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Published: October 22nd 2017
Geo: 42.3413, -3.70296
Not up until after 7:00! This private room luxury could be addicting! We did hear some of the festival revelry into the wee hours of the morning but we both slept great and were on the Camino by 7:30.
We found nothing open on the walk out of Najera so our coffee stop would be the village of Azofras, about 6 kilometers. With our coffee we enjoyed a chocolate-filled croissant and a tortilla (egg, potato, cheese). We visited with our four Toronto Bluejay friends.
Had only hiked a few kilometers and a light mist quickly turned to a moderate rain that came down at a 30 degree angle. It had stopped by the time we got to the "ghost" town of Ciruena. This is a town with a country club with several hundred condos that all look either empty or for sale. In the old town section, we found a nice bar/restaurant filled with wet pilgrims and a few locals. We shared a chorizo and a pork skewer washed down with wine from our bota skin. Here a young Spanish couple, Sergio and Theresa (had their names printed on their shirts) were treating blisters like so many other pilgrims. Sergio was
pushing a needle and thread through a blister on Theresa's toe. She was literally in tears.
Luckily, by the time we left, the rain had stopped. It was still windy and cold so we kept the rain gear on. The vineyards have now turned to all wheat fields.
We arrived in Santa Domingo by mid-afternoon and the smaller albergue of 30 beds was full. We went to the 200 bed municipal and they had plenty of openings. We ended up in a 10 bed dorm, the largest may have had 20. The place was very modern and clean with a large kitchen, dining room and lounge area. The front desk was run by all volunteers. Lots of pilgrims cooked their dinners here; there seemed to be a reasonable supply of pots, pans, dishes and utensils.
We did our hand washed laundry and hung them in an interior courtyard. Unfortunately, we end up with some clothes hanging on our packs almost every morning because they are still wet.
We went to a large supermarket for meat, cheese, baguette, fruit, Fritos, and yogurt. We had to stock up for tomorrow, Sunday, when almost everything would be closed. In the kitchen/dining area we made two large
ham and cheese sandwiches that would actually be our lunch the next two days.
We spent a couple of hours wandering the old city center streets surrounding the beautiful cathedral square. We heard there was a festival but never found it, though we saw lots of locals in their brightly colored fiesta pants. We know it sounds weird, but the pants are filled with what appears to be autographs, like you would see in a high school yearbook. The kids jumped at the opportunity to have their picture taken. (We later heard there was a bull fight, but it was before we arrived to town.)
We found a restaurant that offered a
pilgrim meal for 11 euro. Dave had Russian salad (mayonnaise, potatoes, peas, carrots and red peppers --won't be ordering that again) grilled beef, and ice cream. Sue won, hands down, with soup of the day, lamb chops, and tiramisu. The meal included a bottle of wine. We swear that our short, large-busted waitress would have a smile on her face only if someone would paint it on. Craig and Eric ended up at the same place.
Back to the albergue, we had a glass of wine, ate some olives and worked
on the blog/journal. At 10:00 we were told to head to our beds that the lights and wifi were going off. We went up to our dorm and the other 8 were in bed and the snoring had already begun!
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