Camino de Santiago – Day 3. Empanadas, Wine and 74 kilometers.

Plans for the third day

According to my plan, which I made in Berlin, I was supposed to run 67 km on the third day. But in the morning, when I was checking the route, I realized that I had made a mistake somewhere, because Google told me about 72 km, and the previous two days had shown that the Camino de Santiago does not always follow the same roads that Google suggests.

The fact that Sunday in Europe is a day when everything is closed added to the tension. But Spain continued to surprise me, and the coffee shop/bakery I was told about in Albergue was open from 7 am. So, after a couple of sweet buns and a hot tea for my sore throat (I talked about it here), I started the third day of my Camino.

The road to somewhere

The first “big” city on my way was supposed to be Los Arcos, the path running through the forest and all sorts of deserted villages. There was no snow, but the journey began with light rain, which bothered me because I couldn’t put on my glasses because they were covered with drops, but it was not enough to get a raincoat for my backpack, but even to be visible in the photo.

The road led me into the forest, where I began my ascent to the next mountain. The rain did not penetrate the trees, so running was quite comfortable. On the third day, I started to feel a little bit sick, because I was alone, because of a sore throat, because my plans didn’t match reality, and so on, so I was not in the mood to shoot anything. I was entertaining myself by texting my friends and trying to answer questions from my subscribers (it sounds like I’m some kind of star).

Los Arcos

I ran into Los Arcos at 11 o’clock, already quite hungry, so when I saw the first open shop with handmade empanadas smiling at me from the window, I decided that it was fate, and even the price of 6 euros for that empanada did not stop me.


As it turned out later, there was nothing in the “big” city of Los Arcos except for this shop, and the cathedral, where some disgruntled monk played the organ, which I disturbed when I was putting a stamp in my pilgrim passport.

The road after Los Arcos was pleasing to the eye with beautiful scenery and reminded me that Spain, namely the Navarre region, is well known for its wines. Before I went to this region, I did not know that Navarre used to be a kingdom, and now only half of this kingdom remains in Spain – Upper Navarre and Lower Navarre was left in France. And today’s Navarre owes its name to the French, as the wines of this region are similar to those of France. And by the way, it is in the Navarre region that winemakers use French oak barrels to age wine.

Camino can be different


At 13:30, hungry again, I reached the town of Viana, where I found an open tavern where hot Spaniards were enthusiastically tasting beer and wine. I wasn’t interested in these drinks, so I ordered a piece of scrambled eggs served with a piece of bread and tea. That’s how I had my lunch.

Yes, this is my lunch

This hearty lunch lifted my spirits a bit, so I continued on my way to the really big city of Logrono. I bet you won’t guess what greeted me in this city because I could not expect it to be a working crematorium. And if you think that in Europe, crematoria have some kind of super-filters that don’t let the smell through, you’re wrong. I could smell the smell of burning for about a kilometer while I was running along a pretty nice promenade.

The city turned out to be beautiful, but despite the fact that it was really big, I didn’t manage to find anything open. But I did see a very nice park where a lot of locals were walking. In general, parks on the outskirts of cities were found in almost every major city on my way. And even on weekdays, there were many people walking there.

Pilgrims everywhere

First finish at sunset

After Logrono, my path lay to the town of Najera, where I was to spend the night. Settlements were rare, the scenery was over, and so was my good mood. I ran, listened to some music and watched the number of kilometers on my watch change. I was low on energy, so my pace dropped and I walked a lot.

Closer to Najera, I came across a wine museum, which, although well advertised, was still closed.

The number of kilometers to Santiago still scares me

The sun was approaching the horizon, and my nerves continued to be on edge, as I was afraid that the Albergue I was planning to stay in would be closed or overcrowded. These fears forced me to keep at least some pace.

At 70 kilometers, I didn’t want to move my feet anymore. At 72 kilometers, I realized that Google was lying and I had to keep going. I had run out of water long ago, I was terribly tired, hungry and thirsty. And then, miraculously, I ran into Najera. Another kilometer through the city, up the hill (who would have doubted that the finish would be uphill) and I find my Albergue Las Penas.

The torture, not the malice.

Deception everywhere

I walk into the Alberge, and there is no one at the reception, but there is a refrigerator with drinks. Without hesitation, I grab a can of coke and after drinking half of it, I start calling the owners. The man listed as the owner understands absolutely nothing in English, but he sent his girlfriend, who was able to check me in. By the way, they put me in the last available bunk.

There are advertisements for dinner and breakfast on the wall near the reception. I order breakfast, and for dinner, I am told to go to the restaurant indicated in the advertisement. I run (with non-working legs) to the shower and immediately to the restaurant, and I’m glad that dinner is served there from 20:00 and I just managed to wash and get ready by this time. At 20:03 I’m standing outside the restaurant, and a waitress or a cook or who knows who comes out and says they’re closed locks the door, and leaves.

I open Google, find the nearest place where I can be fed, and go there. The kitchen is closed, the bartender is watching football, and looking into my hungry eyes, he goes to heat my pasta in the microwave.


After dinner, I return to my Alberge, where I ask the judges for tea to help my sore throat. It’s 10:00 p.m. Lights out. I go to bed with fear, because I simply cannot imagine what will happen next.

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