Day 10 Najera – Santo Domingo De Calzada 22 km. 700 mtr.

Last night after a feast of Tapas (known here as Pintos), we wandered our way  back to the old city, where the Sunday night gathering of locals and pilgrims window shop, visit and wach the festivities.  Tonight was traditional Spanish dancing. Wee children danced and clapped to the music, while parents and grandparents looked on. The weather was changing very quickly and most people were moving on or looking for shelter. There was a storm brewing and we headed back to our Albergue quickly, just in time to avoid most of the rain, but enjoyed a beautiful show of lightening which lasted for a good hour.

Lights out is always early, as 5:30 am comes quicker than you think. I find sleep elusive, I can’t seem to manage a good night’s rest.  Though, our accommodations have been excelllent, comfy beds, mostly with sheets and pillows, sleeping in a common room with many body’s and many different night noises is hard to get used to. Luckily, there has been no snore fests and we mostly had small rooms (6-10 people). Twice we have been in large dorms. Once in Roncevalles and once in Pamplona, both were extremely clean and organized, but even so it takes a while to get used to all the movement and energies.

Onward with today. 5:30 alarm, most of us (10 ), where awake. Packing up, hoping I don’t have to rummage thru to the bottom of the pack for something I forgot, which inevitably happens. Silently moving out into the night, headlamps on, stars above give blessings of a nice day. But, it is cool and I dress warmer than I have before.

As I look further forward on the trail I see the flicker of headlamps as others make their way along in the predawn. On the horizon,  the distance flash of the lightening still marking the way. Sunrise broke behind us and illuminated the day to come …….. the storm is not over. The morning stayed cool and allowed us to pick up the tempo and cover 5.8 km. by 7:30. Breakfast of great coffee and and huge croissant. As we are about to move on it begins to rain, so rain gear out, pants , jackets, ponchos, dble check so everything stays dry.

To begin with the rain was refreshing and easy, but it soon became a gluey, mucky mess and caused all sorts of problems with walking. We were fortunate that we had only a few hours of it, I have heard from friends that it can go on for days. And moving thru farm land is most difficult with earthen walkways. By 10 we stopped and removed the wet and too warm gear, rested for a few and moved on. At 11 another stop to attend to a foot issue, (at a golf course lol), by 12:30 we had finished our trek for the day and arrived in Santo Domingo.

Of course our feet were exhausted and us girls would only like to lay down, but we were hungry and the stomach rules on the Camino, so off we went in search of food and it wasn’t long till we cowed down ona beautiful salad with avocados, prawns, apples topped off with a veggie pizza and ice cream for dessert. Wandering back to our accommodations we admired another lovely Spanish city, cobblestones, ancient churches and homes. Stores tucked in to corners making good use of space and character.

The afternoon we slept and did needed Laundy, cleaning up after the  rainy morning hike.

Now as I type Frank and Eric are preparing us a delish meal, the others are setting the table and making ready.


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