Day 12: Ventosa to Azofra

Today’s distance: 17.5 km
Total distance: 199.8 km.
Elevation gain: 252 metres
Weather: Blue skies; warm
Highlight: Beautiful Rioja

Okay, so where was a Farmacia’s vending machine when I needed one? You don’t have to wait until Monday for the Farmacia to open. You simply put money into a slot and out pops what you need: Compeed, band aids, Ibuprofen, etc. Brilliant!

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This vending machine is in the tranquil village of Azofra which has a population of only 250. Sixty pilgrims can be accommodated in thirty cubicles at the municipal albergue here. Glen from the USA didn’t want to share his cubicle with anyone and was willing to pay double, but I am happy to share mine with a delightful, companionable lady (Annette) from Copenhagen, Denmark, for just 10 Euros. A bonus here is the little fountain and pool you can soak your feet in. So brilliant!

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Today walking from Ventosa to Azofra was perfect! Blue skies, loads of jet trails, grape vines galore, and less pain from my blisters. I was able to walk further than I have for the last three days. I haven’t quite lost the pilgrims’ gait (limp) but it’s getting there.

image-134-1024x768Ventosa to Najera

image-136-1024x768Ventosa to Najera

Usually pilgrims prefer walking on natural track rather than pavement but, when you have blisters, you really need to pick your way so as to avoid rocks that might press on them. Pavement walking was much easier.

Before Najera at a place known as Roldan’s Hill, there was this strange beehive-like structure. It stands at the scene of a legend about a fight between the knight Roldan and the giant Ferragut, a David and Goliath type of story. It is also the place where an enormous treasure is said to be buried.

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I didn’t have breakfast until I had walked about 10 km and reached the outskirts of Najera. Then it wasn’t far until I stopped for a second cafe con leche at a bar by the river. It was a perfect place to relax, take off my boots, let my socks air dry a bit, and check for hot spots which would indicate new blisters brewing. Great! No new ones!! I was tempted to stay longer at the bar by the river, but I was afraid I would grow roots and not wanted to carry on to Azofra, my destination for the day.

image-138-1024x767Najera

image-139-1024x768Najera

image-141-1024x768Najera to Azofra

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Damp socks can cause blisters so it is good to change them often as you walk. It wasn’t smart of me to bring only two pairs – my bad! Here is something Annette told me today, and I wonder if anyone can verify this: Crystals (salt?) accumulate from sweat in socks and those crystals can cause blisters. She says socks should be washed every day. I haven’t always done that, especially if I thought they might not be dry by the next morning. Maybe that is one of the reasons I got blisters.

Between Najera and Azofra I came to the first sign that shows how many kilometres to Santiago: 581 km. I was so excited because soon I will reach the 555 km marker in Granon. When you see triple fives there’s a big chance that it’s conveying a message of guidance from your angels. Right, Tania!?

image-140-768x1024Najera to Azofra

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10 Responses to Day 12: Ventosa to Azofra

  1. David Reano says:

    Lovely day for sure and that was a great albergue with its semi-private rooms. The vending machine as a farmacia is interesting. It must be a new addition or maybe last time we ignored it. I think that you will be fine now since that other soreness or pain seems to have subsided. Petroleum jelly does wonders.
    I fly over to London day after tomorrow and then to Irun the following day.(:-))

    • Judy says:

      Hi Dave! It will be wonderful if the weather stays like this for your eight days on the del Norte and same for the Primitivo. Are you excited?!

  2. Bonnie says:

    Hi Judy
    Sooo happy to hear the feet are healing.
    Your adventures are definitely taking you out of your comfort zone.
    Congratulations on courage and fearlessness. Definitely, having a
    different camino ma amiga. Loving the pictures. Such a photographic eye.
    Excited for you and Dave to be on the road and eventually to meet up.
    Buen Camino Dave! Don’t forget the vaseline!!!!
    Love B

  3. Maggie McCartie says:

    Hi Judy & soon to be Dave as well. I spent my morning coffee time – (yours a well-deserved cafe con leche) – catching up with you and it was just like we were having coffee together in Sidney. Such a courageous gal you are…..blisters are no fun at all! Perhaps Dave will bring you a couple extra pairs of socks. Beautiful scenery surely helps to ‘dull the pain’ and as you say and the anticipation of the’magical 555′ marker surely pulls you forward.

    LOL
    Maggie

    • Judy says:

      Hi Maggie! Definitely the beautiful scenery helps dull the pain from the blisters. Today I felt on the verge of recovery and could say I almost feel “sprightly.” Almost!

  4. Tania says:

    Oh yes!! The triple 5’s! They meant something to me of course. Unfortunately, you won’t find the 5’s there anymore. As you know, they got ripped off the post. If anyone is curious about the story behind them, read my Camino blog post…https:/mymeseta/the-three-fives/

  5. Arlene tucker says:

    Hi Judy
    Have made many attempts in sending you my comments unsuccessfully. Hopefully this time it works.
    Enjoy the countryside pictures and your dialogue of each day.
    No doubt reality has set in by now!
    Soon Dave will be joining you and happy trekking.
    Hugs Arlene

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