Continued from previous post…Walking Across Spain (El Camino de Santiago): Week 1
Day 8: Logroño to Najarre (30km)
“My group, sans Ethan, left early at 5am to avoid the nasty afternoon heat. Our efforts paid off when we arrived at about noon to Najarre, being one of the earlier pilgrims of the day. Nic and Jon were so beat that they stayed @ the first albergue that was offered. At the price of fifteen euros, it was def a bit more expensive than most albergues. Speaking of…The others are not on a strict budget and are spending a lot more than necessary. I still have the rest of the world to see after this camino and have been under more control with my spending habits. It’s difficult when your teammates splurge constantly. I may have to disband from them soon so that I stay within my budget. The other pilgrims outside of my group are using the 30 Euros per day method that I am. For now, I’ll continue waiting. Nic’s knees and feet were paining him.”
I realize now that 15 euros seems small, but on the camino, it’s considered expensive when most albergue’s range from free (donativos) to ten euros. However, it was the most comfortable albergue we stayed in thus far.
Day 9: Najarre to Santo Domingo (21km)
“A good chunk of pilgrims that left St. Jean when we did are doing a double day today, which means we most likely won’t see them again. Jon and I walked to Santo while Nic took the bus to give his leg a rest. We were quite speedy and rejoined Ethan and Nic who were waiting outside of our albergue. They both seemed to be a bit better physically. I’ve developed a short routine when arriving to our destination. As soon as I get a bed, I shower, do laundry, and take a siesta. I like to call it, SLS. I’ve done it everyday since Roncevalles. The siestas are absolutely necessary for my body to recover after hours of walking. As great as this is, the scenery is starting to become redundant. Crops, pavement hugging the highways, and more crops. It’s still beautiful nonetheless.”
Today, was the first and only time Ethan and I had an argument. Basically, there were one too many cooks in the kitchen and when that happens, fire ensues! But we both settled down over some more cheap Spanish wine, later that same evening. The wine in Spain works wonders!
Day 10: Santo Domingo to Belorado (23km)
“I left at 5am alone from the others. The reason being to avoid the hot sun, jam out to my music and also to listen and recite Spanish lessons on the way. My Spanish is far from perfect, but it has come in handy as of recent. Leaving before dawn meant less traffic and witnessing blazing orange sunrises. I also saw some deer and brown foxes in the fields. I arrived in Belorado way early, around 9:30am. Albergues don’t open until 12:30! Eventually, the others arrived and we had non-alcoholic drinks at a cafe in the empty plaza center. In our albergue, I made dinner for us which proves to be the most cost-effective way of eating. Pasta with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and an array of oils and seasoning, also a spill of red wine for extra flavor. I’m not a cook by any means and I’m enjoying experimenting while walking the camino.”
That “spill of red wine” wasn’t my idea. An elderly pilgrim took it upon herself to monitor and critique my cooking skills (or lack thereof) and added her own red wine to my pasta dish for extra flavor without telling me first; I was annoyed, yet pleased at the same time.
Day 11: Belorado to Atapuerca
“Today was a bit of a doozy. On our way to our intended destination of San Juan, I realized that most people were walked to Ages, the next town after San Juan and for good reason—San Juan was a shitty town. I persuaded the others to continue walking, but they needed a break to take lunch. I was still full of momentum, so I walked ahead to Ages to secure an albergue. An hour after the others arrived, I informed them that only donatives were left, which they decided against. The next town, Atapuerca, was 2 km away and had beds. And so we walked some more and finally secured beds. On the bright side, our walk to Burgos tomorrow will be a few km shorter. Today is also Nic’s last day of walking with us. He only planned for two weeks and will travel to Madrid tomorrow before his flight back to Germany. He will be missed. We are a tad more than a third of the way done with this camino! Lots more to go.”
Today was Nic’s last day hiking with us before he set off to Burgos in the morning to catch a flight to Madrid. He was always in a cheery mood and was missed. He plans on continuing where he left off someday in the near future.
Day 12: Atapuerca to Burgos (20km)
“I left early again without the others, not because I wanted solitude, but because of yesterdays affairs. We had to walk to two extra towns to find a bed because they were all full. The walk was easy, but also one of the ugliest days yet—around an airport and on the outskirts of the big city of Burgos. At the municipal, I wasn’t able to reserve a bed for Ethan, so he would have to fend for himself. Jon got a hotel room for himself, somewhere in the city. We initially proposed that we would have our rest day here in Burgos, but I had doubts. Burgos is a large city with everything one may need, but I wasn’t “feeling it”. Nor did I want to rest here. Ethan was adamant about staying. I told him if he finds me missing from my bed when he wakes up, then I have left, but I will wait for him in the next town/village. I haven’t made up my mind as of yet. Deep down, I knew I’d most likely stay, for the sole purpose of not leaving the others behind.”
There was nothing inherently wrong with Burgos, it’s just that big cities aren’t usually my thing.
Day 13: Burgos to Tabajo (9km)
“I woke up ready to walk, not wanting to rest in this big city. Ethan was full-on ready to stay, but I was able to persuade him to walk about 9 km, just to the next town, to shave off some kms from tomorrows haul. He agreed and we went on a slow pace. There was no rush. Italy joined us and we settled into a nice albergue in the small, quiet town of Tabajo. We chilled out for the rest of the day which was needed. It so happened to be Memorial’s Day. Ethan and I chilled with plenty of cheap wine and shandy at our albergue and did what we said we’d do: RELAX! It was great and strengthened my focus for the coming day’s walk. We drank a lot of wine today.”
Wine really does fix anything. 🙂
Day 14: Tabajo to Honturas (18km)
“We set off early, at 5:45am, to Honturas. We went at a slow pace through one of the most peaceful walks thus far. Plains and hills as far as the eye could see. Ethan began paining again and slopped on more ibuprofen gel. Hopefully, these temporary fixes won’t come back to bite him in the ass in the long run. We arrived in a neat village called Honturas, which popped out of nowhere. Italy arrived 40 mins later. She left at 7:30am. Man we’re so slow! We reunited with Jon soon. Also Christina popped up. We had a community paella dinner @ 7pm which was donative, but regarded as the best paella on the camino. I’m not sure if it was the best, but it was pretty good…once I took out the prawns.
The paella meal was donation only and boy did that family work for it. The father of the family took it upon himself to sing to all of his guests after dinner was over. Ethan and I had the same mindset; wanting to get the heck outta there and go to bed!
Week 2 done. Onto the next one…