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Cycling the Camino de Santiago - Day Four (A wine-fuelled trip to Logrono)

After a poor start to the day, filled with stretches, popping leg tendons and worry, Day Four of my Camino journey was actually incredibly enjoyable. 

The mission today was to make it the next 55km to Logrono without doing any more damage to my ankles. 

Thankfully, the road today was largely flat, with only a few short and undulating hills to conquer, so I was able to do the distance almost entirely by bike with very little walking or standing. 

Only 2km or so outside of Estella, I hit an off road section running behind a winery. 

Amazingly, the winery had decided, long ago I'm told, to install a tap in the wall so that pilgrims could drink their wine as they went about their journey. 

The sickly sweet smell of the area around the tap took some getting used to, but the wine itself (don't ask me what kind, I know only that it was red) was actually very nice. 

Unsurprisingly, the tap is extremely popular among pilgrims - it has become somewhat of a social hot spot. 

I spent about half an hour there as part of my journey, drinking, taking pictures for people, and chatting to others about their journey. 

It was there I met a lovely British woman called Paula, though she moved to Italy when she was 20 and now speaks a number of different languages and pronounces her name Pow-la. A very interesting woman. 

After this I took a bit of a ramble through the neibouring monastery before a couple of ankle twinges reminded me I need to get back on the bike and stay off my feet. 

The rest of the day saw me cycle relatively alone through the Spanish countryside. 

All the cars were on the motorway and all the walkers were on the dirt trail - so it was just me, the lonely regional road, and the sun beating down relentlessly on my brow. 

At one point, however, I had a little visitor. A rather magnificent one. 

Due to the secluded nature of the road I was on, a massive eagle had decided it was the perfect place to rest a while on a road sign. 

I think it was as startled to see me as I was to see it when I came barrelling around the corner and disturbed it. 

In an instant the bird had spread its wings, leapt from its perch, and launched itself straight across the road just in front of me. 

It turned to the right, then, and glided alongside me on the road for all of about three seconds, almost close enough to touch, before veering away into the distance at an incredible speed. 

My feet had continued to peddle, but my heart had stopped entirely. 

It was the most beautiful thing I had seen that day...

And that's coming from an Irish woman who had seen free wine flowing from the side of a building that morning - so you know it must have been pretty bloody impressive to top that. 

While the road was in good nick, even the sections that passed through secluded vineyards, and I made good time, I was still exhausted by the time I got to Logrono. 

So exhausted that I checked into my hostal and went straight to bed! 

But tomorrow is a day of rest, so I still have plenty of time to see the sights. 

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