Dispite my reservations of not sleeping, with earplugs and an eye patch I managed to sleep until the first Pilgrims started to rise… About 5:30!!! Not bad when you go to sleep between 9:30-10! Our dorm had 36 beds (18 bunks)… About 75% full in our dorm… It was a former school, so imagine a classroom filled with bunk beds!
We are not pushing ourselves too far today with only 18-20 km before we meet up with Dan… He is reserving us beds in Viana… Hopefully there is time and energy to do some sight seeing while there! ( Pretty sad when you call a 18-20 km day carrying a 22 lb pack a “light day”!!!
We started our day our right with a breakfast backtracking a few 100 metres back into the town centre. Then off we went towards Sansol… Again lots of farmers fields and vineyards that we green, green, green! A brig break in Sansol where we recharged with coffee and bananas, then onto Torres del Rio where we visited another church built by the Knights Templar. Very small octagonal building, but lovely inside!
From here it was another 10-12 km to Viana where we were to meet Dan… Lots of ups and down through hills in the wine country of Navarra ( sorry, I was mistaken earlier, but tomorrow is when we will officially cross into the Rioja region.) while we often walked on our own, we were regaled with stories from Sandra of her time as an NHS nurse… Hilarious to say the least!!!
I had asked Dan to book us into the Alberque Luiz…and when we arrived in the hillside town of Viana, we met up with this Albergue before reaching the town centre( about another 10-12 story climb into the city)… Rather than risk hauling my pack up into the city centre to meet Dan( Suzanne, think of walking up to Cortonna), I decided to stop in to see if he had reserved us a room… I was greeted with a warm welcome, told my husband was up in the city centre enjoying a beer, and that he had taken care of the reservation! Sandra and Judith were ecstatic with the fact that they too had a room for just the two of them… So up we went to see the rooms…my only problem was that Dan had taken the key with him to the city centre, soooo… I left my pack in the girls room and headed into town sweaty and weary to find Dan.
Just like he said, he was waiting at an opportune table having a beer, and greeting all the pilgrims as they walked by. His feet were somewhat better and other than missing his pilgrim pack ( Us 3 ladies) he was no worse for wear. He said it was interesting to come to town ahead of his pilgrim pack… Yesterday, knowing no one, then this morning he slowly started recognizing the group that we had left with…(I can’t feel too sorry for him as he stayed in the hotel Palacio last night while I was in the municipal hostile!!!)
Reunited, we enjoyed a beer or two along with a nice lunch on the square while we waited for Sandra and Judith to join us…
Tonight we are heading back into town for our Pilgrim meal, and then to the church for the Pilgrim Blessing( we also attended such in Los Arcis as well last night). The church is a beautiful Norman church. (Note: dinner was delayed, so no blessing tonight!!! I guess the extra glass of wine will have to do! Here’s to good friends new and old!!