The next day was cooler and we walked at a brisk pace through the undulating vineyards. There seemed to be very few pilgrims on the trail, I suppose Ventosa isn’t one of the main stops. We were happy enough being outside in the beautiful morning and didn’t really miss company.
As you get closer to Nájera you walk past this famous camino poem:
We arrived at Nájera just as it was getting really hot again, and we were too early to get into our room. I called the lady, who opened the door to let us store our bags inside. The plan was to then overshoot – carry on to Azofra and get a taxi back – to shave some kms off the next day’s walk.
But first we needed a break, and found ourselves a table in the main square. There was a stage there, and sound checks, so clearly there would be another festival. I asked someone how long it would be going on for, and the answer was three o’clock … I thought I’d asked the wrong thing, and that the festival started at three, but no. It started at five and would finish at three o’clock in the morning. Or there abouts. Right.
Having rested for a bit in the shade I decided to stay and do some laundry and errands (Superglue, Compeed etc) while Scouse Spouse power walked to Azofra on his own, without a pack but with his iPod and a water bottle.
Off he went while I had lunch, did stuff, got our bags into the room, showered and changed. It really was hot, and I don’t handle the heat very well. My intrepid power walker went to Azofra and got the local bus back for less than two euros, so he knew how we could get there again the next morning.
The festival didn’t seem to register much while we were out eating and meeting other pilgrims, but when we went to bed it really got loud! It sounded like the whole town was out partying, and maybe they were. Luckily we were both tired so we managed to get a bit of sleep. Also we didn’t need to get up until 08.00, and even then we could just turn around and sleep on – we had the room until 11.00. (This became a standing joke – having the room until eleven – every time we would rather be in bed than out in the chilly morning air.)
Nájera has several murals with historical motifs: