May 1 – Najera to …. Where am I? I think Santo Domingo de la Calzada

I can’t even think straight. Did 16 kilometers today, which seems a short
distance compared to the last two days, but it was hot and sunny, and no shade
at all. Had to pee behind some brush!!
The views were quite beautiful, mostly farmland with snow capped mountains to
the southwest. Green rolling terrain except for two steep uphills, which I
managed well. My legs and lower back are sore, as are the backs of my upper
arms, from using the walking sticks. My hips are stiff and it is difficult to
bend down to pick up anything that happens to fall down, which happens a lot
while I’m unpacking, tired and sweaty.

Fell asleep while taking a bath, and still had to wash clothes in the sink, but
after a little rest had enough energy to go into town to see the Cathedral and
have dinner. Nice food and great wine in this region of Rioja.

Today I dedicated the walk to my first serious boyfriend, Juan Perez Bouza, a
Spaniard from La Coruna, who was killed during student riots in Paris on May 1
around 1965 or 66. My plan is to look for his tomb after I finish my pilgrimage
in Santiago, since La Coruna is just an hour away.Carried Hugo’s stone, which I will carry again tomorrow. And I left Susan’s
crystal at the cave of the Virgin in the Monastery at Najera. This particular
virgin sits with white lillies, a candle and soft bells ringing, because
according to legend, a famous king found her like that in that same cave and she
gave him strength to win a big battle against the Moors, considered then the
dark forces. The king dedicated the monastery to the virgin, and now Susan’s
crystal is there to gather strength for the battles ahead.

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