Day 16 – Navarrete to Najera

Walked Today: 6.7mi/Camino 2022: 100mi.

When we got up this morning, Linda looked out our room window and was surprised how beautiful the view was with street lights still on at first light….

A prearranged taxi met us at our hotel door at 7:00 to take us to Ventosa. Najera is 10 miles away and we decided last night that we’re building our distance stamina at a good rate but not at the 10 mile level yet. The taxi ride chopped off just under 4 miles leaving us a more reasonable walk into Najera… continuing our paced Camino 2022.

The Camino just outside Ventosa with a new shelter and stone benches, added since 2019.
The rocky walk up this section required us to slow down and watch our step!
The Alto de Alesón leveled off as we began to head down toward Najera, with vineyards on both sides of the path.
Our first view if the valley below Alto de Alesón
Vineyards will be in harvest mode before long.
Olive orchards were also seen frequently among the vineyards.
It’s a little early for harvesting olives but these trees were loaded with fruit.
Approaching the Poyo de Roldan, surrounded by grapes and olives.

The area surrounding the Poyo de Roldan is always a beautiful sight. The Poyo was the watchtower from which Charlemagne’s knights, led by Roldan, sighted the castile of Ferragut, the Syrian lord of Najera. Ferragut was over 9 feet tall and weighed over 500 lbs, and challenged the knights to a duel… and if any knight were to succeed, the Moors would give of their holdings in Northern Spain. None of Charlemagne’s knights had succeeded in defeating Ferragut, however, when Roldan had his turn, the duel went on for two days, with Ferragut falling onto Roldan, attempting to squish him. Roldan, according to one of the legends, pulled his dagger free and stabbed Ferragut in his achilles belly button, killing him instantantly. The Moors, as a result, abandoned Najera and headed south, leaving northern Spain to the victorious Christains.

The “beehive” monument is the legendary site where Ferragut was killed by Roldan, in the esplanade between Najera and Poyo de Roldan seen in the left background.
the path flattened out and became much less picturesque as we neared the outskirts of Najera.
Finally, the Camino path becomes a Najera street.
Our normal breakfast stop… another apparent casualty of the pandemic
Our new alternative breakfast stop
Tasty breakfast

We arrived around 10:00 at Pension San Lorenzo, but were informed (emphatically) that they would not deviate from their standard 1:00 check-in time. Bummer!

Our “habitacion” in Najera.

So we passed the next three hours….

Sitting on a bench in a nearby park and enjoying the nice breeze and shade.
Ordering something to drink and deciding what to do for lunch and when and where to do it.
Having a lunch that would serve as our meal of the day at a pilgrim friendly restaurant that had someone manning the cocina (kitchen).

Finally, at 1:30, we checked into our room with a light meal of sandwiches in hand. With “the evening meal” taken care of, we spent the afternoon and evening in our room doing chores, reading, blogging and preparing for tomorrow’s walk and having our evening meal ensuite.

Brand new room in brand new apartment with ensuite bathroom with large shower.
the view outside our window of the buildings across the street, which are literally built into the mountain… that we’ll walk up and over tomorrow morning.

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