Finding a Piece of Heaven

The biggest and perhaps main advantage of last night’s hotel was its location.  It was the first thing we encountered after crossing the river into Longroño about 6:15 last night.  Maybe the other thing we should be grateful for was the receptionist Juan Carlo (“just like the King”was part of his introduction), who explained to us the proper procedure for getting my back pack moved each day. What we have been missing is a call must be made the evening before. The places we had been staying previously had been doing it for us (why had I not paid attention to the “I’ll take care of the phone call” comment made several times!).

Anyway, we had not paid the phone call last night but Juan Carlo promised us he would make sure my bag got to our next hotel in Ventoso (Hotel Rural Las Águedas) and he did!

As we left Longroño, it seemed to just be another city, until we entered what turned out to be an over mile long stroll through a beautiful park. The feel reminded me a bit of the area in Eastern Washington around Lake Chelan, but included a very large pond  complete with ducks and swans.

As we struck out into the country, the heat immediately began to take effect. Must have been north of 90 with very little wind.  Luckily we had only (I still chuckle over that word) 13 miles to walk and thought we would be fine. Based on the last couple of days of heat, we have decided we know why the Spainards have siestas and are planning to do relatively little walking between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00. This may not be too hard if we plan our lunch stop for 1:00 and then take multiple breaks for time we go walk before 4:00.

We arrived at this strategy AFTER trying to walk between 1:00 and 4:00 today. After a nice lunch with a Bavarian gal named Edith (who has been walking from central France to León for the last eight weeks by herself), we headed out, John with umbrella in hand and me confident we would have little trouble with the five miles we had left to do.

Boy, were we wrong. Part of our problem was tiredness (and aching back muscles for me) from yesterday. But by the time we got to the last kilometer or so from Ventoso, we were stopping to catch our breath at almost every piece of shade we could find.

Finally, Ventoso. A kind town resident was kind enough to guide us to the hotel, which as soon as we could see it took on the appearance of a little piece of heaven. Benches in a tiny shady area in front of a elegantly simple exterior. When we knocked on the door, the owner named Rocio, herself in elegantly simple attire, greeted us. Seeing how tired I was she had me sit down on one of the benches and brought me a bother of cold water. After getting our picture taken by a neighbor señora, we then entered a beautifully done interior. We left our boots and trekking poles at the front door, were escorted to our room where my back pack was already on my bed  in our beautifully appointed room, and were then told she would  be back in ten minutes to pick up any laundry we would like done. She also offered to make us a breakfast we can take with us as we planning on leaving early tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to see what other surprises this little piece of heaven has in store for us. God is good.

The wifi is iffy so I am not sure if I will get pictures out tonight.