Day 7 // Navarrete – Azofra // 23.8 km

The alarm goes off at 6 AM and when I wake up I realize I was sleeping like a baby. Some people have already left. I don't really want to get up, but I have to. Although I decided not to rush myself. Everyone feels very tired after yesterday so we do our thing separately. Everyone picks their own speed of packing up and getting ready this morning. We'll see each other at the auberge tonight anyway, since we already booked it yesterday. 

Every morning starts with a surprise. This morning a goddamn bird flew into the room. We spent a while getting it out of the room, it seemed like he was gonna hit his head at every corner of the room. 

I see a woman from our group with her legs put up. I think you should've done that yesterday, but all of them left to go get breakfast right away. I was the only one who stayed and took care of my body - shower, ice bath for my legs, stretching, muscle and feet massage, cold gel for my knee and aloe cream for my skin. And after all that I still feel a bit of pain this morning. I can't imagine how she feels. 

Food is secondary for me. Yeah, all of the Italians keep telling me that I don't eat enough and that I won't have the energy for the day, but really I am not that hungry in this heat. All of the stuff I ate yesterday could be one meal. It's hot, I drink a lot of water. 

The nature has changed a bit today. As I leave the auberge I see dark rain clouds in the distance.

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The weather is nice today. The wind is blowing. It feels great. I enjoy every bit of the wind. I spread my arms and attack the day. I'm flying.

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The path takes us through grape fields, of course I grab a bunch. I hope the owners forgive me. Alcohol is poison so technically I'm doing a good job by eating them.

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The signs today are a bit confusing. I pass them, but in 50 meters I go back to double check. I rather walk 50 extra meters not 2 extra kilometers. I asked other pilgrims which way to go and I continue. There are not a lot of signs. I walk straight. I know that there should be a town soon by checking the distance walked. I saw it on my left like a kilometer away. Turns out I cheated because later the paths crossed and a lot of pilgrims are coming from the left who had gone through the town. Technically I had to go there too. Ok, one less kilometer to do today. 

The weather truly is really nice today. The sun awakens from behind of me. It's not cold and it is not crazy hot today. I walk and I smile. I turn on my favorite songs and sing along. Today really is a good day!

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At the end of the 13th kilometer I see Alejandro who's also walking with his earphones and listening to music. After a while I caught up to him, we continue the path together. 

We saw a couch you can just sit and rest in along the way.

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After a while we reach a town Najera. I am really hungry so we stop at a cafe. YES! They finally have tapas here! They were really good!

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When I walked into the bathroom and saw this I thought this is definitely for pilgrims who have trouble sitting down because of the muscle pain.

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While we were having breakfast, the Italian family catches up with us too. We continue the path together. Everyone is in kind of a chill mode today and no one is rushing anywhere. 

As I was leaving the city a young man starts up a conversation with me because of the gypsy hair-wrap I have in my hair. He asked if I was a hippie and I laughed. Turns out he's from Belarus. His name is Artur and when he found out I speak Russian we switched the language. It was a bit hard at first just because I was so used to speaking in English the whole time. Artur surprised me with his adventures and knowledge, turns out he speaks 7 languages. And also, he's been to Latvia, for a Taizé meeting. He has studied theology and it is his passion. He started his journey in Lourdes, France and is going to end at Fatima in Portugal. Those are two very important places for Christian people. He was telling me about how when he was in Lourdes, he was waiting 3 hours in line to get soaked in the holy water and how much inner strength it gave him to go on this journey. He also told me about an 80 year-old man who started his Camino in Rome and has been on the road for 70 days. Before that, he did his Camino starting from Berlin. These type of stories really inspire, I hope I get to hear more tomorrow. 

You could say this was a pretty easy day - we reached the auberge at 1 PM already. Today was not too bad regarding the heat, but I am super hungry. After shower, doing laundry, doing the recovery ritual, we go get something to eat. We ate from the pilgrims menu. We also asked for a bag of ice in the cafe. After lunch/dinner I was in the mood for nap. I fell asleep with the ice bag on my knee. 

When I woke up I really was in the mood for some junk food, but it always happens - when you're doing nothing, you really want to let yourself go in terms of getting the nutrition you need versus the one you want. I went to the store and got fruit and chocolate for tomorrow… And chips for tonight… Don't judge me! 

Tonight we are staying at what I could almost say is a hotel. A little bit more expensive, but we got the whole house to ourselves. Alejandro picked a single bedroom - that's what he tries to do every 4 days, so he could sleep and recover better. 

Daniela and I share a double room, and rest of the people stay in the triple room.

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I think this easy day and a good night's sleep should be enough to feel really recovered for tomorrow, so we can continue our awesome journey. Today was a calm and beautiful day. 

Inspiration from the tunnel.

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And this is my Italian family (picture taken yesterday).

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Stay calm!

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