Sep 302009

Am in the albergue delux today, only two bodies to a room! Sharing with Michelle, from France (Paris and Burgundy) but also lives in BC. Been sitting at little foot sized swiming pool dangling my feet in the water.
As all of my sox are dirty it is also washing day, which means I am walking (and sitting) around in my silk nightshirt and bare feet while waiting for my clothes to dry. There is a pretty stiff breeze so it shouldn’t take too long – if it doesn’t rain. It is overcast and looking iffy.
Cafe con leche to start the day. Stopped at the panaderia, got a hot roll, so ate that, then grapes.

Morning through miles of rolling hills and vineyards, passing by the tiny town of Ventosa. Then into Najera, larger than Navarrete, but very pleasant and the way better marked than in Logrono. Red cliffs behind town. Little river through town. OJ stop on pleasant veranda near river. Met the much beloved Guylène and Beate and Eduardo and Veera there, but they left as I arrived! Then toured a beautiful huge old monastery with Michelle – Sta. Maria la real de Najera.
Last 6k again through lovely vineyards to the little town of Azofra.
Gloria and Olga and Olga’s daughter Edurne are organizing a dinner here tonight, I think a big vegetable soup. We are all going to meet to do this about 6:30. Maarten wanted this yesterday, but when the fiesta came along we shelved it. Many of the same folks are here plus other favorites, several who were in Ventosa last night. Uli has volunteered another massage, and about 6:00 the 7 lively Finns will be doing stretches. I’d like to do it with them if my clothes are dry enough to put my sox on. Foot MUCH better today. No pain while walking. Still needs tender loving care but is getting better, not worse…
Now after dinner. Crazy and amazing. English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German,  Finnish,  Flemish,  Dutch, all trying to figure out how to work together to make a wonderful dinner under Gloria’s instruction –  A Catalan vegetable soup, rounds of bread with sauce, cheese and a traditioinal Catalan rice as people translated from language to language. Everyone laughing. Kirsten and Frank contributed a wonderful fruit salad (they assured me it would be better with rum) and Leo, from Cuba,  who runs the albergue contributed two huge chocolate bars for dessert and while we were cooking he made a fantastic tomato salad which he fed by fork to those of us in the kitchen.

In all there were 26 of us who contributed and sat down at nearly 9:00 to eat together. A new (to me) pilgram, Gil from Brazil (was once an exhange student in Tacoma!), offered a toast to the Spaniards for their cooking guidance and hospitality. Uli sang a song in German, English, French and Spanish. Carmen and Gloria who are leaving us said their good-byes as we continuted to multi-translate up and down the table and in doing so throughly enjoyed each other and the dinner. Perhaps you can tell that this is not just a walk (although I more than some seem to love that part of it also.)

I think of you all daily, and with great affection. Those in my family, those at work, those walking, friends. How lucky I am to have all of you. Don’t think I take you for granted. I love the comments you have sent, both by email and in response to what I am writing.

Translation of wall poem outside Najera:

Dust, mud, sun and rain
is the camino de santiago
Thousands of pilgrams
and more than a thousand years

Pilgrim, what calls you
what hidden force draws you
Not the field of stars
nor the great cathedrals

Not the Navarran’s bravery
nor the Riojan wine
nor the Galician fish
nor the Castillian fields

Pilgrim, what calls you
what hidden force draws you?
Not the people along the road
nor the rural customs

Not the history and culture
nor the rooster of La Calzada
nor the palace of Gaudi
nor the Castle of Ponferrada.

All of this can be seen while passing
and it is a joy to see it all
but the voice that calls me
feels much deeper

the force that pushes me
the force that draws me
I cannot explain it
only the one above knows

30 Sep 2009

  5 Responses to “Day 10 – Navarrete à Azofra ~ 20k”

  1. This sounds like a lovely ending to the month of September and a good way to look forward to October and more good, good days. If you say every day is perfect, though, I probably won’t believe you!

  2. Even now it is hard to imagine how there could be so many days in a row so great and so different. I’m sure they won.t all be perfect, but so far they have all been immensly satisfying.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful journey with us armchair travelers. Have so enjoyed your vivid, poetic descriptions. Love the image of the shepherd with his faithful dog and the sea of woolies. I hope your journey continues to be so satisfying. Love the way you keep meeting such fascinating people and are able to communicate across languages and cultures.
    Vaya con dios,

  4. It had been wonderfull, how your notes bring me the trip memories now that I am back home. Many thanks. It had been amazing to share a few days with you along those “caminos”, all that good times, hugs, kisses,and your always positive actitude to have a beautiful day.
    Big Kiss from Tenerife

  5. So it’s a traveling party! How delightful!

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