After a rest day in Logroño, we embarked upon a long, and as it turned out, difficult stage of the Camino Ignaciano. We gathered in the park outside the hotel and were briefed by Peter Walden about the walk. Then I talked about the Ignatian exercise for the day which was on sin and healing. Vin Dillon suggested that we pray for friends and family who are sick and suffering. We each mentioned someone whom we were going to carry in our hearts today. Then we set off in silence through the streets of Logrono filled with people getting to work or dropping their children at the school gate.
En route to Alcanadre we passed through several small towns and villages located on – or close to – the mighty Ebro River, and walked through vineyards and olive groves.
Not long after leaving the hotel in Logrono I developed shin splints in my right leg. As the day wore on they started in the left leg too. It was very painful to walk. I thought about taking a bus or a taxi or a train to Calahorra, but none was available, so I had to keep on walking. We left Logrono at 8.20am and it was 6.10pm when we arrived in Alcanadre. We were on the road for almost 10 hours. It was a very long day made possible with Voltaren cream, Ibuprofen, Panadol and very supportive fellow pilgrims.
The name of Alcanadre is Arabic in origin: Al-Cana-Dre, referring to the “bridges” or “arches” of an old bridge over the Ebro River, whose ruins are near the town. The 16th century church of Santa María preserves a lovely Romanesque image, while the remains of a 1st century Roman aqueduct can also be seen.
After we arrived in Alcanadre, a coach transferred us to our lodgings in Calahorra.
In the evening we had Mass at the hotel celebrated by Fr Paddy Mugavin which we integrated with our sharing of the joys and struggles of the day. Dinner was at 9.00pm, so it was a late night after an exhausting day.