The 10K road from Vaina to Logroño has little to recommend it. It passes by some small farms in disrepair, and more than the usual pilgrim trash along the road. At all times you can see the industrial buildings and warehouses of Logroño in the distance. Mom was suffering from a few ailments that made walking painful, but, as usual, she did not quit.
An elderly woman had set up a sort of shop outside her tumble-down house. I saw that
she was selling Camino pins and the like, but my attention was on the five or six mutts straining to be petted. I would have given her ten Euros if she would promise to get them chains longer than three or four feet. I petted one long-eared dog, a mix of German Shepherd and traveling salesman, whom a German woman quite astutely pointed out looked like the dragon from “The Neverending Story,” and he grew so excited that there occurred an unconsummated attempt at interspecies mating.
At the hostel, a very pregnant woman explained that the front doors closed at 9:30 (and Marie Anne explained that Logroño had so many bars that drunken pilgrims were apparently an issue). The kitchen’s stovetops had been removed and replaced with a second countertop, which annoyed Julio to no end. “You will see this in most of the albergues for the rest of the Camino,” he said. “It’s terrible. We once had a great party in here.”
The pregnant woman’s associate put our passports and Camino credentials into plastic bags. He explained in Spanish the following process:
- We were to take our sheets and go upstairs.
- When we were finished with our showers, we would come back downstairs and then we would pay and get our passports back.
“The last time I was here,” Julio said, “an eighty-year-old man gave the best service on all the Camino,” Julio said. “Now there is these people. I do not understand how this woman got pregnant. To be honest.”