Distance to go: 610.7 Kms
Yesterday evening Debbie and I went for a wander to find a local supermarket to get some supplies and stumbled across a wedding that was taking place at the local church, the 16th century Church of the Assumption. So we took a sneaky peeky inside and was astonished at what we saw. Not the wedding that is, but the church. You must remember that Navarette has a population of around 1500 people yet right in the middle, occupying the most imposing site it ever could is this church. How did they ever afford it way back when it was built and why was it built here? I can’t find out. But it was certainly awe inspiring.
We stayed at the Casa del Peregrino in Navarette and what a night. It was so hot and the beds are up in the roof space. The Spanish World Champion snorer was in residence so it was something of a relief to get up around 05:30 and get on the road shortly after 6am. We wanted to get to the municipal albergue at Azofra. It had a good write up in the guide book and with only 60 people in beds. 2 to a room it sounded like an ideal place to recover and get a decent sleep.
We made good progress today in cooler temperatures and mainly on gravel and cinder farm tracks again past field upon field of grain crops and rioja vines. We passed the villages of Sotés and Ventosa and climbed up to Poyo de Roldán. This is a hill with local lore attached to it and stands around 610 metres above sea level. Debbie has a new method to relieve the pressure of the backpack on her collarbones. They have received much comment over the past few days. A couple of washing up sponges from the supermarket was all that was needed.
Every now and then we passed the quintessential Spanish village perched on its hill with dominant church and surrounded by vines and farmland.
It was a hard day on the feet. My ankles and arches really hurt today as the ground is so hard and unforgiving. Debbies left knee is playing up so it was with some relief we dropped down into the town of Nájera and crossed the bridge over the Rio Nájerilla and found a street cafe for tea and a fritatta. A group of cyclists doing the Camino by bike were cooling off in the river. They were enjoying the cold water.
Replenished we left Najera and passed the most impressive monastery of Santa Maria de la Real and started to climb away on another cinder farm track for the remaining 5.8 Kms to Azofra. More vines. More crops. Field upon filed of them passed. Both Debs and I were hurting a bit now so it was with great relief we arrived at the albergue at 12:30 and checked in. We got our little room and its great.
We showered, washed the clothes and collapsed for an afternoon ziz. Dinner was boiled eggs and a salad all bought at the local supermarket and some chocolate.
We are both knackered and looking forward to a good nights rest. We hope to make it to Granon 21.1 Kms away tomorrow.
Unfortunately there will be no dog of the day photo as we did not see any. That is the first dogless day we have had since we started. We certainly heard them but did not see any.
Distance walked today: 23.2 Kms