Surprises is what I could call the night in Navarrete.
Followed by pouring rain that almost turned the streets into rivers, we the "Ondiñas" team went back to our albergue to find a few surprises for me: my most favorite T-Shirt, which everyone was loving on the Camino, had decided to take a faster transport method: it flew away with the crazy storm we just had. But don't worry, it doesn't like to travel alone, it took my underwear too as its companion. While, just in case, looking for it in Navarrete's streets, I discovered one beautiful poem written on a wall next to our albergue, but I didn't take any photo nor tell anyone. I consciously didn't want to, because sometimes it's better to keep a few experiences for ourselves and simply enjoy the raw beauty of it. If you're curious anyway, then you'll have to do the Camino and look for it. Hence, two surprises don't come alone, I found a new person willing to take part in my photo interview project too. This time it was a local, Aitor, who runs the albergue and actually also did the Camino, but with one major difference... Barefoot! Yet, another impressive story was added to my project.
Seventh recommendation for the Camino: you don't need a selfie with everything, appreciate the beauty of this World with your eyes first.
Ensuing the stormy night, rain saluted us again the next morning while we were still having breakfast. Maybe motivated by my flying T-Shirt, I also decided to send directly to Santiago all the excess luggage I was carrying (see the Spanish Post's offer here; info in Spanish only), I actually had 5 1/2 kg too much which I could easily go on without. No wonder I suffered so much on the treacherous route de Cize on my first Camino day!
Saying goodbye to the pleasant Navarrete, we escaped the rain after only a 20 min. ride and to what would be one really hot day. Crossing again the beautiful vineyards of La Rioja region, I couldn't resist the temptation to take a few grapes and... they are glorious! Their freshness and taste are like nothing I ever tried before. If you're doing the Camino in September, don't pass the chance to try them, you won't be disappointed, but don't have a meal either, remember, it's someone's crop.
Going on after this gourmet experience, at some point I saw a fellow pilgrim that I just wanted to photograph. The scenery where we were and his expression just invited me to do so. He happily agreed and that's what started my conversation with Maurice, who is a Frenchmen from the North. He actually was quite exhausted from the hard sun and the Camino itself, I asked him if he needed something and he didn't have any water nor food left, so I gave him a few grapes I still had and filled up his bottle which he almost drunk in one sip! I was left with just half a litre but I was glad to help out a fellow pilgrim and to meet him, plus, I also had my picture. "Merci et bonne route Maurice !"
Not long afterwards, we were going to make another Camino friend. At some resting point near Santo Domingo de la Calzada, we met Jürgen from Germany. He was doing his own Camino, starting from Hameln (Northern Germany) and heading later to Portugal. Thanks to this moment, his 4 weeks pedalling story is now part of my photo project too and we added a new member to the "Ondiñas" team that day. If you wish to know more about "Jürgen's Weg" and check the other beautiful places he visited, you can read his German blog here.
Riding along with the biggest bike group I've ever been till, we all had Belorado as our common destination. We stayed at the first albergue that had a whopping swimming pool, billiard, living room, full equipped kitchen and more! (check Albergue A Santiago). Being it also the first town of the Burgos province, we tried to find a supermarket before they closed to get some good wine and the regional cheese "Queso fresco de Burgos". It was sunset and it was almost closing time, so we had to literally run, which was really difficult because of the beautiful town distracting us quite often.
Even so, we did it just in time with the supermarket closing on us and we bought one amazing goat cheese, the fresh Burgos one and an excellent La Rioja wine with an ideal name for the Camino: "Tuerce Botas" (=The Boots Bender).
It was the perfect after-dinner!