18 February 2013
Distance today = 52.04 km; Total distance = 16,711.24 km; Location = Urbiola – 42 37.000′ N, 02 06.130′ W; Start time = 0850, Finish time = 1711
If every day was like today, I’d be very happy. The morning was crisp, but not cold. The afternoon was warm, but not hot. There was a light breeze, but not a wind. It was hilly, to the extent that it afforded good views, but wasn’t mountainous. And the Spanish countryside was pleasing to the eye.
The first part of the day was quite hilarious, depending on your sense of humour. Google Maps took me down a little back road, which is normally a good thing. However, the road soon disappeared and I was left with a muddy vineyard to run through. There was no semblance of even a path. I had to step my way through puddles between rows of grapevines, simply following the track of the non-existent road that was showing on my map. Thankfully, it finally joined a dirt track, and I was back in the game.
It was a very misty morning, to the point that visibility got down to about twenty metres at one stage. Nature called, and I decided it was a good place to stop – a quiet gravel back road, shrouded in fog – as private as you can get. By the time I finished, however, the fog had parted slightly, and visibility was now about thirty metres, revealing several farmworkers tending the vines, and looking straight at me. Talk about being caught with your pants down. I had to laugh.
By mid-morning I had reached the city of Logrono. Many old cities that have expanded in recent times can be quite unappealing. This is true of Logrono in the outer suburbs. But, once in the old part of town, it’s a different thing. I ran right through the narrow streets of the ancient city, and across an old bridge – well worth the effort.
The rest of the day involved quite a bit of climbing and some great views. The Camino de Santiago continues to parallel the road I’ve been running on. It’s even steeper than the road.
I finished the day in gentle sunshine, well pleased with a relatively easy 52 km. I have a similar distance tomorrow to get me to Pamplona.