Day 3 Onward to Najera

This morning I swear I heard something I thought may have resembled gregorian chanting a little after 6am. I’m no talent scout, and I don’t want to sound too judgemental, but it sounded like a someone had forgotten to change the batteries in the record player! It wasn’t long until the team of hospitaleros came walking past with song books in hand and the sad cry of a dying animal in their combined voices! But they were smiling and beautiful! Buen Fantastic Camino to those who thought they were going to sleep in! Yep BFC!

“You have to do that at Najera you know!”

Hans solo was a barrel of laughs this morning! I personally was thinking it would be better if I broke into a rendition of Willie Nelson singing “On the road again, I just cant wait to get on the road again”. Trust me though, that will not be happening (yet)!

(I was jealous Hans also had my injinji socks!)

They might have done that singing business on previous visits but on those visits I was probably in a walking coma from pain killers – this morning I was on fire so I heard every note from a mile away!

I slowly readied myself knowing the bus wasn’t leaving until 8.30 and the bathrooms would be busy until at least 7! I even delved into my medical kit for the first blister of the day! Actually two blisters, Well they had been blisters sometime yesterday but the young man had soldiered on and ripped the skin off both of his heels! Ouch!!!

After most had gone I was more than pleased to see the Young Danes traipsing up and down the long corridor preparing to leave. I bid them farewell and told them I hope to see them in Nájera!

I literally bounced downstairs to get my boots on (no I didn’t, I held the hand rail and supported my knees all the way). I was excited to be heading to my hospitalero posting in Nájera but mildly concerned that I wouldn’t make it with a train strike on! Oh well- I headed outside looking forward to a cafe con leche and not really looking forward to bread! It felt a little chilly and I saw the Italian girl from orisson sitting outside with her gigantic pack. I’d marvelled at her stamina when I passed her just out of orisson. I marvelled even more at her ability to sit idly in this cold. I went into La Posada and there he was! The Flemish Yoda! I was thrilled to chat again about the astonishing beauty of the Pyrenees and I drank my cafe con leche and ate my chocolate croissant for E2.70 while he ate his E5 bread coffee and juice.

I went out to the foyer and much to my surprise there were the Golden girls from Orisson (the Aussie sisters from the Gold Coast).

I managed a photo and also saw the Americans sending their packs on. I walked out to check on the bus and John and Yoko and Namamee were there also waiting for the bus (maybe I should just call them the Beatles).

Yesterday had taken its toll and many were seeing reason and sending packs on or catching the bus to Zubiri – I remembered camino number one – why did I never see reason? It was only after seeing the Beatles that the Golden girls and I realised the Italian girl was freezing to death so we led her into the foyer to sit for a few minutes before the bus was to leave as she was waiting too as she was doing an express trip to Santiago hoping to make it in seven days.

The bus trip saw us passing pilgrim after pilgrim and it almost brought a tear to my eye. Oh the fun they’ll have, the friends they’ll make, the pain they’ll endure!

We bid farewell to the Beatles at Zubiri as they donned their packs to walk a little further and the Italian girl and I stayed put until Pamplona.

Upon arrival at the bus terminal I was thrilled to see my pack was still under the bus so I grabbed it with enthusiasm and almost ran to the ticket booth to confirm the next leg of my journey. The bus to Najera didnt depart until 4 and, as it was only 9.50am I took a bus to Logrono leaving at 10. I ran back to bid farewell to the Italian girl but desafortunatemente I had lost her in the crowd.

So I arrived at logrono just before midday and bought a ticket to Najera for 1.30pm. This gave me time to power shop for a change of underwear (don’t worry I did have one change in my carry on) and a pair of shorts so I could wash two sets of clothes at once. The logistics of this minimalism was killing me!

After a mad dash through Zara and a couple of other shops I finally opened my wallet and was back at the bus station in plenty of time. I was interrogated by a local “where are you from? Germany? Norway? Sweden? Francia? Belgium? He went on…. Soy de Australia …. aah muy legos! Yep back in España yee ha!

So the bus to Najera was pequeño (small) and I was allowed to take my Marie Kondo’d pack onboard – thank heavens for that! I was developing lost bag paranoia and wondered if I might need professional help before travelling again 🙂

Anyway I arrived at my Hotel (Hostal Hispaña) in Najera – you guessed it – no pack delivery. Oh well I actually was getting used to the comedic chase around Europe. So far I had been to Hong Kong Helsinki Dublin Paris Biarritz Saint Jean Pied de Port from where I walked to Spain via Orisson to Roncesvalles. I had caught the bus through Pamplona and Logrono and was now happily showering in my room in Najera where I would stay for one night before moving to the albergue. I didnt expect to see my bag too soon – if ever.

So after I had finished showering I realised I had somehow pulled the shower screen off its hinges. In order to exit the cubicle I felt like I was giving myself a mammogram! Me and 10cm gaps don’t do well. After I dried myself and found my glasses I realised I could simply lift the door back onto its tracks. There I was laughing at myself again – thankfully no one nearby could assess me for madness!

My fellow Australian Hospitalero (lets say Auspitalero hey?) happed to be staying in the same hotel. We thought we’d drop into the albergue to say hello and introduce ourselves (for my Auspitalero friend it was her second introduction). The next thing we knew we were taken on a whirlwind tour of the shops we needed to buy supplies from around Najera. It felt like a long distance hike of 30 kilometres in two hours! And I only had the equivalent of shower shoes on! We didnt have to start for two days and it was hot. It was damned hot! It was so hot I felt like a slab of butter would have liquified in minutes. That’s how I judge heat now – since visiting Morocco during a heatwave. The farmacia in Logrono suggested it was 45 degrees Celsius! We were sorry we’d dropped in to say hello and eventually took our leave and headed back for a siesta before dinner time.

Enroute back to our hotel we passed by the pool. It was spectacular ! We both planned our visit for the next day. I don’t want to shock you but when we returned to our room my pack had arrived! Now the logistics of two packs had to be sorted!

Don’t worry, I’m not worried, all is well with the world, what will be will be. I can decide how to manage this new dilemma before I don my pack and hike off into the sunrise over the next two weeks at Najera.

After our siesta we ate in the outdoor area along the river with all the locals. It was a lovely evening with complimentary battered padrón peppers and I was pleased to have the company of a fellow Aussie!

Hasta Manana and Buenas Noches!

One Comment Add yours

  1. I’m really enjoying your account! Thanks!

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