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Day 9, Azofra


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

The albergues seem to have either a plug next to every bed or a large central extension cord. I am keeping the headlight and the phone charged all the time. Almost never below 50%. I'm having to use the phone this morning because they must shut off their internet at night.

I'm off a bit later this morning as I decided to sleep in a bit. Since I was alone in the room, I saw it as a unique opportunity to not have an alarm going off at 4:20, as someone's did yesterday morning. I woke up at and then dozed a bit more and finally started packing up my stuff at 6:00.

Its now 6:40 and I've eaten the toast and yogurt. I have some meat, cheese and bread & fruit for later. No services for 17 km. This may be the first time I have to pee outside.

I did not set my alarm last night and enjoyed the quiet of a room completely to myself. The other couple, who had their own room, had left by the time I was up at 6am, so I had the luxury of not worrying about making noise or turning on lights.

After a quick breakfast snack, I headed out, not seeing anyone for the first hour. Then I met Jaime (J pronounced as an H) and we walked together to Najera, stopping for a picnic in a hay field where we shared the food we had.

We enjoyed each other's company and hope to join up again at some point. He stayed in Najera and I continued on, each of us on our own schedules, but promising to keep in touch. Jaime treated me to a cerveza in Najera before finding his albergue for the night.

As I was walking alone this morning I was thinking that it was an interesting feeling to have no real commitments or requirements, but just walking from one way marker to the next.

As you walk along, the yellow arrows are very comforting, such that there is a feeling of unease after any distance without an arrow, even if there is no other way to have gone since the last, it is still a small relief to me each time when I see one. It is like encouragement or a validation - I am on the right path; I am not really alone; many others came by here and many more will pass.

There is also regular encouragement in the form of "Buen Camino" from every one you pass or who passes you. All in all, a very satisfying experience.

I am sitting at a table of the Bar Sevilla in Azorfa having a bocadillo (bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich) and lemonade. I keep changing seats to try and mostly stay out of the sun.

I am still doing very well with no feet or other problems. The change to the new insoles after my practice walks was very wise. I brought the other ones with me in case these didn't turn out well, but I think I will leave them behind.

I am also very happy with my new shirt & "skirt" for the after-walking wear.

In 5 nights I will already be in Burgos and, I think, will be ready for the rest day and chance to explore the city, especially the cathedral.

There is a botanical garden here in Azofra that I may go and explore this afternoon. I see ads for it everywhere, but I don't know how close it is. Of course it is closed from 2 to 5pm, like almost everything.

It's 2:30, so with not much open, I will do a bit of hand laundry and then go out later. There's also a small foot pool for soaking the feet at the albergue, but it was too much in the hot sun earlier. I will see if there's any shade as the day wears on.

I am very careful with my feet, especially seeing other people's foot issues. Jaime only stopped in Navarrete last night because his blisters were so bad. He had his whole heel taped up to walk today. He said he only bought his shoes a day or so ahead. He was wearing sandals today.

For me it is working well to stick with the shoes and thicker socks during the day and then switch to the sandals after arriving and leaving my pack at the albergue. I take the shoes off at least once during the day - usually when having a snack and a beer along the way. It's working so far so I won't change it. I have to remember to clip my nails tonight, though.

The Albergue here in Azorfa has 60 beds but only 2 beds per room, so I don't know if I will be sharing or not, but for the moment I have my own room again.

Now that my phone is charged, I'm going to put my feet in the pool for a few minutes.

A big group of cyclists just arrived. Holy crap there are a lot of them. A minute ago there were no bikes, then, lots of noise and dozens of cyclists arrive in a big group. Then, just as quickly they leave "pour arranger les velos". I expect they will be back to check in properly.

A family arrived earlier 2 adults, 4 young kids and a mule. The hospitalero said the burro must stay outside. I was glad to hear it! Not sure where it's staying. So, the burro carries a child in turns plus most of their stuff. A beast of burden for sure.

The group of cyclists and the family w/mule are French, so I am having more opportunities for practicing than I expected. C'est fabuleux!

By the way, I am happy that I have still not needed to pee outside, even though this morning was longish.

Jaime and our cervezas

Jaime and our cervezas

Relaxing in the pool

Relaxing in the pool

Tons of cyclists arrive

Tons of cyclists arrive

The family burro

The family burro

My albergue and another incredibly blue sky

My albergue and another incredibly blue sky

Accommodations are spartan

Accommodations are spartan

First view of Azofra

First view of Azofra

A way marker showing 581 km to Santiago

A way marker showing 581 km to Santiago

Posted by Deb Godley 15:34 Archived in Spain

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