You’ll be happy to see I have combined two days into one in these daily recollections! We had been having good weather and Day 5 was no exception. We decided on walking to Viana, a distance of 19 km rather than the 28 km shown as the typical goal in John Brierly’s excellent guidebook.
This light and easy to carry water proof book of maps, shows the location of all pilgrim hostels en route, distances between villages, elevation profiles, points of interest, as well as alternative routes and accommodations. It was de rigour to use for most pilgrims. We had no cell phone, portable GPS or other aid other than the Camino trail markers, arrows and signs as we made our way each day. Yes we did get lost a few times so this book proved indispensable.
We made our way to Viana a town of about 3500 and checked into the 54 bed Andres Munoz municipal refugio. We had a semi-private room as I remember and a window that opened up to the sun with a gorgeous view – all for about 8 Euro each, the typical cost of a bed in 2010.
The next day turned out to be colder. So we hiked about 11 km into Logrono – a large city of some 145,000. At that point we decided to take a taxi or bus to Najera, another 29 km ahead. This put us back on Brierley’s ‘recommended pace’. We arrived early and had to wait for the refugio to open. Typically they don’t open until 3 PM. Unless you or sick or something, you can only stay one night. Everyone must vacate by 9 AM so the staff can clean and prepare for the next night.
It was a large dorm style refugio so perhaps we did not sleep all that well. But we were safe and dry and had lots of food and of course some wine as you can see in the bag above.