Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 17 (10/9) - Najera to Santo Domingo de Calzada (21.4km)

Breakfast was coffee and pastry in the albergue. We left at 8am and were probably the last guests out the door. It was beginning to drizzle and had rained during the night. After winding through the old town, we went uphill on a gravel track to leave town and most of the morning along that, gradually uphill and through vineyards. Perhaps two thirds of them had been harvested. After 7km we passed through Azofra, where we stayed last year, and had "second breakfast". Sections of the gravel track were a bit muddy, with the clay sticking to our shoes. After another 7km or so we reached Ciruena where there is a golf course and a strange ghost town of condominiums, etc. The rain had increased so we stopped at a cafe in the golf clubhouse and had lunch. That was a good thing because it started raining pretty heavily and we ended up staying there for 90 minutes or so, watching bedraggled pilgrims stopping by or continuing. When it (finally!) seemed the rain was stopping we headed off for the final 7km into Santo Domingo de Calzada where we stayed in a large (260 bed) Albergue Casa del Santo. I asked the hospitallero and he said they have recently been averaging 110-120 pilgrims per day. Our room has 10 beds (5 bunks) but will be full. The toilets and showers are nice and it seems pretty good for such a large albergue. Lucked out and noticed a laundromat right across from our entrance and got things cleaned and dried. Of course, had our usual glass of nice red wine while waiting. Wandered around this delightful town for awhile -- a bit of drizzle takes away of the usual evening activity. Then back to La Gallina for the pilgrim menu dinner.

Heading out of Najera - before it started drizzling.

Vineyards - still in Rioja and still fascinating for me. These vines are not on trellises but most are.

View into Azofra where we stopped for mid-morning "second breakfast"

Our bunks - always a bit of a mess upon arrival.

View inside of Albergue

Church tower in Santo Domingo de Calzada

I had garlic soup and then stewed pork ribs. Cindy had fish. Of course with nice Rioja wine.

Location:Santo Domingo de Calzada, Spain

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