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Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago: Navarrete to Nájera

Starting the walk on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.comThose of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer, I spent 7 days walking around 120km along the Camino de Santiago, from Logroño to Burgos in Spain. This was the second leg of the Camino that I started in 2016 (if you’re interested, I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way). This is Part 11 (other posts linked at the end of this post).

Camino Frances Day 11: Navarrete to Nájera (approx 16km)

After easing into this year’s section on our first day of the Camino, this second day of walking was just a little bit further in terms of distance which made for a very nice two days at the start.

Pilgrim cutout on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(leaving Navarrete – had to be done!)

En route out of the lovely Navarrete, we were looking for fountains to fill our water bottles. Someone beat us to it!

Cat drinking at pilgrim fountain on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then there’s the usual confusion re: “Which way are the signs pointing, exactly?”…

Confusing signs on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was fairly flat terrain on this day – again, walking through the gorgeous vineyards of Rioja…

Vinyards in Rioja on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(we were happy for some clouds to start the day, with highs in the upper 30s predicted for the afternoon)

It was a little early in the proceedings for us to need a taxi, thankfully…

Tempted by a taxi on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(Guillermo’s signs appeared for the next couple of stages…)

The Camino is a place where you’ll see evidence of many other enterprising folks too…

Massage signs on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(again, too early in the proceedings to really warrant a massage…)

On this stage, you pass the graffiti poem, Pilgrim, Who Calls You?

Camino poem on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.comOn this stage, the signs for the Camino appear a little Paddington-esque…

Pilgrim signs on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(you can’t tell me that this little guy doesn’t remind you of Paddington Bear?)

And soon, as it approached noon, the clouds cleared and we approached the pretty town of Nájera (pop: approx 9000)…

Intersection sign on the Camino de Santiago from Navarrete to Najera on eatlivetravelwrite.com(LOL  re the “lies”! So often the signs along the way tell you how far it it to the next town or village and it really messes with your concept of “what is X km?” because I can tell you that this sign definitely felt like much further away from the town than 1km!)

Approaching Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd just before the sun came out in force, we got to the hotel…

Hotel in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comOur usual afternoon nap followed (it was really hot) but later, showered and changed, we headed out to explore the town (a little early at 4pm, towns are just waking up from siesta so the streets were terribly empty).

Street colours in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comFlags in the streets of Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comChorizo Artesano in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Streets of Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Siesta time in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Pretty street decorations in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe were really taken by the paint can flower pots all over town…

Paint can flower pots in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Innovative flower pots in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comBut what I really wanted was an ice cream (and a beer, though not necessarily in that order!). I spotted one of the ubiquitous ice cream signs outside what looked like a regular corner store and we pushed the door open to discover a couple of fabulous things:

1. Air conditioning and 2. This:

Cafe Bar Caribe in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comYes, a bar right out of the 50s complete with characters in their 70s and 80s. We seemed to have stumbled on a pensioner’s day out – they were deeply engrossed in their card game and many of them were drinking tiny tiny beers (cañas). It was all very civilized. If you can’t beat ’em…

Beers at Cafe Bar Caribe in Najera on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comSuitably refreshed after an hour of sitting and observing these folks (and trying to understand their card game… impossible!), we headed out in search of dinner…

Najera streets on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comSuch a pretty little town and it was nice that we had the time to explore, thanks to having been able to “split” the first long day on this leg of the Camino (would have been walking nearly 30km in one day otherwise). Because, it’s all about the journey, not the destination, right?

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Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trips, they have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking another Camino walk with them for next summer (and every summer until I reach Santiago!).

Read more about the Camino de Santiago

Click here to read all my posts about the Camino de Santiago!

 

 

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5 Responses to Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago: Navarrete to Nájera

  1. Geoff September 18, 2017 at 18:38 #

    Really gorgeous photographs, Mardi. Well done.

  2. Diane Zwang September 18, 2017 at 22:49 #

    Always enjoy your adventures.

  3. Cheznana September 19, 2017 at 08:44 #

    Such a lovely town, enjoyed all the photos.

  4. Margaret @ApproachingFood September 19, 2017 at 23:39 #

    I’m loving this series! Walking the Camino de Santiago is one of my life goals, so I’m really enjoying travelling the path with you via your posts! 🙂

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