Day 11, September 23, 2017
Navarrete to Azofra, Spain
My Albergue in Navarrete was one of the nicest I have stayed in to date. A rather small, private, and spotless facility with 32 bunks. The proprietor is family run and very eager to please. Highly recommended.
I started out at 7:15 in the morning, of course still very much in the dark of night as the sun rises around 7:45. As I moved about the city you could hear various people were hard at work. Garbage collection, street sweepers, bread and general deliveries were all happening at this time of day. Little else was moving…..except for Pilgrims through a tangle of streets.
The day was starting out cool, and the skies were clear with stars lighting my way out of the city. As the city transitioned into country side, it was an eight mile walk before breakfast. I came across the town of Najera, and stopped at a small cafeteria. After a short stop-over I pressed on, but now the temperature was beginning to rise.
Along the road I came across a pilgrim who appears to have completed his Camino 30 years ago. He is sitting in a “nativity like” shed and has a large, folded portrait himself in long flowing robes walking on the trail…..very authentic looking, to be sure. I stopped and made a donation for which I received fruit. (think long flowing beard and guru appearance)
I pressed through beautiful vinyards and mountains on all sides. A spectacular day. The temperature was holding around 80.
Finally I rolled into Azofra 1:30 to find the Municipal Albergue.
Day 12, September 24, 2017
Azofra to Granon, Spain
It was so difficult to leave the hostel this morning. The sheer pleasure of sleeping in clean sheets rather than my sleeping bag liner made it difficult to surrender, and get out of bed.
Leaving this town was with mixed emotions as this was also the town with the second best pilgrim meal I had experienced, but by contrast, one of the least favorite accommodations so far. When I say the second best meal….it is a close horse race as to which was the best. The meal last night was a white fish with french fries. The fish was seasoned to my taste. Here, in one of the finest wine production districts in the world I have a glass of red tasting remarkably good…..except it s served chilled.
Leaving Azofra the road climbs steadily to deliver you over the cliffs nestling the town. A bit of nasty climbing to endure first thing the morning.
Once out of the town I crossed a tremendous amount of rolling farmland.
Today another beautiful clear day and later in the afternoon, the temperature reached 85. Arriving in Santo Domingo is somewhat less than inspiring as you are forced to walk past the enormous potato processing plant. The smell of rejected potatoes (rotten) hangs heavy in the air as you approach the city. Making my way through this city, I remembered the story of this city.
This is a very abbreviated version to be sure:
A young man refuses the advances of an innkeepers daughter. She plants a silver chalice in his bag and reports it stolen. The magistrate finds the young boy guilty and hangs him for the crime. The boy’s parents proceeded to walk to Santiago, and on the return trip discover their son is still hanging…and he speaks to them. He is still alive!
The parents run to magistrate and explain their son is alive. The magistrate is eating dinner and says “your son is no more alive than this chicken on my plate”. With this the chicken on the magistrates plate stands up and starts crowing. The magistrate immediately cuts the boy down.
Such is the mythology surrounding Santo Domingo……
I walked another four miles check into the Albergue which is in the bell tower of church in Granon. I was assigned a mat and I immediately unload and jump into the showers.