In the parlance of through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail, “taking a zero” means a rest day. I realized that I had stupidly neglected to plan ANY rest days on this journey. And I’d now been walking for 7 days straight! Time for a break.
I decided to take the bus from Navarette to Najera, where I had booked a single room in a little pensión. After a small breakfast and coffee, and double checking the time, I found the bus stop. And waited.
And waited. And waited some more. Finally, I hiked myself back to my previous hostel where I asked the owner (in Spanish! So proud of myself!) to call me a taxi. Never did find out what was up with the bus, but in short order I was in Nájera.
The pensión was down a tiny street and my room was ready. I realized I was exhausted and this rest day was a good decision.
I was able to get some tapas, take a nap and do a laundry. Later, I toured the ancient monastery of Santa Maria la Real. Construction on the site dates back more than a thousand years, starting with a cave dug directly into the cliff above.
I realize once again how difficult it is for me to just…not plan. Already today I found myself thinking weeks ahead. Trying to figure out transportation to Leon or getting to Sarria so I could walk the last 100 kilometers and get my Compestela in Santiago. But I resisted.
My plan now (such as it is) is to book one day ahead, if possible. Tomorrow I will walk to Cirueña, a little less than 10 miles. Once I’m there, I’ll determine the next day’s goal. And so on, one day at a time. And I’ll “take a zero” every 6 or 7 days.
That’s my plan.