Day 9

Najera – Santo Domingo

21.3km/13.24 miles

The majority of the next few days will be walking through wide open fields and remote farmlands with a little bit of walking on the main road into Santo Domingo.

Today the guide books warns of little shade with little opportunity for refueling;  stocking up on water and food is necessary for today’s stretch.

Early morning hike

The sun on my heels

I have found a zone while walking.  In the morning I listen to the sparrows speak over my head and wait for the sun to shine on my heels.   I anticipate the warmth from the early spring morning chill.  Alt-J seems to be the soundtrack of my camino.  Their experimental sounds and haunting vocals pave the way to a rhythm that keeps my mind at ease.

Many arrows pointing the way

Many arrows pointing the way

I stop every so often and watch the grass sway in the wind.  Like a river the bright green blades flow with ease.  I walk mostly alone today and listen to the same songs over again that I have downloaded on my phone.

What most of my day looked like

What most of today looked like

I stay at the Spanish Confraternity today.  A donation only voluntary association with many beds.  I prefer to stay at the place that sounds most interesting to me.  This place is described in my guide book with having a garden with chicken coops.  Sounds exciting enough to me.

I am invited to eat dinner with a group who cooks every night.  Some albergues offer a kitchen to cook your own food if wanted.  A fresh home made meal is a nice change from the usual pilgrim dinners that are offered in the local village bars.  Usually consisting of the same menu:  a salad, pasta or fish and desert.

I hit the bed right after dinner, the top bunk tonight.  I haven’t seemed to get quite used to sleeping on the top bunk, let alone with no rails in the middle of the room.  Should be an interesting night, I hope to wake up on top tomorrow morning.

My bunk in the middle of the room

My bunk in the middle of the room

I am pleasantly surprised with how most places I have stayed while in Spain have been very nice and clean.  This place is very large with many floors and rooms full of bunks.