On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Logroño To Ventosa

February 3, 2012 — 13 Comments

Nearby, I took shelter inside a café, which sat in a wooded area beside the reservoir. I chose a table away from the smokers at the bar and ordered a Coke Light and an ice cream. The students who had passed me earlier entered and the café became loud and lively. On the television, the evening news showed the weather in Spain was about 10°C cooler than normal for this time in May. They showed a clip of snow on the mountains and then something I didn’t want to see – a forecast of more rain and cold for at least a week. Not good news for this fair-weather pilgrim… From Page 70, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days.

On my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Viana To Logroño, despite the inclement weather, I enjoyed my short stay in Logroño. Visiting the Iglesia de Santa María la Redonda was very special. I recommend spending some time in the smaller chapel in the back, a peaceful place, especially when less tourists are around. Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).

For about three kilometers from Logroño, the Camino followed this paved path through grassland, farmland, and industrial land.Photo of Cloudy sky, paved path, farmland, trees, grasslands near Logroño, Spain


This icon or memorial looked recent but I have no idea what it represents.Photo of Statute memorial, flowers, green shrubs, west of Logroño, Spain


Fisherman at the reservoir, Pantano de la Grajera, which was created in 1883.

Photo of Fishermen, bridge, Lake, reservoir, west of Logroño, Spain


Near the cafeteria, was one of the few public washrooms along the Camino. Make sure you use the facilities before resuming. There won’t be another like it for a long time. This park next to the reservoir was deserted in the inclement weather.

Photo of Green trees, sign, picnic tables, Park, gray sky, at the edge of Pantano de la Grajera, Spain


The path had been paved all the way from Logroño and the walking was easy. A gravel path now led through the peaceful park.

Photo of Green trees, gravel path, green lawn, Park at the Pantano de la Grajera, Spain


Back along farmland and vineyards with rich soil.

Photo of Ruins, gravel road, yellow mustard flowers, gray sky, vineyardwest of Pantano de la Grajera, Spain


There is a short climb to the Alto de la Grajera with Logroño in the distance. This was probably the largest field of mustard I had seen so far along the Camino. In many areas of the world, mustard is considered a weed. The Government of Ontario, Canada has a webpage where it discusses mustard as a problem species. However, I thought it was quite beautiful especially when it lined the path. This scene would have been nicer without the dark clouds.

Photo of Dark gray sky, yellow flowers, Lake or reservoir, near Navarrete, Spain


Pilgrims attached crosses made of twigs and other pieces of wood to this chain-link fence along the freeway or autopista, N-120. For many kilometers in this area, the Camino follows either alongside the freeway or very close to it.

Photo of Wooden crosses, fence, freeway, grey sky, east of Navarrete, Spain


Even on such a dull day, the reddish-brown soil looked vibrant. The town of Navarrete is in the distance.

Photo of Gray sky, red soil, vineyard near Navarrete, Spain


All that is left of the 12th century Hospital de San Juan de Acre. According to Gitlitz & Davidson in The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, the hospital flourished until 1568 when it began its demise. In the background, is the Rioja Don Jacobo Crianza Winery.

Photo of Rioja Don Jacobo Crianza Winery, pilgrim hospital ruins near Navarrete, Spain


Photo of Ruins of the pilgrim hospital, grasslands, trees, gray skies near Navarrete, Spain


The colourful sign for the Hotel Rey Sancho as I entered Navarrete. I never looked inside the hotel but if needed, it may be a good break from the pilgrim hostels or albergues.

Photo of colorful Sign, green grass in Navarrete, Spain


The plaza in Navarrete was very quiet in the cold, damp evening. The central area of Navarrete has been designated a Cultural Property.

Photo of Plaza, gray skies, trees, yellow buildings in Navarrete, Spain


This metal statue was across from the church.

Photo of Metal sculpture at the man working, stone building, Navarrete, Spain


The Iglesia de la Asunción was the main feature in the central area of Navarrete. I was so lucky that the church was opened when I arrived. Similar to the Iglesia de Santa María in Los Arcos, the interior of the church was far more exquisite than I had expected in the small town. The Baroque retablo was amazing. My photo of the retablo wasn’t clear, but you can check this page from Vino Turismo Rioja for their photos of the church. If you have Gitlitz & Davidson’s book, The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, they discuss the retablo in depth on page 132.

Photo of Gray sky, Stone church, in Navarrete, Spain


I can’t find any references to this scene in the interior of the church.

Photo of religious statue, cross inside church, Navarrete, Spain


Two more photos taken from around the central area.

Photo of Gray sky, cobbled street, pilgrims, stone building, Navarrete, Spain


Photo of Gray sky, lamppost, cars, cobbled street, three-story buildings,Navarrete, Spain


Just west of Navarrete was the cemetery. The portal that you see is actually from the front façade of the Hospital de San Juan de Acre, on the east side of Navarrete .

Photo of Façade, cemetery, trees, green lawn, paving stones, Navarrete, Spain


For the entire afternoon, there were mostly dark clouds and intermittent showers. However, during the brief moment the sun peeked through the clouds, it showcased the vibrant colors of the landscape, dominated by vineyards.

Photo of Vineyard, gravel road, gray skies, trees, west of Navarrete, Spain


Photo of Red soil, gray skies, vineyard, west of Navarrete, Spain


The scallop shell, the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, was even placed under some of the freeway overpasses.

Photo of Camino shell, overpass, Freeway, west of Navarrete


More beautiful vineyards.

Photo of Vineyards, green fields, ray sky, red soil, east of Ventosa, Spain


The hills and terraced grounds on the edge of Ventosa.

Photo of Red Earth, vineyards, cloudy sky, terraces, Ventosa, Spain


I hope you enjoyed this post. On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Ventosa To Nájera, I’ll wake up to the recorded sounds of monks chanting, experiment with a new piece of rain gear, emerge from the albergue into the rain and the cold, and then ditch my new piece of rain gear. In fact, the next chapter in my book is aptly named Frío, Frío (cold, cold). I’m shivering just thinking about it now. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


13 responses to On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Logroño To Ventosa

  1. And I was down there , walking in…Spring…only lost my photos on the way..but memories are a live!!!!

  2. Wonderfull writing thank you so much for sharing .. I am going in August 2013, hope will manage.

  3. WOW Randall, you know I don’t think I’ve ever seen this post before…Beautiful! Okay time to get my copy of your book out and re-read from page 70 …I like doing this as I get to re-visit and also visualize what you’ve written. Thanks mon ami for tweeting it on Twitter!

    • Thanks for following along in my book. I thought it would be better than posting a few poor B&W photos in my book but I still get comments wishing I had done so. Thanks as always for stopping by 🙂

  4. Randall, I’m so glad I just found your blog, I have two friends walking the Camino and through your blog I’m able to see what they’re seeing everyday, beautiful photography! I want the book now…….thank you!!

    • Hi Julie. Thanks for your comment. I tried to show what what walking the Camino was like, at least from my perspective. I’m glad you enjoy my photography. I wish your friends a safe and pleasant journey. I hope you enjoy my book. Try not to take it too seriously 🙂

  5. Hi Randall, Great to read your blog! Reminds me of my own camino – today is exactly 1 year when i walked into Navarrete from Logrono! I was looking at my photos and was trying to get more info on Navarrete when I stumbled upon a photo (it was yours!!) which was an exact DUPLICATE of mine – where you see Navarrete at a distance!!!! I was sooo stoked when I saw it!
    Take care and Buen Camino! Vicky from Melbourne, Australia

    • Excellent Vicky. We have similar taste!
      I remember that walk from Logroño with fondness on a somewhat cool Spring evening.
      Buen Camino to you and the most pleasant of journeys 🙂

  6. Carlos Navarrete October 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Great Blog, My grandparents are from the town Navarrete. Was planning a visit there before my time is up. I had no idea in the beauty of this little pueblo. I will look for your book to get more information before I start my journey.
    Thank you for the pictures.
    Carlos Navarrete

    • Thanks Carlos. Actually my blog noes not do the beauty of Navarrete justice. It was late in my day when I arrived and I didn’t have much time to visit. I hope you can visit your village soon. Please let me know what you think, either here or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Sorry Carlos. I answered your comment a while back but failed to approve your message ( I thought I had). Buen Camino to you!

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