Day 17- Najera to Cirueña

Walked Today: 9.6mi/Camino 2022: 110mi

Our walk began in the dark. We didn’t unpack our headlamps, because even in the dark the first few miles are straight-forward and we know our way. Jim calls the initial half-mile “Proud Mary hill” because the first time we climbed Alto Najera, Linda turned up the volume on her phone and played the Tina Turner classic to help us get to the top.

Leaving Najera street lights at 6:30 a.m. and heading up Alto Najera
The view when we reached the top of Alto Najera and headed back down. The small light at center photo is headlamps from a group of pilgrims several hundred yards ahead of us.
clouds muting sun’s rays at 8:15
Approaching Asofra

Some 3.5 miles into the walk we stopped at the only village with services, Asofra, and had breakfast.

While eating breakfast on Calle Mayor in Asofra, we noticed a “tricky” water fountain.
…. looking closely at the signs, the water in the fountain is NOT drinkable, but the water spigot in back is, with disinfectant added!!! The pilgrim on right is filling his water bottle with “safe-drinking” water.
leaving Asofra

The walk from Asofra to Cirueña has little shade and winds among endless grain fields and vineyards. The following photos show the similarity of the view and terrain for most of the walk.

1 mile past Asofra
2 miles past Asofra
2.5 miles past Asofra
3 miles past Asofra
4.5 miles past Asofra
5 miles past Asofra

The last mile into Cirueña was a very steep grade and slowed all pilgrims down… the young, the not so young and those in the middle. It was particularly difficult, because it came at the end of a nine mile walk.

The entrance into Cirueña is shared with a very nice golf course. The pro shop snackbar has become a favorite stopping point for us before completing the last half mile to Casa Victoria, our traditional stop for the night.

Arriving early enough to hit a bucket of golf balls before our tee time…. NOT.
… but right on time at the 19th hole for a supplemental breakfast after a 9 mile morning stroll.
Our lodging in Cirueña… for the 4th time (2014, 2017, 2019, 2022)
our room
home for the day and night

Our Casa Victoria hostess offered to wash and dry our clothing for 6€, which we accepted without hesitation. She also reserved a place for us at their nearby Casa Victoria Albergue pilgrim’s dinner… 12€ each. So, with much of our afternoon tasks taken care of, we headed out for lunch at the only bar in Cirueña and relaxed with our remaining tasks while awaiting dinner at 7:00.

Lunch was at the only eatery in the village of Cirueña, pop. 131… but still tasty… vegetable pizza for Linda and a BLT on a baguette for Jim.

We had a nice dinner with 14 other pilgrims. Our table included a couple from Ireland and three ladies from France. We chatted about a variety of experiences on the Camino and elsewhere. It was fun and stimulating and a nice way to end the day.

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