Camino Day 12

Day 12. May 12.

It is a good thing the number of days and the date line up or I would be totally lost in time and space right now. Days and time mean nothing as I move west at the speed of a human. I haven’t been in a car for 9 days.

We left the town of Naverette about 8. We enjoyed having a private room and felt restored by having some personal space. Alexandra’s shoulders were sore so she opted to take the day off from her pack and ship it ahead with a few of my things too. We had 13.5 miles to go but it was mostly flat.

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We walked together until it was time to have more coffee and a pastry. I moved on to enjoy solitude. The trail was a wide, flat dirt road between miles of vineyards. I had an occasional dusting by a tractor or car passing as well as a gentle waft or two of manure. My thoughts turned to Bacchus, god of wine and was kept company by Mozart, god of the sublime.

I love the interactive experiences of the trail like these rock cairns asking me to add my gift to the collection. I have beads from a bracelet that I use to leave a little piece of me when I feel called.

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I waited by a babbling brook for Alexandra to catch up and we headed to the scruffy town of Najera for lunch.

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Beside the old monastery in the center of the city we found this handsome rooster and his six wives. We chased them a bit to get a good picture and laughed at their funny chicken ways.

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I climbed a hill to a plateau with a 360 degree panorama of misty mountains. I couldn’t see any pilgrims in front or behind. I just had the cool wind and bliss.

Alexandra texted me an “amber alert” when she finally found her missing lambs. She had been looking for babies for days and was so happy to see them safe and sound in their mother’s care.

I came to the small town of Azorfra where the Albergue was entirely miniature double rooms with a large courtyard and a fountain. A pilgrim Shangrala. Of course there are shared bathrooms but I had the use of a washing machine and proper clotheslines that didn’t require death defying maneuvers to use.

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Then into town with my happy band of nomads that seem to be on the same pace to find wi-fi and sustenance. Some of my new friends are walking the Camino in sections and are headed home but I’m glad I can do the entire 500 miles in one trip. It is not time for me to go home—- I have much more to learn.

 

Distance to Santiago, Our First Day Walking

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On Saturday May 3 we started our walk from Roncesvalles. It was rainy and cold but the walk was beautiful, through forests and meadows. Our rain suits did their job and kept us dry and warm. Everything was bright green except the trail which was mud. We loved the baby horses and sheep. The adult horses had bells and one of the meadows had so many horses that it was a chorus of tinkling chimes. It was the loveliest music for the scenery.

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Alexandra and I wanted to go easy for a few days to keep us from injury so we only went 8 miles and stayed in a lovely hostel/hotel in Gerendiain. With just five very basic rooms we were very happy to have privacy for one more night to get over jet lag before getting to the bigger hostels.

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The Hungarian couple who run the hostel were friendly and the food was lovely. The others staying the night were Australian, Danish, and American. The communal supper is perfect for getting to know the other pilgrims and their stories.

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On Sunday May 4 the owner of the hostel was shuttling a man to St Jean Pied-a-Port . to start his trail so Alexandra and I tagged along so we could see the traditional start and she could check off France on her country list.

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The very curvy roads made the the other passengers sick but the town was worth the misery—-so charming and French, like a set for Beauty and the Beast.

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Back from our detour around 10:30, it was time to walk. I might as well been hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trees were slightly different but the vistas and the trail were so similar but without bears and turkeys. We only went 6 miles before Alexandra felt she needed to rest her legs. So we checked into a hostel in Zubiri. The bunk rooms were clean and comfortable with lots of hot water and laundry service. I sat outside in the sun and made new friends and Alexandra napped. The supper was again family style and we visited with a man from Minnesota. There seems to be lots of Australians, Americans and Canadians making communication easy . After supper Alexandra was able to get some ice to get her shins ready for tomorrow and a longer walk. My ankle is holding up fine so far. After supper there was quiet time to read and plan the next day. So far my mind has been on logistics and getting use to a different way of being. Now I hope to be able to move into a different space in my mind.
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