Lord have merci. The French peregrines in our peaceful Puerte de Najera decided to get up at an ungodly time. Though we had a bit of a late night we were out of the door by 645am when we left the Refugio under darkness. For some reason young camouflaged clad cut lunch commando style people were still drinking in large groups and some kind of fireworks (missiles to us) were exploding in the distance, but we marched West, up the hill. An hour later we came to Azofra where we descended on a local cafe for breakfast of sorts. Sure enough all our Camino Amigos slowly streamed in too. Some had spend the night there and were having a civilised morning.
Still cool, but now in early daylight we twiddled along the road, passing vineyards and hay stacks on our way to Cirueña, our next cafe.
Cirueña turned out to be weird. As the awesome foursome got to the top of the hill where the local golf club was situated (first one along the Camino), I was still coughing and sweating with Ron. By the time the girls had finished Rhein coffee I arrived. Unfortunately the totally slack staff at this golf club did not serve me promptly enough, I patiently waited for 2x 10 in buttes without luck. By now the rest of the team was ready to go and I was utterly frustrated by the slow staff who would slowly serve once customer before disappearing behind a door for 5 minutes (possibly attending to their Facebook/email). After passing the golf club townhouses/burbs the Camino led us on a little loop through town for no reason before continuing into the fields.
The signs pointing us along the way are slowly counting down to Santiago! I swapped my shoes for the Vibram five fingers when I stopped at the gypsy who so,d drinks from the back of his car - with signs saying something about the government and how he does this instead of stealing from people.
Barely lunch time when we arrived safely at the Sisters Monastery in Santi Domingo where the team had booked me in and I booked myself in as well (the nun on duty was not quite on the ball, nor was I). Rebecca who saw me walk in also failed to mention I was already checked in. Once that was all sorted I was put into a separate room with only two other people (a Spanish couple whom I trust won't be too amorous tonight). A shower and some laundry later we checked out town.
Finding one of the many Internet cafes we consumed sangria, cerveza and snacks whilst the phones kept our focus from our sore feet. Though I am not sporting any blisters yet my gout affected toe joint is hurting plenty - not helped by the complimentary red wine we drink each night.
The girls bought Dan a little chocolate cock to eat.