Sunday, January 02, 2011

Day 7 on the Camino – Shadows, (No) Strangers, and Double Ick

Tuesday, September 28th – 17.5 miles to Logrono

Kathie started out the day fascinated with shadows.

This was to be our last day of hiking with Kathleen. Like JJ about whom I will write more later, Kathleen knows no strangers. Here she is walking and chatting with a Korean girl with whom we met up several times. We were always amazed by her (the Korean girl, that is) carrying her purse along with her fully loaded backpack. Due to miserable feet syndrome, she was going to be buying new boots when she reached Logrono.

Around mid-morning we passed through the 12th century village of Torres del Rio, seen here from the “peak” of Nuestra Senora del Payo (1870 feet).

Much later in the day, we stopped in Viana at the Iglesia Santa Maria, where Kathleen and I took our boots and socks off and rested our dogs on the cold concrete. Ah, nirvana!

In front of this door is a plaque where Cesare Borgia (of the infamous Borgias) was buried ‘til 2007. Cesare was the son of Pope Alexander VI (before he became pope, of course) and his long-time mistress. Somehow, the 15-year old Cesare was made bishop of Pamplona, studied law in Italy, then became a cardinal at age 18. There was speculation that he killed his brother over another brother’s wife, who was also the mistress of Cesare and the brother he supposedly killed. Hello? Did anyone have a lick of sense back then?

At 23, he became the first person to resign from a cardinal position…possibly because he knew that France’s King Louis XII was going to name him the Duke of Valentinois on that very day? Anyway, from this he gained the nickname Valentino.

Apparently, he died during the siege of Viana at the age of 31. Wikipedia attributes his death to malaria or poisoning. Our guidebook says he was killed. Either way, he left behind at least one legitimate child plus 11 illegitimate children. Plus he was intimate with his sister Lucrezia and impregnated her. Ick. Now here’s the real kicker – Alexandre Dumas claimed that paintings of Jesus Christ produced during Cesare Borgia’s life resembled Cesare – influencing the commonly held image of Jesus since that time. Double ick.

Moving on we passed through La Rioja wine (durn good red wine, too) region to Logrono…

…where we arrived to a big surprise when we reached our hotel, Condes de Haro (Counts of Haro, a town in the La Rioja region). That story deserves its own post.


Katharine said...

Another amazing day we didn't want to end because Kathleen was leaving us. Waugh!!

Kappa no He said...

Fascinating! And I echo all those icks. Ick! Can't wait to read about the big surprise. ^^v