Dear Christine and Renee’.

I had thought there would not be much to say about today other than to report the return of the cold and rain that we experienced early on.


I was wrong.

First just to emphasize: It was cold, an arthritis triggering cold and dampness. There were, however, other sites which distracted us from the discomfort. 

A 12th century arch leading into a cemetery.
A Bodega that gives homage to pilgrims.
The incredible Church of the Assumption in the relatively small town of Navarrete (pop. 2,900)

It rained throughout most of the day. Perhaps those conditions contributed to the nonstop conversation that occurred between Britton and me. Through his questions he knows more about our history than any of the grandchildren, and possibly our own children. Yet this was not the highlight of the day.

We reached Ventosa after another 20+km hike that lasted nearly 6 hours. Our venue for the night was Hotel Rural Las Aguedas. I expected a clean and functional establishment. What we received was nothing short of elegant!

Our room was spacious and well appointed.

Down the hall was a sitting room that would be welcoming in any 5 star establishment. Yet this very small rural hotel has only 7 rooms.

For €22 per person our hostess, Rocio, personally cooked a three course dinner, which included bread and a fine local wine.

The same meal in the States would be at least twice the cost. And the setting…!

There were only four of us at table. The other two guests were ab delightful couple from Poland, Kasia & Witek Obszynski, from Cracow.

They are walking the Camino, his fourth and her first. Kasia is struggling through some tendinitis.

Our dinner and conversation extended to almost 3 hours. As it luck has it they will be spending tomorrow night “down the road” at the same small establishment as us. We have committed to continue discussions where we left off. These are people that I know you would enjoy hosting either in Kansas City or Colorado.

The dinner was amazing! Vegetable and fruit salad so colorful that should be memorialized in a painting.

A chicken paella that tops anything that I’ve had on any of my prior visits to Spain.

There was also an excellent dessert and delicious local Rioja wine.

The evening’s experience had taken us from Camino Purgatory to Camino Heaven.

We have a relatively short day tomorrow, only 16 km. I have been working through some reservations for the next few days including train tickets from Burgos to Leon.

Love to both of you. Peace. Dad.

11 thoughts on “Ventosa Spain, Rain and a Silver Lining

  1. There again – when spirits are flagging and joints are creaking -“the Camino provides”. Guess I will eat my words of the other day eh? I find that walking in the rain (torrents excluded) a peaceful contemplative time, which can be a gift in itself. You have found some lovely places to stay. I have never stayed at the Parador in Leon – though it is on my bucket list as a gift to myself for walking (hint, hint). Your pictures are, as always captivating and that meal!! The salad alone was spectacular! Happy Sauntering!!

    • Witek from Poland echoed your sentiments last night when he wrote: Dear Peter, nothing happens without a reason on the Camino, so we’ll see what happens next. We thank you and Britton for meeting at the table. Beautiful to see grandfather and grandson walking together, congratulations!

  2. What a treat! I long for a meal someone else cooks! That looks delicious, especially after a long walk! Good conversation tops it off! Enjoy your respite! 🙂

  3. Peter Tremain says:

    It was a classic “worst of times, best of times” day. So many days contained both on my Camino. The best of times far outweighed the worst of times. In fact, the difficulties just magnified the joy of the good times. That paella looks out of this world. At one Pension at which we were greeted with fresh orange juice when we registered, after the host spent much time cutting vegetables and preparing it, we were treated to a paella large enough to serve about a dozen of us, preceded by a bowl of freshly made garlic soup, all accompanied by a wonderful local wine. I re-experienced the loveliness of the flavors and the hospitality. I am so happy for you and Britton that you are having the full experience together!

  4. No doubt all of us grandparents are truly envious of your one-on-one adventure. A memory that will impact his lifetime. Lucky you. Lucky him!

  5. Wow! The rain and then….what an ending!! Beautiful place, healthy satisfying as well as visually pleasing to the eye… and the best part: new (possibly “forever”) friends!!

  6. Good to read that you had such good conversations with Britton, met a nice couple from Poland, and had a wonderful dinner and place to stay.

What Do You Think?