I felt a bit lighter when I left Nájera this morning. I’d had almost 11 hours of sleep and was no longer burdened by an unrealistic itinerary. Rather, I had a one-day goal of about 10 miles and a beautiful day.
The path was gentle and there were some lovely views.
I arrived at Azofra, the first little town, in less than 2 hours. Lots of other pilgrims were stopping here for breakfast. I met Peter and Helen, an Irish couple and Clare, their grown daughter who were doing the Camino in week-long chunks.
I had almuerzo…sort of like a second breakfast. I’d already had coffee, bread and jam at the hostel and needed something more substantial. Bacon, eggs, juice and bread were consumed in short order. I continued on…coming across this interesting (and obviously old) structure.
The woman at my alburgue informed me that it was a horca – a gallows! And used for executions to “make an example of people.” Some cursory research says that there is a history of these structures along the Way.
The weather continued to be glorious and I passed bright yellow fields of rapeseed and other crops.
The road began to climb steadily. Not steep, but taxing. I stopped frequently to catch my breath and see how far I’d come.
After several bends in the road where I was SURE I was coming to the top, I rounded one last corner and saw this very welcome sight.
A rest stop with concrete “recliners.” And a man selling fruits and juice was just packing up, so I snagged a banana and OJ. “How much?” He shrugged. “Take what you want; it’s all donation!”
Now it was flat and the town of Cirueña was coming into view. Unfortunately, somebody had the brilliant idea to build a giant golf club right outside the old village and install “modern” blocks of housing. It was pretty hideous.
It didn’t even feel like I was on the Camino anymore. But I was encouraged by a sign pointing me toward my albergue.
I was happy to arrive and be shown into a beautiful living/dining room. The proprietor took my order for dinner and breakfast (yes, there was a choice!) and showed me a room with bunks, but also two single beds! And I got one!
I recognized one of the women already there – Katrina from Denmark, whom I had met while walking into Navarette. We shared stories and had a beer. The place has a beer vending machine!
Tomorrow I may walk as far as Redecilla del Camino (about 10 miles) or maybe go just a little bit further to Castiledelgado (a little over 11 miles.). Depends how I feel and if there’s room at the albergue. Right now, I’m looking forward to a spaghetti dinner with bread and fresh salad. And wine!
i love how happy you look in the last picture! Interesting piece of history going by the gallows there. I think of how many thousands of years civilization has been on this land.
Question – when is the Way the most heavily walked/used? I would think holy week would be an interesting time to be doing the pilgrim thing, or certain festival days. But it seems like there is plenty of space to be had.
Thank you for these entries, beautiful woman!
“Walk on, walk-on, with a song in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.” Know we are walking with you in Spirit…at least I am!
You sound & look FANTASTIC Julie!!