Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Local: 00

That is what the scoreboard read over the high school gym floor with 200 melon-colored mattresses awaiting displaced pilgrims when I got into Logroño (pictured at left) after walking 29kms in the heatwave yesterday. Visitors?

The effect of the masses, its charm, is over. People getting up at 4am to be the first to official stop sites to get rooms in the Auberge. I thought today off all the ways that we are like locusts spreading over the countryside. But there is of course light at the end of every tunnel... in this case, just as despair was about to settle in, there was the suggestion to not sleep in the stadium that was being opened for all of the overflow at Najera but to go on 6kms to a smaller village. After a sort of afternoon siesta by the riverbank under a tree in Najera I followed a troupe of French pilgrims on one town, and so here we are in one of the loveliest Alberge, happily fed and about to go to bed in rooms for two. The village, a small agricultural town in the middle of this Rioja region of wine growers, has felt like a haven, a small moment of calm away from the mass--and the promise of more small towns to come, as avoiding returning to the massive group seems wise.

Photos? you ask. Not yet. Sorry!

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