Ah, today. A 30.1 kilometre walk, with some decent hills of course.
I set out from the albergue around 6 this morning. I just couldn’t sleep any more and figured I might as well get an early start on a long day. Especially since yesterday was so much harder once the sun was really up and shining hard.
The streets were still filled with Spanish teens. Not sure why their parents let them party so long, but I guess it’s a weekend. Following Camino markers in a city is much more stressful than villages or countryside. I’m very grateful to the kind vendor who pointed me in the right direction.
A long path led out to a lake. Then a long hill climbed up out of the city area. I was quite tired, and my hip had started to hurt. Another kind Spanish man, this one out for a walk of his own, told me I was almost over the top. The way down was alongside fences where people have taken sticks and made crosses. There are literally hundreds of crosses along this area.
I caught up with friends from Ohio just before the steps up into Navarette. (They were the ones who shared their food with me the second day in Zubiri.) We were all feeling a little tired and hungry and a lot exhausted. Thankfully, we found a café open and sat down with someone Ed knew. Along came Taeyoung, my often walking partner. Then along came Mariana, a friend from Mexico (I had been in the same auberge as her on my first night in St Jean before starting). Our circle kept getting larger and larger. It is amazing that you can make friends in the way one does on the Camino. It’s also odd that you might not see someone for several days, and then meet up again. When you talk, you might find out you stayed in the same towns, just in different albergues.
After our break, Mariana, Taeyoung and I set off together. My hip was quite sore, and stretch breaks weren’t helping. Finally, Mariana and Taeyoung decided to set off ahead while I took a short detour to the town of Ventosa, where I intended to stay for the night. That would put me at ~21 km for the day, which I felt was enough. I needed a break.
I arrived in Ventosa completely exhausted and sore. I found a bad with some good food and wifi, and checked Facebook and my blog while I ate. The encouragement I found in both places was so needed! Particularly, Kelly told me that your body keeps energy in reserves, so you can literally go farther than your body is telling you it can. (Thanks, Dr Pasma!) I felt so much better after this rest. I didn’t want to just give up, which is what staying was beginning to feel like. It was also 12:30, and I knew the albergue wouldn’t accept people yet. And I didn’t really want to fall behind friends and have to start over again making all new ones. I decided to push on.
Just over two hours later I had made it to Nájera, 10.4 kilometres further. This has been my longest day of walking so far, distance-wise, but definitely not the hardest. It wasn’t so sunny and hot as yesterday, and that helped. Emotions are funny things on the Camino. They change rapidly and without warning. I was having a discussion with someone shortly before leaving that I need to make sure I am not making decisions because of my emotions. Still something to be learned more.
It’s Sunday, and I miss my church. Yes, I have a lot of time to worship as I walk (even singing out loud, Kair), but I miss communal worship. Mass is not the same, as it is a lot of hard work to understand, and unfamiliar. It’s great to be able to go, but it’s just not the same.
Update: in between typing this and finding wifi, I ran into a Canadian woman living in Belgium. She did her second day of walking, and covered in two days what I had in one. She was so absolutely impressed. It was nice to be the person doing what someone else thought was incredible!

2 thoughts on “Day 8: Logroño to Nájera

  1. Well done!! I’m proud of you for continuing on!!
    PS You’re already the person doing what we all think is incredible 😉

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