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Yesterday morning the day continued to be a sunny ball of bliss, drawing every wide-eyed pilgrim’s gaze over and through some outrageously beautiful landscapes:
Torres del Rio is one of the first villages which you reach along the way from Los Arcos and it is here that you can see and visit a church linked to the Knights Templar:
The Knights Templar spent a lot of their time in this region; mostly protecting and defending the land from the invasion of the Moors. The distance echo of battle cry came out in me yesterday when I was bluntly asked by the woman slumped in her wooden chair at the entrance for 1 Euro to enter the church. I make it a rule never to pay for church or cathedral entrance, and besides, no Knights Templar would pay an entrance fee into his own church 🙂
From Torres del Rio the route takes you through further beautiful landscapes and more importantly here, with not a sausage of water at hand. It is essential that you stock up on water before making the walk between villages and towns as it can get very hot here and also very dry.
In the late afternoon we (I and some pilgrim friends I was walking with) arrived to the charming town of Viana, only to walk pretty much directly into a massive cocaine bust; police prancing around like film stars off set with their automatic guns and rather camp uniforms. Apparently it was a large bust. By the looks of a lot of the locals, it was a large bust.
The entrance to the (historical section) town of Viana:
Last summer when I arrived to Viana I couldn’t help but notice and gaze in wonder at the large bull fighting ring, set up in one of the squares. This year in early June it wasn’t set up, but you can see from the barriers how easily it can be:
The first thing I did in Viana was go get a glass of Rioja and a bite to eat (post photo). Then, before walking on further to Logrono, I sat for a while and chatted with 2 new pilgrim friends and 2 you might recognise from the Le Puy Way in France:
I then said my farewells and began the onward walk to Logrono and with one thing only on my mind: food and wine. Excellent food and wine. No, awesome food and wine. I passed a snake and this beautiful sign on the walk in:
Logrono is famous for its Pinchos and Tapas (mainly Pinchos though as far as I could gather from yesterday evening) and if you find yourself in Logrono then you should head to Calle del Laurel, where all the good stuff sits in waiting. Out of respect for the food which I enjoyed yesterday so much, the following are photographs of the evening’s main events:
This incredible tasting had to of course be interjected with a few glasses of local Rioja wine, and the location of this heavenly feast was this siren of a bar:
I then waddled about 500 metres to a spot by the river, where I slept a wonderful sleep out in the open night. This morning I will continue onwards along the way, a little fatter than I was before yesterday evening.