Camino de Santiago Day Eleven: Najera to Santo Domingo de Calzada

11 04 2018

We had some left over snacks and enjoyed a protein packed breakfast of lomo (cured pork lion) and boquerones (sweet Spanish anchovies) and cheese. We stopped at a small cafe for a coffee and it was off. Same scenery as yesterday but somewhat monotonous. Wide track easy on the feet but with a long long slow incline. We passed by a sheep farm where the bleating sent us off with good intentions.

On and on we went, the first town we hit, Azofra, was only 10:30 and not long enough to make a pit stop really so we just kept going after eating some hazelnuts and some chocolate. But the next town was far. Again a long incline this time through abandoned housing complexes with for sale signs. Really not a very pretty part of the walk through that area. The town at the top Ciruena looked empty and we didn’t really want to leave the Camino to investigate so we decided to go on without a break. There was light rain but not too bad, we were not drenched but it was definitely damp. We arrived in Santo Domingo early and checked into the largest Albergue we have been in so far…Ref. Casa de Santo.

This Albergue was massive, 220 beds and incredibly I was pilgrim number 71, my birth year… but no doubt not the last to check in! We were assigned two upper bunks in a dorm with at least 20 beds… there are many rooms too. Bathing facilities were divided between men and women and there seemed to be plenty of showers and sinks and there was a huge seating area and a big kitchen with dishes etc and long tables to eat at. Rules were hung up on the wall.

We opted to go down the street a bit to a bar and get some lunch, we could not wait to eat, but first we went for a quick tour of the church famous for its rooster enshrined in a little cage. There’s a legend about it you can google if you’re inclined… We went back towards the Albergue and found a place to share lamb chops and patatas bravas with tomato and aioli. We have discovered that we need a LOT of calories, I found a handy site that can help you log your calories burned go to https://caloriesburnedhq.com/calories-burned-hiking/ The big day we burned more than 3000!

We did some laundry across from the Albergue and then went out to eat again… I had lamb chops, again! And some Palomino sherry. And more wine, we also found a bottle for 1,50 Euros and brought that back to our “barracks” to enjoy before our 10 pm curfew and lights out and call to silence! We weren’t sure of the etiquette but Rice Kake Mary (our new name for Mary) egged us on to get the guitar. After a playing a few songs it was lights out!

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