Camino de Santiago: Day 8 (Christina)

From Navarrete to Najara (16.2 km)

I wake up feeling so refreshed after the best sleep so far on the Camino.  I slept solidly until 7:00 am and now I lounge in bed for another half an hour, not quite ready to give up the luxury of this bed and this room.  But, not everything is going my way: my feet are killing me, worse today.  I decide to wear my socks and hiking boots, I am desperate for some relief.

I have a late start, it´s after 9:00 before I get walking.  Pauline and I walk together for the morning.  Every step hurts.  It feels like a nail is piercing the ball of my left foot every time my foot strikes the ground.  I am going slow and I know I am holding Pauline back but she insists on walking with me.

This morning, I meet the French nurses who I met on the way
to Los Arcos a few days ago.  They are surprised
and sympathetic to see that my feet are still a mess.  

I pass acres upon acres of vineyards.

When we reach Najara, I simply cannot walk any further.  We stop to assess the situation.  As I am sipping on my large, icy cold beer (there is actually ice floating on top), I notice a bus station across the street.  I decide I will take the bus the 6 km to Azofra and Pauline will continue on alone.  We will meet in Azofra and share another private room.

I spend two hours at the bus station, asking every bus that stops if it goes to Azofra.  Seems like the buses to Azofra run in the early morning and early afternoon only.  There are no more today.  I am also next to the taxi stand but not a single taxi shows up all afternoon.  I am so frustrated.  It is only 6 km away and I cannot get there.  I really don´t want to stay in Najara as it is a fairly large, busy and noisy town.  Finally, I accept my fate.  I must stay here tonight.  I feel I have let Pauline down, imagining her waiting for me in Azofra.  And wondering if I will have a chance to explain to her what happened.

I end up in what I consider to be an awful Albergue. It is really no more than two rooms, 4 bunks in each with a shared bathroom.  It is right on the noisy road.  I feel so discouraged, but my feet are too sore for me to consider any other options.  I think I have hit an all time low on the Camino today.

After a shower (but no laundry as there are no facilities) I head out for food of which there is no shortage of options.  Restaurants are offering the pilgrim´s menu for 8-10 euros.  I decide to eat dinner alone, my first time really alone on the Camino.  I just want to be by myself and sulk a little.  There is a French group staying in my hostel and they invite me to join them but I decline.

The first plate of a typical Pilgrim’s Menu.

The second plate from a typical pilgrim’s menu.
Dessert is also included – a choice of pudding, fruit
yogurt or ice cream. I usually opt for the ice cream. 

I am happy to find an internet cafe where I spend the rest of the evening until the shop below closes around 9:30.  I am buoyed by the comments on the blog and the emails of encouragement that I am receiving. I like reading Chris´entries as well to see how he is doing.  I don´t feel so alone anymore.  But my enthusiasm for the Camino is at a low.  Just when I was starting to believe in the magic of the Camino, that things happen for a reason on the Camino, I can´t understand why I am stuck in this place all by myself. It makes no sense to me.

When I get back to my room, I am surprised to find the other 6 pilgrims fast asleep, and it isn´t even 10:00 pm.  I slip into bed quietly and fall asleep.  It has been the toughest day so far on the Camino.

I couldn’t help but notice and appreciate these beautiful, fragrant
roses today.  Roses grow abundantly in every imaginable color
along the Camino. 

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2 Responses
  1. Angus says:

    Hi Christina, you’re probably one of the strongest, most determined persons I know so I have no doubt you’ll make it through this slump and be back in the Camino mood in no time and continue to provide us with great stories and inspiration to get off our asses. Which of course I’m sitting on mine all day on a computer.

    Keep on Truckin!

    • christina says:

      Hey Angus
      Thanks for the encouragement, I really need it these last few days.