Thu 24 Sep - Day 10: Logroño rest day

165km walked, 621km left to walk. No change from yesterday. 

I decided on taking a rest day in Logroño. Three reasons: 
1. I have walked almost 80km in the last three days
2. I feel that i want to explore Logroño a little bit more. And hey, i got the time. 
3. I felt a bit lazy and the Logroño hostel is very nice and in a brilliant location. It has been 5 days since the last rest day. I also have the luxury of spare time so why not stay an extra day?

Breakfast at 3.50€ was more expensive than normal, but this time there were provisions more like a good continental breakfast. 
Time out for a day also provides opportunity for reflections. First music. 

Music is for me such an important mood setter. I like most types of music, at the "right" time and place. Exceptions would be teenyboppers, boy bands and studio constructed and arranged simple pop. Muzak more or less.  

I have a number of music playlists on my iPhone, that I put together before leaving Australia for the Camino. 

I constantly return to 2 of my playlists as i find them both highly inspirational:

The first playlist I call "3 in a row" - 3 continuous songs from one artist multiplied many times. The playlist's first 2 artists are Lee Clayton and Blue Öyster Cult. American culture imperialism aka American rock. 

The 6 songs by these 2 artists perfectly get me pumped in the cool Camino morning. 
"I ride alone" is Camino symbolism big time. "If I can do it..." is about taking risks and doing what you want to do without listening to the nay-Sayers. A concept I highly subscribe to. I have no idea what "Sexual Moon" is about but all 3 are great 1970/80 rock songs. 

Blue Öyster Cult is a great 1970 rock band and I love these 3 songs.   

It is probably redundant to add that I play these songs LOUD. There is no other way. 

My other favorite playlist is soundtracks composed by Thomas Newman. 

He wrote music to "American Beauty", "Road to Perdition", "The Help" and "The Adjustment Bearau" among others. 

The music is instrumental only, moody, dreamy, low key and very pleasant to also listen to first thing in the morning for a gentle start to the day. 

Being more introvert than extrovert, i like a combination of me only time and social time with others. That is also true for the Camino. 

So most days, at some time, I put my earbuds in and disappear in my own world. I like it that way. 

Today, all my old Camino buddies would move on ahead of me. I would be surprised though if i don't bump into some of them again. If Camino experience so far is any indication. 

Midmorning I was out flaneuring for a few hours. 

I found Logroño to be a very pleasant town. Modern, clean, with huge green expanses particularly by the river Ebro. 

My first stop for the day was Logroño's Plaza de Toros. 
Note the strategically parked Domino
pizza bus. 

An event was on inside and it was free. So I went in. And experienced bullfighting in 3 ways. 

First, "Bulls" on wheels. 

OK the kids loved it and many adults as well from what I can tell. 

Then "inflatable Bulls", among the spectators. 

One of these inflatable Bulls even chased me... He didn't get me. I was too fast. 

Finally onto the main event; "real" bullfighting with "real" bullfighters. 

Along the river Ebro continuing underneath and beyond Puente Piedra is a popular river walk. I found it much pleasant. 

Rio Ebro also has "rapids". Sort of. 
So what do you do when you had been flaneuring for a while? 

You find a pleasant outdoor cafe and have a cuppa of course. Americano is the way to go here. 

For Australians, the Spanish Americano coffee is almost like a long black and quite strong. Check out the color. It tasts all right. 
I checked out the outdoor wiring while having my coffee. OK but nothing like the shambles of Southeast Asia or Mexico. 
Shopping at the supermercado was next.

I found an old favorite on the shelves there. Priced somewhat better than in Australia. Yes, I got one for tonight. 
And this juice is spectacular. At less than one Euro per bottle, I am already hooked. I don't know what fruits are in it, I assume orange, grapefruit but there is something else today. Very tasty. 
Back to hostel with my perishables, I followed up by a pre-lunch of grapefruit and sardines. Top juicy grapefruit. And very tasty sardines in olive oil. 

Then a shave... Using my newly purchased cheap plastic razor and soap. 
A few streaks of blood on a face here and there and not a completely well done shave but anyway. 

Before photo:
After photo:
Writing the blog, I spoke to two new pilgrims in the hostel, Robin from Upper West Side, NYC and Kristin from Berlin, Germany. 

Robin did an earlier Camino at the same time "The Way" was filmed. 

After a shower, I was out exploring Logroño again. 

Gran Via Juan Carlos 1 was grand as befitting a king. Very straight and very expensive looking avenue. Logroño has (had?) money one may think. 
I found a pilgrim monument from 2002 celebrating 25 years of something or another it said. I didn't understand. 
I had a late "menu del dia" at almost 4pm. While the food was ordinary, this is the amount of wine that came with it. 
Yep. Almost a full bottle for me only. It doesn't cost much to get pissed in Spain. You better be careful. I had less than a 3rd of the bottle before stopping. Heck, time was not yet 5pm. 

Back to hostel for downtime. 

Later, I went out for a drink with the lovely ladies Robin and Kristen who were also in search for a meal.

Logroño was pumping, if anything even more than yesterday.

Robin to the left and Kristin to the right. 
The ladies were eating while we all drank a bit more of La Rioja Vino Tinto. I had a chicken ceasar salad for dinner earlier so no more food for me. 
Philosophical discussions as Robin is writing her second book. Self discovery, yoga and "what does power mean to you?". All fun and lighthearted. 

Back at the albergue by 10pm. 

Music was still going loud just outside our sleeping quarter. It will not be a quiet night. No it wasn't. 

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