Day 7 - Cooler on the Camino

Day 7 - Cooler on the Camino

Logrono to Azofra

We're Back! After a day of rest in Logrono, we are on the trail.

Leaving early today, we taxied to a spot out of town about six miles and walked, and walked and walked.


Jackie was bit chilly this morning Jackie was bit chilly this morning


But the weather was much cooler and after doing some climbing, our route was down--a gradual grade for much of the way.

Just Jim pouring wine on his cheek Just Jim pouring wine on his cheek


The total distance between Logrono and Azofra is about 35 kilometers, or about 21 miles. We walked 14 or 15 miles, about 23 kilometers from outside Navarette to Asofra.

And what a difference a day makes.

Stone tower tributes on the Camino Stone tower tributes on the Camino


For the last three days of walking the temperatures have been in the 90's. Today, we began the day with a chill in the air, and the appearance of what appeared to be rain clouds. The temperature may have topped 75 degrees mid-afternoon, but most of the day it was extremely comfortable for walking.


A bridge outside Najera A bridge outside Najera


There was no rain, though, and the day was glorious.


Every Pilgrim needs a massage Every Pilgrim needs a massage


Mid-morning, we met the first US residents that we have walked with on this trip. Two couples, who began walking at St. Jean, were trekking past us just as we were ending a short walking break.


Jackie and new American friends on the Camino Jackie and new American friends on the Camino


The accents sounded familiar and we joined them for three or four kilometers. Because we are so poor with names, we can't identify them, but it was fun sharing experiences.

They were on a fund raising walk for a Mexican AIDS mission.

Really good and fun people.

As people do on the Camino, we left them when they stopped for coffee, and we were off ahead. We thought we'd see them tonight, but they are not in this town.


We honestly haven't picked any of these----yet We honestly haven't picked any of these----yet. But, we have oassed many vineyards.


Then an incredible thing happened.

We entered Najera.


The entrance to Najera is maybe the most uninspiring walk we've seen. Large nondescript apartment building after another nondescript apartment building.

Snooze city!


Should have been a lounge singer. Should have been a lounge singer. Resting vocal chords at the bar as we entered Najera


We stopped at a small bar, Found an outdoor plastic table and got our water and Diet Cokes. It was a short break. We were feeling pretty upbeat since we had not been passed by any Pilgrims for a while--a very new experience for us.

Then, following arrows, we moved into the old part of the city.

The city changed!

Suddenly we were in very narrow streets, and on our left, dominating this section of the city was Santa Maria la Real Monastery.

We think it may be the most amazing thing we've ever witnessed.

We've included some pictures, but they don't come close to doing it justice. It is incredible. Too astounding to even bring tears to the eyes, like a few churches have in the past few days.

Monasterio de Santa Maria la Real


Entering the Monastery Entering the Monastery


Here is the lore that backs this unbelievably beautiful building.

Glorious!! Glorious!!


According to legend, this beautiful monastery was founded in 1052 by King Don García Sánchez III, after he found a mysterious image of the Virgin Mary in a nearby cave. He then won a battle of some kind--these Spanish kings win a lot of battles--and built and dedicated this building to Santa Maria.


Not your every day corridor Not your every day corridor


The monastery church dates from 1516.


Jesus, of course Jesus, of course


From the church you can access the cave where the king supposedly found the figure of the Virgin. The church is built into the cave.

The choir stalls are from the beginning of the 16th century, in walnut. An area of the church is also home to the tombs of two ancient monarchs and their families and advisors.


Kings and such Kings and such


Entry to the monastery was three Euros. It was a bargain.


Amazing art work Amazing art work. They flank the entrance to the cave.


Back on the Road

When we see things like that monastery, it lifts us.

It certainly made our packs lighter and the road gentler.


We are coming, Santiago We are coming, Santiago


We were soon cruising to our destination for the night, Azofra.


Not All Those Who Wonder Are Lost - 12 minutes after the picture above Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost - 12 minutes after the picture above. One kilometer closer


We were doing our usual singing as we entered the village.

We have begun a habit of attempting to make up Camino songs. Most of them are terrible and barely rhyme. Nearly all of them have at least one line about the poop papers that are sometimes too prevalent along the route--usually at least five feet off the route--usually.

In no time we in the little low-populated village of Azofra, just the spot to find our room at a restored 17th century Lord's manor. It is over the top. There is more gaudy, although beautiful, furniture and furnishings than we've seen in a while.

It is pretty cool. It is one of the few hotels that we have encountered with a swimming pool--we managed to get in up to our thighs. Freezing cold!!

Dinner today was from the Bar Sevilla, salad and chicken with fries. The men in town were busy and dramatically playing dominoes.


Dominoes Dominoes


It is now near midnight and the windows of our room are open to collect the breeze.

Kids (probably aged six to ten) are playing happily outside our hotel.

Life is different (and sometimes very beautiful) here.


Just a short note about the bathrooms of the Camino.

We have found that they are better kept than nearly any we see in the states. Always clean. Even pretty.

We were a bit frightened about what we might face, based on what others had written.

The bar bathrooms in Spain that we have entered are generally cleaner than the bars, themselves, in the US.

Tomorrow We March Again

Our target tomorrow is Santa Domingo e la Calzada, a village with a cathedral with its own fabulous legend.

Buen Camino