Here comes the sun!

Day 10

Had a decent breakfast at the pension this morning and finished packing.  Out the door by 8 AM.  The weather was clear, not a cloud in the sky, and a decent temperature to start.  Of course that only lasted but so far – then it got hot.

This section of the Camino crosses farm land.  As such, there are lots of fields and no shade. By the afternoon, it gets hot. Really hot.  And there wasn’t much breeze to help.  The air temperature may have been 22-23, but it felt like 30+.  Yep that’s in Celsius.

It was a day of undulating landscape.  Not a lot, but enough to wear you out in the sun.  I’m hoping for more shade tomorrow, thought I may get out a bit earlier as there’s no breakfast in the Casa.  I did stop at the local bakery and get some pasteries and picked up a banana at the bar/restaurant tonight.  And a can of orange something – I suspect soda, but can’t tell.  Surprises are good.

The crops shifted back from vineyards to grain and canola.  The soil changed, too, after crossing one hill.  Back to the beige crop soil.  And it’s very dry – I saw a fair amount of irrigation.  Drought is real.  

Leaving Najera, the road appeared to be a quiet country road, but all of a sudden there were cars and trucks driving by the long lines of walkers.  But soon we were back on the gravel roads and only occasionally bothered by a dust cloud from a passing car or truck.

There was a long line of people on the trail today as it crosses the fields.  At one point, it almost looked like a parade of zombies headed to their portal.  Of course they weren’t but there are a lot out here.  Since I’m spending tonight  in a village that’s “intermediate” to the stages that most folks follow, I’m hoping that I’ll see fewer tomorrow.  I also hope there’s more shade tomorrow. One can always hope.  

Shortly after leaving the pensione this morning, I ran across a group of Koreans.  32 in a church group.  They spoke decent English – good thing as my Korean isn’t good.

That adds another country to my list.  So far, I’ve met folks from France, Spain, Germany, U.K., Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Brazil, the US, Russia, Canada, and New Zealand.  And now South Korea.  

As I headed to a lunch place, I ran across 3 of my new American friends and learned that they are staying in the same village as I for the night.  Saw them, plus 2 others of the group and we all shared some rest and drinks before heading to our daily chores.  It’s a great little group, all new friends.  

My Casa has a washing machine, gratis, which is really nice.  There are clothes lines outside of the windows and the air is so arid that stuff dries fast.  Some of the stuff I washed today is already dry.

A couple of them picked up some hydration tablets and packets.  Probably not a bad idea.  So far, I’ve been eating saltier stuff, taking a multivitamin, and eating bananas with the hope to keep my electrolytes reasonable.  But I’ll have to think about some tablets.

They are staying at the albergue, which provides dinner, so I was on my own.  I went back to the bar/cafe and had a steak and fries.  They booked into the same place as me tomorrow, so I’ll see them tomorrow night.

I probably ought to be planning ahead as accommodations are becoming challenging.  Groups like the Koreans don’t help.  I was really, really hoping to not have to plan more than same day or next-day but that’s becoming challenging.  Too many folks on the trail, and some have reserved days in advance.

There’s a lot to see along the way, including Pamplona, more of Logrono, and stuff in Burgos (among others).  I’m now resigned to the fact that I’m not going to get a lot of sightseeing time in if I’m going to walk at a reasonable pace.  So I’m resigned to having to come back, spend a few days in each city, and take other transport between them.  I’ve learned that there’s a train along the Camino route…. Hmmm,…

Lousy Wi-Fi in the Casa, so this will be uploaded later.  Time to turn in.