Stage 8: Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Linda’s report)

This morning dawned very cool, overcast, and with, to use Curtis’ expression “a nice walking breeze”. We headed out of town in the dawn light and started a slight climb onto our first leg.

As seems to be the way of it, I was away on my own fairly quickly, passing pilgrims sharing morning greetings and smiles. I came upon a young German fellow, Beno, who I had met with his father in Puenta la Reina a few days earlier. A lovely, happy guy, who told me, “no German man has a woman walk past him” which I found amusing, so we proceeded to walk into Azofra together chatting all the way. He kept up with me, but decided he would stop for breakfast there, so I went along on my own.

Not long after we started to climb (this is not unusual on the Camino), however, today the climb went on for kilometers! And by this stage the @#¬|{}* wind was a full-on cyclonic head-wind. As I climbed and climbed and climbed … I contented myself with the not so spiritual practice of swearing at the wind. I did look behind me a few times, thankful that no-one heard what was not the best example of the spirit of the Camino. Very thankfully I came into Ventosa determined to tell Curtis just what I thought of his cute little wind!

I remember my father teaching me as a child that sheep and cattle travel almost twice as fast when they have a head-wind, as they can smell predators very easily and so relax into the pace more. Believe me I am neither ovine or bovine, and if a predator had been dumb enough to approach me, they may have got more than they bargained for!

The last push into Santo Domingo de la Calzada was just head down and go; unfortunately, you see the steeple of the cathedral loo-o-ng before you are anywhere near the town. One of the pilgrims had shared with me the story of the “chicken church” as they called it. According to him, if you are a good person the chooks cry when you are there, if you are bad they don’t. I didn’t think I would chance the chook´s reaction, so sat and had lunch in the plaza instead. Curtis revealed the truth of the story later, which was very interesting, but thankfully no pilgrims are actually judged by the chooks.


One thought on “Stage 8: Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Linda’s report)

  1. Well said Linda. In Polynesia we might say “kamakanihalihali`ala” or the wind brings fragrance to the way. Maybe too much in this case. Keep the pace and the faith and feel free to walk all into the ground as you stride boldly. Aloha, Mike and Alex.

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