IMG 0845A second night at La Capelliana is an obvious choice despite the lack of restaurants in town. We are assured that the one will be open tonight and that a booking has been made.

After a very satisfactory breakfast Mercedes gives us a briefing on the area and places to visit. Two of the local ladies were very impressed with the size of the unit Mary is astride! They made it quite clear in sign language.

After some messing around finding a petrol station both for fuel and to replace my headlamp (the BMW tells you when the bulb has failed which is better than waiting for the local cops to notice) we made for the monastery at San Millan de la Cogolla. Fortune smiled on us and we arrived in time for the last tour of the morning (13:10) before the siesta.

The monastery is a working one but tours of the place show the opulence and wealth of the place. Make you wonder somewhat about the church. There's a very nice cafe just accord the road where we enjoyed a sit down lunch and glass of water.

In what remained of the afternoon we rode to the Basque town of Laguardia which gives is a splendid medieval hilltop town which is clearly popular with the tourists. We ate ice cream.

IMG 0846Finally back to San Asensio narrowly avoiding a couple of itinerant showers that were in the vicinity.

Some thoughts on La Rioja. Much of the area is benefiting from tourism with many of the towns clean and clearly doing pretty well. There are many, many splendid winery's and acres of vines so there is considerable employment and hence income for the locals. Towns off the beaten track such as San Asensio are doing less well, with litter and an unkempt, down at heal look with much abandoned property for sale.

Overall this is a great place to come for good wine, empty roads, pleasant temperatures (highs of 18-26C so far) and reasonably priced accommodation. It might be a different story in the summer when it is probably uncomfortably hot anyway. We seem to have timed this just right..... (Hopefully)


A quick drink on the square, curtailed when the makers came out of the bar. (The ladies were playing cards inside again).

Dinner at Casa Marisa was a set menu affair and not too bad at all. I have ended up with half a bottle of Rioja in the pannier that I don't know what to do with, well I do but not this morning.