Small, Unexpected Things – Day 12 – Navarette to Najera


Not too cold, though, so better days may be ahead.

There are not many interesting things coming up, so I prepare for a boring day ahead. About half a day in (3-4 hours), I hear an unusual sound behind me.

When I turn, I see the unexpected. A tour group . . . on horseback.

They are spread out over a distance, so it takes 15 minutes for all of them to pass me by, their ATV acting as their follow vehicle. Cheering and laughing together, they playfully pass me by, wishing me a buen camino, and goofing for the camera. I smile at their happiness and the joy they are getting from their trip. 

They pass, the road gets boring again, then, again, the unexpected.

The graffiti pilgrim poem, “Pilgrim, who calls you?” appears on the wall. Although it is in Spanish (also in German), the thoughts are clear and pensive. It is a place I had read about and am glad to see.

The albergue in Najera is full and noisy yet the volunteers are kind and patient. One of them shows his newest Campostella. He completed a Camino just a week ago, his fifth one! And here he is, sharing hospitality with we poor peregrinos. He is in his seventies.

I share a room (bottom bunk) with 90 of my closest friends. I long for peace and wifi. The hospitaleros send me to a bar around the corner which I make my home for the rest of the day, writing and sending blogs. 

The family that runs the bar is accommodating for a peregrina. Their daughter is about 8 years old.  I leave to wander the town, come to a candy store, and buy a forbidden-in-the-U.S. chocolate kinder egg for her. The parents are surprised and smile at my small token of appreciation.

The bar is quiet until about 1900,  when all Spain comes to life again. I get a meal to go and return to the albergue. I eat outside, the noise and crowd inside the albergue more disturbing to me than the overcast skies. 

The end of another day.