Walking in Spain along the Camino Ignaciano from Loyola to Manresa, and the Camino de Invierno from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Another festival, this time in Logrrono.

The grape harvest is about to start, and here in Navarra they way it is marked is to have a festival!  Presumably when the harvest ends there will be another celebration of some sort.  The crowds are huge here, and again we had trouble getting a bed, but Pam and Julie did well and sorted one for us.

Bands played this afternoon in the streets (so Pam and Julie tell me) and this evening bands have been marching past our window along with throngs of people. Even as I write the bands are still parading past and wonderful sounds of a brass band float up to us.  The noise is fairly cacophonous, especially in the square where a rock band was playing on a stage.

Julie has just said that the noise should stop soon (it's 10.30) - I had to enlighten her.  It will be interesting to see when it stops, but judging on past experience I am assuming it well may be 2-3 am, and we will probably pass stragglers going home when we are heading out.  The Spanish know how to enjoy themselves!  I have to say I am just loving all this brass music.  The bands seem to play randomly, with no apparent conductor, and meander down the street with their friends interspersed among them - it appears a complete schermozzle, but the sound isn't affected at all.
The view from our window, two stories up.....
......and from the street.

Today we left Fuenmayor quite early in the morning.  The sun had not long poked it's head up and the air was wonderfully fresh.  We had trouble finding the path though - not a good start.  The Guardia Civil stopped and tried to help us, trying to send us on the Camino de Santiago while we adamant we were on the Camino Ignaciano.  They were unable to help us find the path, but insisted we go by the road, which we did, though we did a slight detour manoeuvre, walking along one edge of the vines.
The church in Fuenmayor.
Walking alonmg the edge of the vineyards.
.....and ready for the harvest.

Navarette is on the Camino de Santiago and as we came into the town we cast our eye along the path from Logroño and saw the dozens of pilgrims already on the road.  I think it was a bit enlightening for Julie, and though Pam and I had seen it before, it still feels odd joining the crowds after being so few on our way.   On arriving at Navarette we had a second breakfast and a look in the Church, which was open and despite two previous visits Pam had never been able to see it.  I remember singing in the Church back in 2007.
A manuscript on display in the church at Navarette
The golden retablo in the church at Navarette.
Just some of the tide of pilgrims coming into Navarette.

After some discussion Julie & Pam decided to catch the bus to Logroño.  This saved knees and feet.  I walked against the flow of pilgrims and counted in excess of 125, having lost count while I had a refreshment break.  This didn't take into account the dozens upon dozens that arrived while we were in Navarette.  The pilgrims walking towards me were of all shapes and sizes, all ages, and many nationalities.  Some walked with confidence, no doubt reaching their destination in good time, while others limped and hobbled as they painfully inched their way towards Santiago.
Arriving on Logroño

I'm so glad I had an opportunity to walk the Camino "backwards" - against the flow.  I saw not only the people, but the scenery, in a new light.
I saw this sign in a different light.  Every other time I have seen it from behind - with all the scaffolding that you can see near it's legs.
Along this part of the Camino there is a fence about 800metres long and in pilgrims have, over the years, entwined crosses.
Looking towards Logroño, with the reservoir in the foreground and beside which I had a leisurely lunch.

I need to apologise to friends who have left comments and received no reply.  I have found WiFi painfully slow and have had to make a choice with either doing a new post, or taking that time to reply.  I know you will all understand and feel reasonably confident that you can all cope!


  1. You are bringing back memories for me Janet. I remember pinching some of the grapes for a snack and feeling very guilty. The heat, the earth and the sound of insects. I loved this region. I can't believe there are so many pilgrims at this time of year. Amazing! Lucky you doing it backwards. You will feel as if it's new. Buen Camino and I'm sure all your followers understand you not replying. Ultreya!

  2. Yes, we can all understand the difficulties of replying- we are just glad you can post! I think at the start of September there is a surge of pilgrims from SJPP almost as big as the one at the beginning of May, so you will be meeting some of them. I know someone who started walking in August so she had a lot of heat to contend with, but she is in Galicia now with just days to go, so she has missed those huge crowds.
    No wonder the Spanish have so many great musicians- with all these fiestas they get to practice at! I remember the church at Navarette very well too: we were lucky enough to encounter a choir concert here, and their music was magnificent!