Day 9: 28.2 kilometers
Total: 256.2 kilometers
Waking up this morning I felt so rested! The Albergue I stayed at was the municipal Albergue in Najera which was donation based and just incredible! I checked in with my Italian friends Gianmarco and Stephano, my Hungarian friend Barbara, and my friend from France, Muhamed. It was a beautiful spot with a nice family feeling to it. Like I said before the eyes of Marian the hospitalera said it all. In the morning, after a delicious breakfast and some stretching and a little bit more coffee we were ready to head out! The only thing was when we opened the door everything was white! Yea… it started snowing early that morning and never stopped!
The crew of us all bundled up even more and were ready to head out! I felt even more like a kid catching these huge snowflakes on my tongue! It was cold but it was so beautiful outside! And another thing was I set out for a long 30k in the cold but with my friends. That made it fly by today. We talked a lot of the time about everything and sometimes we all just walked. It really felt good and was a nice day.
Making it into Santo Domingo de Calzada we ran in to our friends Martha and Anne! It was so good to see them again! We all talked about them a bit ago and it was like magic! They have been on a slightly different schedule than everybody and haven’t seen them for a few days! They missed out on some epic meals and said they wanted to meet up with the crew again tomorrow because they were staying in Santo Domingo tonight. We did some quick route planning and estimated where we will all be tomorrow and hopefully they will find the same place as us!
Ahhhh Grañon is in sight! Walking in was pretty cool with the mist and fog and snow everywhere. When we were in the city it looked as if everything was closed. We found the Albergue that was in the bell tower and that seemed to be closed too. But with a solid push on the door it opened and our whole crew walked up into paradise! We literally walked into a bell tower! It is so beautiful and the vibration of love poured over me as I stepped in and was instantly warmed up! I couldn’t believe how amazing this place was! The love the big table the fire with the chairs around it the piano the upstairs! Just incredible! We all have mats that we put on the floor to sleep and I don’t think it could be any more perfect! I brought down and shared my heart chakra incense with everybody and with the incense burning the fire and the soft music in the background it just felt oh so good!
Stephano, GainMarco, Barbara and me all went to a bar where we hung out for some well deserved beers. Then the hunger set in so we went through a few orders a of chips and a croissant too! After a beer we went back to the church but instead of going back we went to mass. All in Spanish but beautiful! At the end the priest had all of us pilgrims come up to the front and receive a blessing. It was incredible. I was filled with emotion and actually became a little misty eyed standing in front of the church as the priest blessed us all and wished us a buen camino! After the blessing I looked around at my friends and I saw the emotion in their eyes as well. What a perfect day!
Now we all head back to the bell tower and it’s time to make dinner for everyone. GainMarco and crew are at it again making the best pasta of the camino. Such an incredible day with an amazing finish once again with some new faces in my camino family! Such a beautiful life!
What made it even more special than anything I could ever imagine is that Marian gathered all of us up and took us through a special door. We went into the cathedral! It was incredible! The moment still makes my eyes swell with tears. We were on the top balcony overlooking the beautiful architecture of San Juan church. It was massive and cold but the candles were lit everywhere which made it perfect. Marian told us the history of how so many pilgrims before us came here and then gave us the candle. When each of us had the candle we told in our own language what drew us to the camino and what you are searching for. For me it was to spread happiness, love and joy to everyone I meet and it means the world to me with all the friends that surround me now. It was so beautiful. Barbara got up and sang the most beautiful song that echoed throughout the church walls and throughout my whole body. Then Marian told us that since they don’t have a stamp for the Bell tower that we just share love. One by one Marian went around and hugged everybody. She hugged me so tight! With a whisper of buen camino in my ear and a kiss on my lips, I felt the true camino! Sin palabras… Just incredible! Then, each and all of us went around the room hugging each other. Not just a normal hug but hugs filled with the purest intentions! Just beautiful! We filed out into a room called the salon which has a part of the old church as one of its walls. You could see in the wall the sign of pilgrims from many years ago etched into the ancient rock. Whoa! What a place! Just incredible.
After this we all went to the local bar and shared a few beers amongst stories and smiles! What a beautiful day, what a beautiful place, what beautiful people! Once again my mantra : I am pure love radiating in every direction! The universe is radiating back at me ten fold right now! Always be a reflection of what you want to see in the world and people and magic happens!
Pura Vida y buen camino!