of the small cabins we had wondered about. Unfortunately, the bed was questionable for cleanliness and bed bugs, so he ended up sleeping on the floor of his cabin!
Scott and I walked with Mark for the rest of the morning to Torres del Rio. He decided he would stay in the same town with us. Getting a room at 1:30 in the afternoon at our hostal rural was easy, and we all dropped our things off and hurried to find a restaurant for lunch. Getting into town before siesta was a big deal, and it meant we could have a nice lunch and not just a snack to get us through to dinner.
Torres Del Rio
Finding a bar up the street, we enjoyed one of our best meals on the Camino. I had delicious zucchini soup and the guys loved the beer baked chicken. We drank cafe con leches and red wine and really enjoyed our leisurely afternoon. It felt like an easy day, only walking 14 miles compared to the 19 mile walk the day before.
Scott and I explored the tiny town, and then went back to the hotel to clean up, do laundry and elevate our feet. Putting our feet up each day was turning out to be a good relief for our foot pain.
Later that night, we met Mark and went to a group pilgrim’s dinner at our hotel. We sat with a young couple from Brazil who only spoke Portuguese. Another man at our table we had seen walking every day was from Spain. He only spoke Spanish and some Portuguese. Lucky for us, our Spanish had improved and we were able to carry on some basic conversation. It was another excellent meal of chickpea soup and pork chops!
After a nice evening, we retired to our room to discuss our plan for the next couple of days walking. I heard about a wine festival in the town of Logrono, and was determined that we would attend.
Scott would like to add his comments now, about continuing to the wine festival.
My wife Jaynie has been talking about the wine festival for days now. We had heard that most pilgrims would just be passing through the town, as most accommodations would be booked up by Spaniards in town for the celebration. If it was my choice, I would walk every day, as far as we could, and only stop after we were very tired. I am thankful for Jaynie; she helps me make the time in my life to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, drink the wine and celebrate with the locals at their festival.
Camino de Santiago, Day 6: 14 miles