Peak Hour on the Road to Salvation

Logrono to Najera
Saturday 8 November

After our bountiful hotel breakfast buffet, we returned to the Camino. It was Saturday, and many families were out to join the road to salvation for the weekend. There was a large group walking with us, with kids ranging from about five up until teenagers, and a large group of parents.

After a while a Spanish man joined us. He had no English, so our conversation was very limited. We expected him to continue, and join the other Spanish speakers, but he continued to walk with us. My Dutch friend stopped to take a photo. The Spanish man stopped. My friend continued. He continued. He continued to walk with us, even though we were obviously having a conversation. My friend started to get irritated. Later my friend stopped while I continued. The Spanish man continued to walk past me, then stopped, and waited. I too was beginning to feel a little creeped by our silent Spanish stalker. Perhaps he just wanted company, but he continued walking with us into Najera.

Nearing Najera, at a large pile of gravel, all the kids, including the dog from the family group climbed up, to slide down. It looked like lots of fun, but my legs were not up to it.

We arrived, and checked into the municipal hostel, where my friend’s friend, a South African woman, was the hospitaliro. At reception was a note waiting for my Dutch friend, from some of our other friends ahead of us – ‘Welcome to Summer Camp’ They had stayed the previous night. It made us both a little sad. On my bed I found a small stone, with the familiar yellow arrow painted on it. Nice. We left our bags, and went out to a nearby bar for a drink. Our South African friend joined us, and soon the two other Italian Hospitaliros. They were each volunteering for two weeks, as they had all previously done the Camino, and had loved the hospitality of the Albergues. We had a great dinner, before I hobbled back to bed, as my feet were still giving me grief.

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