Day fifteen,15 May 2015
Navarrette to Najera
Started @ 6.30am till 11.30am~(5 hours) 19 kilometres

I can’t think of anything more exciting than waking up, preferable alone, in a completely new place, never seen before, the thrill of “what will I see today?” Overrides all other emotions. This is actually something I read somewhere, but it sums up pretty good what I feel on this Camino.

This morning was a much fresher start than the last week. It had been unusual hot for the time of the year, hence my early five o’clock starts, where I get in more than two hours of walking time while lovely and crispy. Today was cold. It was a shock to the system, and I wish I had put on my thermal long sleeved top. As it was we had to stop so I could put the rain cover on the pack and put on my rain coat. It threatened with rain most of the morning, but especially just when we finished our breakfast in Ventosa. It looked like we could be in the centre of a big storm. What to do? I thought we could out walk this storm and I am also aware that, although I don’t have a time limit, I need to get on with the walking, as sometimes it is too easy to think of quitting all together.

Decision to walk on was made and fortunately for us, storm held off. According to my map we were supposed to walk at least ten kilometres up the hill, what nonsense this was! There was NO hill and the walk, marked as rather difficult, happened to be ether an easy one! Had we known this we could have walked yesterday after all! Anyway walking in hindsight is rather easy as well! Today was an un eventful walk. Libby’s feet are much better and she walked way ahead of me. I love walking by myself as well, it gives me time to contemplate my navel and life in general! It was a tad hard to get the stiff, cold going and I really need to start thinking about stretching and stuff, which I do ‘t do, but which also makes it hard to get into the walking zone!

We arrived in Najera at 11.30am and the pilgrim’s hostel we had picked did not open until 1.00pm. People were sitting outside, on their packs waiting for the doors to open! I’ll be damned! I don’t do that kind of stuff! These hostel people KNOW that the pilgrims arrive around this time, so WHY not open earlier? This must be happening on a daily basis! I told Libby I refuse to sit on my pack and wait, let’s go and find a tapas bar and have something to eat, drink and be indoors and be warm! This is exactly what we ended up doing. At the tapas bar I asked the man about the other hostels in the neighbour hood and there was a private one just around the corner! Room with only two beds, rather than a dormitory with forty beds in it! If I am honest I must admit I am over this dormitory experience! All the snoring, farting and people talking and basically being annoying, is nothing but incredibly boring! The private room however was up three flights of stairs, which is very hard on the legs after a 20 km walk! We did a bit of sightseeing late in the afternoon, but this town is in a very sad state. Lots of the shops are empty, the streets are dirty, overall feel of neglect and derelict sense of the town. A real shame as it has some very old churches and buildings, but the sense of despair hangs in the air. not a pretty town at all.

Today’s lesson ; take a change (re weather)
Today’s gift. : storm didn’t come, and a BIG double rainbow on the way! Stunning!