San Asensio - Logroño
For them stats Strava Route San Asensio to Logroño
Today was supposed to be a rest day, but I was feeling pretty good and didn't want to spend another $80 for a night at the hotel. Logroño isn't too far away and it'll have a campsite I can stay at near the center. I head down for a breakfast of assorted hams, croissants, bread, yogurts, fruit, and coffee. A perfectly fine biking breakfast 8 ) After checking out, I head through the small square in town and see a farmers market. I stop off for a Cortado and pastry (don't judge me) before hitting some back roads to Logroño.
The cycling took some low traffic back roads that were all fine until Guardia where I stopped for a menu del dia. This time I had no idea what I ordered but one of the items had the word "asada" in it. "Asada...carne asada...must be some kind of meat", I thought to myself. Nah, asada just means roasted. Here's your fish!
I wasn't really prepared for this, but it was pretty good. Although with this and the scrambled eggs, I felt very heavy. Not a great cycling meal.
After Guardia, a major road must have merged into the one I took in because the traffic got pretty real, and fast. That, "can't look at the scenery because it's focus or get side-swipped" kind of traffic. 10 km of this left me pretty exhausted by the time I rolled into the campsite at Logroño. 13 euros later, I get to my campsite (which is behind an RV plot) to find a 10ftx10ft square made of rocks. I'm thinking the price per awesome ratio here is very low as I bend a stake trying to pitch my tent. Unfortunately, this is the one and only campsite in Logroño.
Eventually I get setup, showered, and start to head out of the camp. A young Belgian guy named Jacob, clad in lycra rolls into the site fully loaded for touring. We get to talking, and he's traveling from France to the end of the Camino and back to Belgium (I think he's got me beat). He tells me this campsite is very expensive (the most he's seen so far) and I let him know the plots for the tents are pretty terrible. As we're talking, 3 Dutch tourers roll in. A mix of Dutch and English is being spoken all over the place. Jacob syncs the riders on the camping situation and they get frowny. All but a Dutch couple decide to bike the ~15km to the next town to avoid this campsite. Jacob says, "Well it would of been nice to have a beer, but we won't be staying here." We shake hands and depart. I head into the city to do some shopping and exploring.
I head to Decathlon to see if maybe this one had some white gas. Nope, still just canisters. I see a "Megamarket" in the distance and decide to go in. Maybe they'll have some white gas? They don't but this megamarket (located inside of a mall) was mega-huuuuuuuuge. It's like if Walmart, Mariano's, and Pepboys merged into one big store, and was located inside a mall. They even had a complete aisle dedicated to ham.
After Megazord Mart, I stop off at a place called Umm for some food and drink. I get some tea and a glass of red wine to start. When the waitress returns to my table, she sees me struggling to translate the long menu and asks if I need some help with a smile. She translates the menu, and I decide to get a half-order of the ham plate and an octopus plate.
Sitting outside on their patio, the clouds begin to turn dark fast. By the time the ham plate comes out, it's starting to come down heavy. The wind really picks up and all of the workers are running outside to hold the roof of this patio and stop it from blowing away. Patrons are running into the restaurant, and for some reason I'm unfazed and continue to eat my ham (#hamtrance). Eventually a Spanish patron comes up to me and asks if I need help escaping. I run inside with him and grab a table.
I'm not sure if there's a name for a specific combo of menu items you can order to get on the good side of the chef, but I managed to hit that combo. I get served some extras on the house and the waitress says the chef's really happy to hear I liked the food. I also really like the bread and ask the waitress if I could take some to go. Turns out the chef bakes the bread herself as well (more brownie points!) I was hoping just for a few slices for breakfast and got an entire roll.
By the time I finish and pay for the meal, the clouds have thankfully cleared up and it's back to the campsite.
It's Friday night in Logrono so after dropping off groceries and my bike, I hit the town. Apparently in Spain, toward the center of the city you find streets that are just lined with snack bars. These are (from what I've seen) narrow and long bars. They're pretty tight so mostly people grab their drink+snack and head back outside. It looks like you stay at one place for a drink and a snack and hop to the next. This seems to be a thing in Barcelona as well, and I'll see them a few more times on my trip. The Spaniards have the drinking and snack game on lockdown.
After enough glasses of wine to start glowing, it's off to the campsite to fall asleep in preparation for the start of the Pyrenees!