Thursday December 11th 2014. Navarrete

 A sign along the way

One meets many different kinds of people. At the inn last night among others, was a tall, Dutch boy from Hoorn, with long, blond hair, slightly felted. He had a tiny small dog with him, a chihuahua. How do you handle that in the albergues, I asked him. Sneaking it inside in my pocket! And on the way? Mostly the dog walks freely, her said, but also at the leash because of all the raptors. I’m afraid they regard him as a rabbit. His companion was a tall, red-haired Celt from French Brittany. Who also walked freely. Beautiful couple to see. In the evening the tall Dutchman sat playing chess with a Hungarian mother, who walked the Camino with her two adolescent daughters. An old Spaniard from this village tried to draw the attention of the 2 daughters by making all kind of remarks to the 3 guapas, but they couldn’t keep their eyes off the Dutch doggyman. Such a spychology I call funny!

Nice weather today, 13 C. And a bit of sun, no wind. Perfect hiking weather. Once in a while a bunch of grapes again. The potatoes and beets that I offered Leon, he didn’t accept. Then he can not be really hungry. So I don’t worry anymore, for that matter. We pass a restored Bori. That is a stone shelter in the form of a dome, formerly used by nomadic shepherds. In the southern French Provence there is an open air museum, specially about these bori’s.
Hey, calls a young Spanish cyclist on the road, stops and puts his bike away. Everywhere in Spain they are talking about you. Oh yeah? Yes, he says. I cycled from Barcelona to Cadiz in the south of Spain, some 700 km. to the south. After that, just like you to the north, 700 km. Via de la Plata and the Camino Frances and in all hostels they were talking about the flying Dutchman. Good or bad, I ask? Si, si, Bueno. He wanted a picture of the two of us and his enthusiasm catches. Furthermore, on the way to Santiago a remarkable number of Koreans who invariably take a picture of our threesome. Maybe threesomes are popi in Korea?
Because of going wrong again I arrived at least one hour later than scheduled, at 2 p.m., in Navarrete. The place is full of taverns, but the landlord of the proposed inn, the only one open, sent me, without any discussion, directly to a centro Hipico, more than 1 km. outside the village. I felt discriminated . Tomorrow I’ll have to walk 1 or 2 km. back to the village again, before setting sail for Logrono, a city as big as Burgos. I hate going there, because if Leon gets frightened by the heavy traffic there in Logrono, I’ll have a heavy job keeping him under control on those narrow sidewalks, among all those people and all that traffic. OK. Tomorrow we’ll see again. Tomorrow will be a long day, about 34 km, if I do not walk wrong in Logrono. On the other hand, the nice thing about tomorrow is that I have something to look forward to, viz. Tomorrow I expect fellow hiker Jan to join me. Some fun again.
Anyway, now I’m in Navarrete, or actually one km. outside the village, in the “equestrian center”. After a long time and after walking the necessary detours, I found the “Centro Hipico”, at least one km. outside Navarrete. It was a house with stables and pastures. Once there, I met the Spanish friend of Swiss Katarina. Katarina, who kept five horses and two donkeys and also a nice Spanish friend.
After having waited a long time Katarina, Käte viz., returned from riding. First they took a lot of pictures for their pelegrino-book. Next I was asked whether I preferred the outside wooden student room, or any room in the house. Is there water in the cabin? No! Then rather inside the house. Tosca is allowed in my room tonight . Anyway people with a heart. I asked why Katharina had left beautiful Switzerland. Too busy, she said, zu viele Leute. Well, things are just the way one experiences them.                                              I showered, did a little laundry, and now 1 km. back to the village for buying bread and for looking for an afternoon snack in a cafetaria, or in a bar with wifi. After 1.5 h. I had run all the bars and hotels. Either closed, or no wifi, and nowhere the usual tapas. So I can not read my emails and responses on the blog. It seems the end of the world here. Then I’ll just make notes on my Ipad and I’ll save my blog for when we do ever find wifi. Because I circled and crossed the entire village many kilometers looking for a bar and for wifi, at least I will find the way to Logroño tomorrow morning in the maze of arrows and signposts . If I find no WiFi today, I have time left to prepare the route for tomorrow and maybe even book a hostel for tomorrow.  If I don’t succeed in booking something I’ll have to improvise again tomorrow, with the risk that I won’t find a place to sleep before dark. Is this fun?

 Restored bori , shepherd's hut Restored bori , shepherd’s cabin
 “Bike Pilgrim me recognized ” 

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