After a delicious group dinner last night, I was too tired to think of anything but sleep. There was a “Pilgrim’s Mass” scheduled for 8:30pm but I was already in bed.
I was up early and on the Road by 8:00am. The alburgue had “breakfast” included but it turned out to be bread with Nutella. I despise Nutella. I had a cup of coffee, a glass of juice and snagged a small slice of butter cake for later. The sun was just rising
The road to Torres del Rio was mostly smooth and fairly flat. It was a little less than 5 miles total. I walked at my usual slow pace and bid “Buen Camino” to those passing me.
Soon I saw Sansol, the first village, in the distance. Shortly after was Torres del Rio. This is where A Decision would be made.
But before any kind of decision, I needed some sustenance. Spain has a much different idea of mealtimes than we do in the states and sometimes when you most need a proper meal, everything is closed. But it was 10:00am; surely SOME place would be serving breakfast!
I came to a likely looking cafe and asked if they were serving “desayuno” (breakfast.) “Si!” was the response. “Toast?”
I finally made it known that I wanted “comidas” – a meal. I got eggs, sausage, bread and juice.
Then I reviewed the rest of my route for today. I needed to get to Viana…only about 6 miles but lots of ups and downs. I checked the terrain on the “Wise Pilgrim” website and this is what it said:
The stretch between here and Viana has the nickname ‘The Knee Wrecker’ because of its frequent ups and downs. The only place for shade and pause is at the Capilla de la Virgen del Poyo where a seasonal food kiosk sets up shop.
And that settled it. I was going to take the bus to Viana. There were only a couple a day and one left in about half an hour. I found my way to the roadside stop and who should be sitting there but Marianna, my Italian friend from a couple of days ago.
She had been having knee problems and had bussed to Torres del Rio from Estella the day before and was planning to take the bus all the way to Longrono. She was feeling very discouraged and like she had failed. I told her that I was planning to ditch my carefully laid plans and let the Camino guide me.
It was a relief to be on the bus. The scenery whisked by (along with several Pilgrims making their way up and down) and soon I was in Viana. I climbed the hill in search of my Pension (yes, a private room again because why not!?)
I walked to the square where there was a beautiful old cathedral.
My pension was down one of the streets and I was greeted by a effusively friendly woman with brightly dyed auburn hair. She spoke to me loudly and slowly in Spanish, but somehow I could (mostly) understand her. My room was ready, with a comfortable bed, a balcony and the smallest bathroom I have ever seen.
I went out and finally got a proper meal…stuffed eggplant, pork loin, rice pudding and wine. Always included and they just uncork a bottle and leave it on the table!
And now, after a shower and some time to put my feet up, I’m having a glass (or two) of “vino tinto” right outside the church walls. Tomorrow it’s about 6 miles to Longrono. And then…well, then we’ll see. I am inclined to stop pushing for a certain destination and just..:walk. Until it’s time to go home.