Day 8: Logroño to Ventosa

After a short 10km walk, Mikey arrived in Logroño and met up with Frank. A university town of 125,000, Logroño is also the capital of La Rioja – the famed wine producing region in Spain. 

   We walked around the old town for a bit and checked out the 14th century Catedral de Santa Maria de la Redonda.

 Arriving mid-day, Mikey felt about as out of it as this ice cream salesman looked! 

   Still, he and Frank walked around the city exploring some and trying to drum up some real hunger for pintxo-time!

  The pintxos in Pamplona were great, but Logroño far surpassed Frank and Mikey’s expectations in regard to creativity and sheer quantity of tasty treats. Above are croquettes topped with Serrano ham, braised octopus, frittatas, French omelettes  made in cups, and more stuff that we didn’t try.   

  We were both sure to try the steak, grilled red peppers, and mixed lettuce salad (3€!)

  

 Roasted baby suckling pig ribs with a chimichurri sauce – WOW! 
Needless to say, we slept the sound sleep of the righteously  obese! In fact, we woke late and hurried down to a breakfast buffet before gathering our things to spend the day walking off all that food.  

 We stopped by the Church of Saint James (kinda have to when you’re on his namesake pilgrimage!) Notice the out of place modern chandeliers.  

   And Mikey snapped a quick picture of a missed opportunity. 

   

 While probably not drunk, this swan lightened our moods as we walked through a seemingly endless suburban park.

 Before too long, we had left the sprawling city of Logroño and were once again surrounded by the wine fields of rural La Rioja. 

  
Frank posing by a “new-to-us” version of the Camino markers.   

 We paused briefly in the town of Naverette to escape a freak downpour. This 13th century facade from a pilgrims’ hospital now graces the town cemetery.  

 With the determination of a Spanish bull, Frank charges through the remnants of a downpour!   After almost 20 miles, we spotted a church towering above the town of Ventosa. 

 A silhouetted pilgrim greets Frank at the edge of town.  

   Home sweet … Bunkbed?!? Guess it’ll do.

  Dear Santa, if Mikey ever has a yard, he really wants one of these planters. PS: don’t forget the pony!

 And highlight of the evening? Viennetta Ice Cream! Yup, that desert with the horrible commercials from the 80’s. Not only was it tasty, Mikey truly identified with the white, middle-class entertainer seeking to impress his guests towards whom this product was once so strenuously marketed! Buenas noches.

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