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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

April 19

April 19th, 2016

April 19

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Today’s trek began before dawn, climbing up out of Torres del Rio, cresting a hill looking back out over the valley as the sun rose. I walked out with the two Karls, my German friends, so Karl-Heinz and I discussed books for a few km. He is a remarkably well-read man, particularly with books on walking or travel. It was a day to start extending the kilometers, so I finally pushed past 30. Given the general ease of the landscape, I’m not sure why I’m walking short–just trying to get into a good rhythm but am finding it elusive. Today’s midpoint was Logrono, the capital of the region and home to a number of old churches, all with those huge gilded altarpieces. I wandered them a while, hoping to see the paintings, but all was dark and I didn’t have the correct change to get the lights on. I did glimpse a Michelangelo painting before the lights went down. After Logrono, the path wound through grape fields, and around a large man-made lake. Along the dam, there were older men whose long fishing rods were set, while they say in folding chairs smoking and drinking coffee, casting eyes occasional at the tips of their rods to see if they caught anything. The weather threatened on the way into Navarrete, a medieval town on a hill where I found the municipal Albergue, settled into another evening on the Camino. I seem to have outstripped my original cohort of pilgrims, and now am among a different set– many Americans who laugh too loud.

 

T. Hugh Crawford

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