Navarrete to Najera – Day 11

Today’s walk was 16km long. We set out early, to reach Ventosa around 9am for breakfast at Buen Camino, a lovely place, just as you enter the village. There would be no stops till Najera (Nah-hur-ah), so we took a leisurely break here.

After feeling well fuelled we headed to Najera, passing many vineyards and bodegas on the way.

We were too early for our hotel check in, so we rested a while in the resting space about 2k before entering Najera.

Along the Camino path you find taps with clean drinking water – most often at a distance of 5km from each other if we’re on open road with no towns in between. Else, there’s more than one water tap in every town or village, usually found in the plaza in front of the church, which is the centre of all activity. Every village and town has a Calle Mayor that passes through the centre of town, past the church.

If the tap is on the open path between towns, it is usually accompanied by benches and spaces to rest, with trees for shade.

We usually take off our shoes at this point and stretch our toes, let our socks dry out and massage our foot muscles.

After a long rest, we put our shoes back on and head out. Normally the ankles and feet take a few minutes to cooperate again, but eventually you get into the rhythm.

On our short walk to enter Najera, we pass a Korean lady, who we’ve been crossing pretty much everyday. Instead of saying Annyeonghaseyo (hello) I say Kamsahamnida (thank you)! I didn’t realise I was wrong until I started writing this blog and was checking for spellings!!! Martha (her English name), extremely warm and friendly, doesn’t correct me and then, using Google Translate we go on to chat. I tell her I am a big fan of KDrama and she offered to recommend shows. When I told her I enjoyed watching Crash Landing on You and Vincenzo, she was overjoyed and said she’d loved them too and had watched them multiple times. We exchanged notes on our families and she mentioned her husband and sons were back on Seoul. We parted ways then, so we could to stop at a supermercado before heading to our hotel.

Najera looks completely different from every other town we’ve seen so far. It is a small town between rocks and a river. Najera (place between rocks) has the Monastery of Santa María la Real. It is a monumental complex built in the mid-eleventh century by orders of García Sánchez III as bishopric, convent and family vault. It has the remains of 30 kings of Navarre and their families.

A birds nest near the steeple of the church

Our walk tomorrow to Santa Domingo de la Calzeda would take us to the 205Km mark! That’s some achievement!

2 thoughts on “Navarrete to Najera – Day 11

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