Friday, 13 June 2014

Day 17. Iratxe to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. 65miles

A day of surprises and changed plans - which is putting a brave face on it.

I set off well before 8 to get the best of the cool part of the day. We planned to meet up in Logrono for my first lunch, but Brendan found the Logrono signage tricky, and we decided to meet in the next town, Navarrete. The route recommended by my guide book Jakobs-Radweg : von
den Pyrenaen nach Santiago de Compostela ( yes, it's in German, and, no, I don't know much German, but it's the best I could find at Stanford's) took me along the banks of the River Ebro, with a stiff climb at one point and then couple of miles on a gravel track. A bit slower than ideal.

Over my second lunch at Navarrete, we agreed to press on to Najera, a small town with a campsite. In  fact it was a beautiful place, if you ignore the outer suburbs. But the campsite is no longer on business. By now it was getting hot but maybe not so hot as yesterday, se we decided to press on to Santo Domingo. The motorway runs out just beyond Najera, and I took the main road which climbed very gradually over a low range of hills. Traffic wasn't that heavy, there were long gaps between lorries and cars, so I wonder why they are bothering to build a motorway. Each tiny village seems to have its own motorway junction, and the village of Hormilla ( maybe 1000 inhabitants) has sprouted three giant roundabouts.

Reached the campsite OK. But then the plan went agley. The campsite consisted mostly of holiday chalets. At the far end was a camping filed beautifully laid out, with young trees marking out the plot boundaries. The servicios were beautiful and new. But they'd forgotten perhaps the most important thing - ground you can actually get tent pegs into. I chatted to a Dutch couple who were doing the El Cid trail by bicycle. They'd managed to get their small tent up, but had a different type of peg from us. The man from the campsite tried to help,  but really just succeeded in bending our pegs even more. Do not go to if you have a tent.

So we packed the tent up again and headed into town to find a hotel. The centre of Santa Domingo is all small streets, semi pedestrianised, old stone houses. We're in luxury at the Parador hotel opposite the Cathedral. The room has a balcony opening over the front of the Hotel overlooking the cathedral square.

But on the plus side, I covered 65 miles which isn't bad considering the weather.


  1. Happy landings! I was dreading reading that either you or the bike had met with a mishap! Pleased to see no worse! xx

  2. PS what's this emerging pattern of multiple lunches???

    1. I usually have a sandwich mid morning, then another about lunchtime. Today well fortified with buffet breakfast at hotel.

  3. George&Dee13 June 2014 at 15:39

    Ditto! This is fantastic prgress and, as you say,it's not a penance. We're delighted the concrete ground has given you the opporunity for some comfort. Not that your tent isn't but you know what I mean. We miss you and remain in awe. Sleep well. G&DXX
    PS although I'm a mere biker, I agree about the Spanish roads.