Days 8,9,10 Los Arcos to Azofra

The weather continues to be good – 25 to 28 degrees at 10 am in the morning. I have been starting walking between 6.30 am and 7.00am to avoid the hot afternoon temperatures – around 6 to 7 hours walking and an average of 15 miles each day. Feeling remarkably physically well – no problems with legs and feet.

The first part of this 3 day walk took me past small olive groves, vineyards and vast fields of wheat to reach Viana. It was Saturday in Viana, a small town and it was family time for the local people – promenading with their children and a party for teenagers – music and fun for all- I stayed in the very basic Municipal Hostel – cold showers ! and a 10 pm curfew. The church is a 12th century Gothic building with wonderful carvings and art work – attended the evening service.

From Viana the next days walk took me through – Lograno the second largest city I will pass through – much of the walk took me through city parks and a lake – it was Sunday and family time. Also mother’s day and I saw a young boy pick a wild flower which he gave to his mum. After the city I was walking through the wine growing region of Rioja, where the soil becomes red in colour, to reach the small town of Navarrete where I stayed in a well run private Auberge. I enjoyed a pilgrims dinner and after dinner games and lots of local wine with others staying in the auberge.

Today was the warmest of all – 28 degs – I am drinking more water in a day than I would in a week at home ! Apart from a long slow climb out of Najera – much of the walk was on level ground passing vineyards – red soil continues – glorious views with distant mountain ranges on both sides. Reached my bed for the night in Azofra – a tiny town – where I am staying in a very well run municipal hostel with an outside pool to dangle tired feet. Cooked my first meal omelette with tomatoes and cheese from the local store.