Saturday, October 31, 2009

LoGroño to Najera Via Navarette

I walked to the train station in the rain to wait for Dorte to arrive. I had my morning café con leche and wrote my notes, checked the map to find the easiest way from the train station back to the Camino, so we could get on the right track out of town.
I was happy to see my sister get off the train as we had planned, and shortly we were on our way - Dorte without her walking sticks, which the airline had lost - so we shared mine!
We found the Camino without problems - a few Spanish people pointed us in the right direction, when we were in doubt, and several wished us "Buen Camino" as we walked by in the light rain. The way out of LoGroño went through a park, but then there were lots of paved road ahead, so it was a bit hard on our feet. Nevertheless, we had a nice walk, meeting several lone female walkers, who seemed happy to have someone to chat with as we walked together for a bit.
First we talked with a German lady who had been living on the East Coast of the US for many years, and later on another lady approached us as we were walking in to Navarette, where we were planning on spending the night. She had caught the sound of our Danish as she was also from Denmark, and was happy to get a chance to talk to Danes. We walked together up to the albergue, and she told us that she was having serious trouble with her knee and felt she was loosing her spirit because of the constant pain. I gave her my lecture about taking it easy and listen to her body! She had walked really long distances, and the first day over the Pyrenees she had set out fairly late, and not reached Roncesvalles until it was dark!! I shudder to think of her walking down that dangerous, very steep and rocky path in the dark! After that she had been pushing ahead and walked 30 km or more a day! Mind you she was no spring chicken either, somewhere in her late 60-ties! - I hope she takes my advice so she can have an enjoyable walk, and make it to the finish! She told us she had no time schedule, so why push yourself past your limits! As I am meeting more and more people and have a couple of weeks under my belt now, I know one of the lessons of the Camino is to listen to your body, and be willing to adjust your plans accordingly!
At the albergue we got beds on the top floor - and because of the slanted ceilings they were not bunks, but regular beds! Score!
It must have been the Danish convention that night, we met 2 Danish couples there also, so a total of 7 Danes! As I went on, I experienced that either I saw no Danes for a while, and then all of a sudden 3 or 4! My friends from the previous days, Doro, Roland and Antonio were there also, so lots of familiar faces, and a lot of fun! I am glad to have Dorte here to share the experience with - the camaraderie on the Camino is really one of the biggest joys!

The next morning We started out with a cafe con leche at the Los Arcos bar next to the albergue in Navarette and then set out in the early dawn light around 7:45 am. to our pleasant surprise it was not raining, we could see the last stars and a sliver of the moon, and just some clouds in the distant horizon.
We walked past lots of vineyards and farmland, it was a pretty morning and the temperature was pleasant. At the next little town we had another cafe con leche and cheese bocadillo along with good company of many of the same people we had met the day before.
Then we walked on and made good time into Najera. We had a bit of trouble finding the albergue as there was a festival in town, and the signage was not really clear. However, we found it, and were welcomed with open arms - literally! - After getting our bunks assigned, Dorte's walking sticks arrived as promised earlier, when she had checked with the airline - much to our surprise! Truly a Camino miracle, we thought! Then we went out for lunch, before we did our chores of showering and laundry. I got a bit of emailing done while Dorte rested, then she went out to shop for fruit and water, while I rested. We went out for a light dinner of tapas, since we had had a big and late lunch, and then it was time to turn in!

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