After a bit of a dodgy night, I literally could not wait to get out of the albergue. The early start was rewarded by a beautiful sunrise as I walked through the mountains just beyond Najera. This was a also a very good morning because I met Dale and Andy for the first time as I was leaving the albergue.
It was a lovely warm morning. I stopped for coffee at Azofra and picked up some breakfast for the road. It was just to lovely outside to sit and eat inside the bar. I found a perfect spot a little later.
I heard a “cuckoo clock” cuckoo calling for the first time on this stretch. I later found out that this cuckoo is called the Jacobin Cuckoo, which makes sense really!
A strange part of the day was passing through Circuena (Area de Descanso), which was literally a maize of empty apartments with a golf course. Clearly market research gone horribly wrong. I had decided to go on to Granon and not stop in Santa Domingo de la Calzada. Santa Domingo is a beautiful town that is so full of Camino history but I really wanted to get to the parish hostel in Granon, about 7km on. I had met up with Nicola and Young on the way and they also wanted to get to Granon so, we paused for a lunch break in Santa Domingo and looked around the town a bit and then walked on. Literally as we started walking out of Santa Domingo it started raining. It rained all the way to Granon. It actually somehow rained horizontally, straight into our faces. About half way there, I seriously doubted that the albergue in Granon could be worth the effort but it was. It is in the upper floors of the building adjoining the Church of Saint John the Baptist. The living area had a fire place and after going down to Mass, we all made supper together. There was such a wonderful spirit and I met some great people - including Chris, Craig and Laura. I reached Santiago on the same day as Craig and Laura and they were just absolute legends all the way. And, although we slept on mattresses on the floor, I had the best night sleep yet.
I was privileged to spend a lot of time exploring wilderness areas in southern Africa from a very young age. I got my first camera when I was 6 years old and I have been passionate about wildlife and landscape photography ever since.