Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yesterday I arrived in Nàjera. After checking in to the hostal I stayed at I decided to walk over and see where the albergue was. As luck would have it just as I got to the albergue one of the Hospitaleros was coming up as well. I introduced myself and let her know that I would be replacing someone on Friday. After introducing herself she then invited me to join her and the other 2 Hospitaleros for lunch. Her name is Maria and check is from the UK. Manolo is from Barcelona and Nicolette is from Canada. They are all very nice. Nicolette left for France today to volunteer at a different albergue near Le Puy.

This morning I was up early and headed over to the albergue to learn the system. So far it is pretty simple. All of the pilgrims are required to be out of the albergue by 8:00am. Once they are gone we begin the cleaning process. Since there are usually 2 or 3 Hospitaleros the cleaning goes pretty quick. Once things are clean and ready for the new group of pilgrims we are on our own until 2:30pm when we open the doors. Today is a very light day, it is already 5pm and we only have 9 pilgrims in the house. We may have another few but that is about it. It is cold and rainy today so many pilgrims took the bus to the next larger town.

I was able to learn the process of checking in pilgrims this afternoon. Nice to learn on a light day. Last week there were 3 days in a row with 90 pilgrims in the house. That is a full house.

Nàjera is a very nice town. About 7,000 permanent residents. Everyone is very friendly. Yesterday was sunny and warm. The streets were full of people, kids were playing in the park everything was just alive as Spain tends to be.
This is the albergue. You can see the red cliffs in the background.

This is the river that flows through the center of town basically separating the old town from the new. We are in the old part of town.

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  1. Wonderful to read your early post on what it’s like “arriving and learning”. Interesting that Nicolette
    is volunteering at another spot after finishing this one. I have a new appreciation for you who volunteer. I also did not realize that you’d have some free time. Does this albergue have the pilgrims leave their sticks & boots in the entrance area? What a great experience! Hats off to you & the others to give selflessly in this way!

    I had dinner last night in Miami, where I am for a retreat, with 4 ladies who are going with a guide from Sarria to Santiago in October They had many questions. One lady at the end said: “you sound addicted to walking the Camino, why?” Ha, ha…I got excited answering that one.

    1. We have a bunch of free time. It may be different in others but for us we have at least 4 hours a day of free time and really so far it has been very easy with just a few pilgrims. We do have the pilgrims leave there boots and poles in the entry way. I really understand that now as I am the one who must sweep and mop the floor each day. I am sure your not addicted as one pilgrim put it “I have walked 11 times but I am not addicted I can stop at anytime” 🙂

  2. Glad to see your having fun out! Thanks for posting and sharing. Looking forward to some photos from the camino as well.

  3. Hey Andy – is it me… I didn’t see your picture. Wondering if I am doing something wrong. Thank you so much for bringing me along on your journey again …

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