By some calculations (they always differed) day 4 was a short day--only 18 kilometers. Lots of people went all the way in to Logrono to eat tapas for the night, but just getting to Viana in one piece was enough of a challenge for me.
The day started off well enough:
I don't know what these little rock stacks were, but they were everywhere. Pilgrims will stack rocks on top of anything.
And then we got to this little town straight away. I always liked it when there was a town just a few kilometers out after starting the day--it was nice to wait and have breakfast or a coffee once you had walked a little.
Just after the village I saw a water fountain. I was so happy that I took it's picture (with my relatively new best friend/walking stick):
I had filled up my water bottle in town, but figured I would top it off. Then I decided I could probably use all the hydration I could get and just downed the whole bottle so I could fill it all the way up.
And then...I learned one of the Camino's most valuable lessons. Always test the fountain before you drink all of your water!!! That's right, the fountain didn't work and I had to walk 2.5 hours in the blazing sun with no water. It was a long day.
We also by now were realizing that the Camino would take you by any cemetery it could find. A subtle reminder not to over do it.
Even with the heat and thirst, there were some beautiful landscapes
Then it was incline time! There were two steep hills in the middle of this stage. I kind of laughed when I saw that someone had written in "oh, oh!" on the sign. Two steps later, that is exactly what I said.
It's much steeper than it looks in pictures!
Also...I am not to vain to show you this next picture:
It was incredibly hot. It hovered around 95 all day and there was no shade. Especially without water I was starting to lose my mind. The night before in Los Arcos I bought this light cotton scarf to wear around my neck so it would stop turning abnormal colors from sun exposure. Well, I got so hot that I decided to go Arab. Fellow pilgrim Manuel took to calling me Lorena de Arabia, but I didn't care.
I finally staggered into Viana and found our Albergue for the night. In a Camino first it had bunk beds stacked 3 beds high. It also shared a courtyard with a ruined monastery (or church? or? I forget...). After washing my clothes I asked the hospitalero where I could hang them. She told me to hang them out in the courtyard. There was a beautiful view of the valley and hundreds of years old ruins all around--it just felt wrong to hang my wet hiking clothes there. But of course I did.
The town also had a really nice church which held nightly pilgrim masses
It was a nice town. In the end I was very glad to have stayed in Viana and not in Logrono. I also met a lot of people in the hostel that evening. Some memorable ones included a group of Cantabrian women and a retired couple from Sevilla.