Day 12 on the Camino Frances, Navarrete to Najera
Navarette was nice, and we weren’t in a hurry to get on the road. Our plan was to down some orange juice and crousants we had purchased the evening before, hit the road and look for coffee and breakfast a few hours after we started. This was our preferred way to get an early start before it got hot. So, it wasn’t too surprising that the streets were pretty empty as we headed out.
We walked through vineyards, over a hill (big surprise), across a river, and finally came into Najera. They were preparing to celebrate a local holiday, and as we came into the outskirts of the town people had built fires on the road shoulder, and were roasting sausages on racks above the coals. As we got into downtown, all the shops were closed for the holiday, but we desperately needed beer for the heat. The only place that was open was a Chinese run place, and we got beer and Nestea. It probably saved our lives.
Najera was taken from the Muslims in 923. Legend/history has it that the emir of Babylonia send the giant Ferragut and 20,000 Turks to Najera to hold it from the Franks of Charlemagne. One of Charlemagne’s generals, Roland, fought Ferragut for 3 days and finally defeated him. There is a monument to this battle outside of Najera.
We crossed a bridge to the old part of town, and found our hotel. By the bridge was a grassy park just starting to fill up with festival goers, youth from Najera and all the neighboring towns.
Our hotel was on this street (above) and we checked in, took showers, and headed across the street for food. While there a couple of bands came by, and serenaded those at the outside tables, and a couple of people did an inpromptu “dance”.