Monday, 28 April 2014

Camino Frances (April 28, 2014) - Day 66 Najera to Castildelgado

Very tired feet as I write this...a long 35 km day in just under 7 hours of walking. The walking wasn't difficult from an elevation gain perspective however most of the walking was on relatively hard surfaces.

Paulo, Marc also have sore feet...Paulo's feet are starting to look like an Egyptian's mummy while Marc continues to have heel pain in both feet...he has tried various approaches to improving things however with limited success I think. 

Yesterday afternoon we went out for cervezas after the normal arrival routine...

Paulo and Malte                 
Tapas - Calamari and Potato croquette
Potatoes from La Rioja region

For supper we went to a local pub for a pilgrims menu...quite good at a reasonable 9€ price

Sausage and potato stew
Fries and Pork tenderloin in bacon

Chocolate cake with delicious whipped cream

On the way back from supper to the Albergue we passed by an open air concert...stopped and listened for a short while...was quite enjoyable.

Open air concert

Finally we stopped for a quick cerveza round, courtesy Malte, before calling it a day. You may be getting the impression that food and drink is all we do...NOT so we also walk and sleep!

This morning we walked to Azofra for an hour or so before having desayuno...

Seriously that's all they had...breakfast/desayuno!

Every day I learn a little bit more about Brazil...did you know that Recife where Paulo lives has 5 million people and it's beach is one of the top most dangerous shark attack areas in the world. Hammerhead and Tiger sharks account for most of the attacks which kill people every year.

Paulo tells me that going waist high is ok and that everyone does problem! He has invited Dawn and I to come to Recife to have one of his famous 7 hour lunches followed by a swim...lunch sounds great!

I continue to meet interesting people on the Camino and of course we meet again people from previous days. Today I met Jean-Francois from Montreal Canada who came up to us and asked if we were the Canadians...he had heard about the Canadian lapel pins so I gave him one.

Coming into Santo Domingo de la Calzada I walked for half hour or so with Fernando a pilgrim from Spain who is walking parts of the Camino Frances for the fourth time. An IT consultant from Madrid he provided me with a perspective of Spain and it's current financial his estimation it will take a minimum 10 years to move out of the current economic crisis which has 25% unemployment and a severe housing bubble. This was very much in evidence as we walked through what can only be described as a ghost town in Ciruena.

I very much enjoyed learning more about Spain and sharing information about Canada...of course I gave Fernando and likely a dozen others through the day Canadian lapel pins.


As we came into Santo Domingo we visited the very impressive church and climbed the tower (132 steps...just because we needed more exercize...thanks Paulo for the suggestion!!!). The treasures in the church are is also home to a live rooster and hen which unfortunately did not make an appearance. There is quite a story behind why the rooster and hen are in the church...Google it some time!

After a quick lunch Paulo, Marc and I bid Malte glad to have had the chance to meet Malte but equally sad to part ways. I wish him well in his future endeavours...bright, nice young guy with a lot of potential. A few pictures from the day...

Never closer...only 582 kms to go!

Pilgrims on the move

A not so nice stretch of walking!

From all over the world...going to Santiago de Compostela

We are currently staying in the Hostal El Chocolatero...we have spoiled ourselves with a room for three. Tomorrow we are targeting San Juan Ortega and staying in the monastery there...which is another 34 kms day.

We are trying to work backwards from a number of dates which is causing some longer days and a few shorter days... Marc is working hard on the plan...we need to think things through to ensure we reach Santiago without undue effort...uhmm. We will find a Way!


  1. Guy - is the Monastery you are staying at the same one that you had reserved last November (and cancelled after a thoughtful email from the owner/priest)? I recall that conversation as thought it occurred yesterday!! Pauline

    1. Pauline,

      Different monastery and the end we decided against this monastery as it wasn't very appealing.