May 4, 2007

5/4/07 Navarrete Spain

Practically killed myself climbing down from the upper bunk last night. But, i guess yesterday was tough on everyone because folks were reluctant to get up, even after a few souls stirred at 6AM.

I decided to get a head start into Lagrono so I'd have more time to find the post office. I guess I got the jump on most of the other pilgrims because I couldn't see anyone in front of me. The morning was cold, windy and with rain every once in a while.

A lot of Lagrono was just as I remembered it. Once I was past the refugio, I began to cut across town looking for the post office. I must have stopped a half dozen people to ask directions. The funny thing is that most people saids it was too far to walk, but I found it eventually. And the postal-workers were helpful getting my stuff mailed to Toulouse - 3.2 kilos. The pack did seem lighter.

Found a phone to send my email and bought a few items for lunch, before heading out of town. Got lost again and had to ask directions. Dark clouds moved in and started to rain, but almost as suddenly the sun came out. Moved on automatic pilot as I thought I had to rush to catch up to Helio and Betty who were supposed to meet me Navarret.

The route past the city was much improved, at least as I remembered it. I was surprised at how our pilgrim ranks had thinned out a bit. Felt like I was walking alone until I caught a big group just before Navarrete.

A modern pilgrim statue in Logrono

I got to the albergue just as it opened, but there was already a long line. Helio had arrived a little earlier and had been at the cafe next door. When I asked about Betty, he said she had decided to stop in Lagrono. I knew we were going to be separated soon, I just thought it would be later, not today.

It didn't take long for the refugio to fill up. Helio and I were in room with some of the Italian group. What made the room special besides the great view from the balcony, was the bathroom. For 8 pilgrims, we had 2 toilets and 2 showers. Heaven.

Pilgrim laundry hanging out our windows

I'm not sure what I'd do if the refugio was closed when I arrived. Daniel and Lizzie whom I had met last night at dinner decided to just find a field or someplace to lay down their sleeping bags but neither had a tent. And I loaned my thermarest to Lizzie.

Helio and I decided to cook dinner in the refugio kitchen instead of going out. We made too much, so offered some to the Dannish woman sitting near us. She was able to give one reason why the camino is so crowded, especially with Germans. Five years ago a famous German comedian walked the camino and wrote a book. He called himself a couch potato and said that if he could do it, anyone could. He's already sold two million copies.

Iglesia de la Asuncion in Navarrete

We also celebrated a birthday tonight. A Spaniard gentleman turned 82, and this was also his 15th Camino. Wow! And he looked like he could do it a half dozen more times.