We were awakened at 0600 hours this morning in the very nice San Saturnino albergue by the sounds of Gregorian chants. We are now pros in the quick and early starting process as everybody tries to leave as early as possible to avoid the heat of the day. We were out and on the dark camino by 0645. I am sure all 42 pilgrims were on the camino by 0715.
The weather has been great recently. It has been in the mid 70’s but seems much warmer due to the 85% humidity. We looked back to the east and took this neat photo of the sunrise.
As we crested a hill and looked toward our destination, we saw these snowcapped mountains. We both looked at each other and simutaneously commented we were absolutely not looking forward to crossing these monsters.
Every now and again along the way you come across shelters. Some are quite ancient and works of art.
Some are just a place to get away from the sun or rain. Either way they are a welcome sight. We stayed in this one for a short while – until several HUGE beetles came out to see what the commotion was.
We traveled to our first sight of population, the historic city of Najera (pop. 7,000) around 0845. We had hiked 10 km before breakfast and were very hungry, so we stopped at the first bar we came upon, met two pilgrim friends and Sandy ordered quatro cafe con leche and tortillas. Spanish tortillas are quite different than the Mexican tortillas we are used to in the states. They are like a three inch thick crustless quiche. They contain eggs, thinly sliced potatoes and cheese as a base and different meats and veggies as an option. They are very, very good.
Najera is so old, the original structures’ doors are half underground. Can you imagine going in and out of this place everyday?
The old town is sandwiched between the river Najerlia and a high red rock cliff face which backdrops the castillo.
After climbing out of the town we came upon a way marker letting us know we have hiked 218 km to this point with 582 left to go. More sights, more obstacles, more people to meet. Today we hiked with two Danish peregrinos. They continued onward as we stopped for the day. Other camino friends, Bo from Sweden (met him and lent my pole to him on day one) and Dung Day from Korea decided to stay at our alburgue for the night.
Final picture of this post highlights the red soil, vineyards and amazing vistas this region of Spain offers.