Hotel San Camilo (115€, inc. dinner)
We are out at 7:30 AM after a breakfast of café con leche and croissants. Through a string of parks, a pleasant paved path takes us out of the city, and then there’s an up to a reservoir and a café serving tasty light lunches. We enjoy café and Coca Cola (Note: henceforth to be shorthanded to “C& CC,” as this is becoming a daily staple). We climb gently on. There are lots of kids on the trail… appears to be a class of twelve year olds. We do a fair amount of dilly-dallying because we have lots of time and the route is charming. We come to a long line of fences decorated by pilgrims with stick crosses, plastic bottle crosses, rag crosses… you name it, a cross montage. Vineyards everywhere. We’re in big country with a tiny town off in the distance. We arrive there, in Navarette, at 11:30. We visit yet another GOLDCHURCH, caked with STAGGERING AMOUNTS of the stuff. We walk on out of town to find our hotel for the night… very tricky getting there but we finally spot a giant pink building in a big open field and arrive at the elaborate grounds of the San Camilo. The hotel is very nice, and our room lovely. But there is no lunch available, so back we march up the hill into Navarette. We’re finally figuring out the Menu Del Dia, and today it’s pretty good… ensalada mista for both, then for Nick hamburger with eggs and fries, and ice cream; and for me, pork loin with eggs and fries, and flan. Back to the hotel for a nap, bath and good read. (Note: this prompts a further shorthand – “B+N,” bath and nap, frequent additions to the Camino’s essentials: walking, eating, sightseeing, and reading). Dinner at hotel at 8:30 is, well, bad… stuffed pimentos, potatoes bravas (red sauce and mayo), and a ham and cheese plate. Nick adds a hot fudge sundae and is happy.