Day Forty

I slept ok besides the fact the bunk beds were so close together I felt like I was sleeping next to a burly Spanish guy who snored. At one point in the early hours I’d turned over and he was facing me, freaked me right out! I slept on my back for the remainder…
I woke late, 6am. I was still out the door by my usual 6.30am. Gus had waited for me, so again we walked together.
As we leave Nájera I read the towns name in Arabic means ‘place between rocks’. We climb up out of the town between two cliff faces and the place name becomes obvious. Besides the first hill climb, the walking is once again fairly easy, but I feel we make it difficult for ourselves by walking faster than usual. A problem I have come to understand in Spain. This idea of racing to the next stop, it’s annoying and takes a lot of enjoyment out of the whole experience. I believe the Spanish are the worst culprits for this attitude, followed closely by the Germans.
Within an hour of walking we are passing the first village, which according to my guide, is 6km away.
I had planned to walk to the village of Grañón today, a total of 28km. But seeing the amount of pilgrims on the road and the fact it’s Sunday I decide to stop in the town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, another modest day of 21km.
We arrive in the town at 10.30am, I don’t feel bad about stopping so early. My feet are sore and I’m one of the very few who’ve walked from well before the Pyrenees… (At this moment in time I think I’m allowed to drop that in)…
With rucksacks lined up outside the Albergue, we head to a cafe for a coffee before stretching out with other pilgrims in the square. It’s one of the most bizarre sights I’ve ever witnessed, such a random mix of people in rambling gear all doing different stretches. Todays my first day for stretching out, but after my pilgrim shuffle (it’s the walk we have once the boots are off) has got so bad I decide it’s time to try to get rid of it.
Our hostel has a capacity of over 200, add to that it seems to be one of the most up together and well run places and only asks for a donation of 5€.
I’m showered, rested and currently the light has just turned out with me on the toilet?! (Too much information I know but stupid sensor lights never work…)…
I’ve sat and talked with a professor of French back in the States, a very nice lady who made us mint tea.
I’ve now (yes I’ve left the toilet) explored the town, just in time too, as black clouds have rolled in with thunder, lightning and some serious rain!



About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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