Good times in Azofra

Ah, waking up in an albergue with lots of people all trying to get ready at the same time – it is something else. And this time I knew none of them … and instead of barging in I took my time – I was in no hurry. By the time I was good to go, the crowds had thinned out in the nearest bar, so I got a table to sit down and have my camino breakfast of café con leche, Aquarius and a croissanty thing. Then off into the gorgeous still-early morning’s golden light and rolling landcapes.

Once more along winding, rocky trails through the vineyards!

And then, suddenly, you come around a corner to find the world laid out in front of you, and it is all good. What more can you ask of a camino day?

I stopped in Nájera for second breakfast or brunch, too early for the tapas goodness I remembered, but a toastie went down very well. Leaving town you get into more rugged, rocky, dry terrain and then back on to the flat.

Ah, Azofra. Or rather, that one albergue and the one bar which in my mind constitutes Azofra. The albergue because it has cubicles with only two beds in each, both flat (ie not bunk) beds, reading lamps for each bed!, a window you can open or close (provided your same-sex cubicle mate agrees) and even a cubby hole for your pack! Big kitchen area, eating area and outside space with a foot pool too! It is definitely on my top ten, and if you’ve missed it, there is a very similar one in Cacabelos, by the church at the end of town.

The bar – there is another one too, but I don’t know anyone who’s been there – has good staff, good food, and well, it’s the one bar you can choose from, so almost everybody pops in at some point. The fuente outside has water on both sides, the back says Potable and is the treated water, certified safe to drink, but the lady in the bar told me all the locals drink the water on the front because it is sweeter and comes from the mountains. I can’t recommend which one you should choose over the other, but you have been informed.

As it happened there was a fiesta planned for the evening i was there, with loud thumping disco music, professional fiesta men chasing the village’s younger population with half-bulls on wheels(!) and not an outside seat to be had. No matter, we had to get inside and get our pilgrim meal first anyway.

When our usual random group of pilgrims had finished our meal it was dark outside and the fiesta was louder and more lively. Good idea to set a silent alarm on my Fitbit for quarter to ten every evening, or I would have lost track of time and arrived back to the albergue too late …

My cubicle mate was a lady I had met on and off several times along the way, and she was awake and reading, so no need to tiptoe around getting ready for the morning. What joy to have a normal bed, to be able to sit up without getting a scalp full of mattress or dreading the climb down to go to the loo! I am definitely stopping there again. Azofra has my stamp of approval.


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