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LIVE from the Camino Update from the Nájera municipal albergue

Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
I arrived at the Nájera municipal albergue last night to cheers from the pilgrims and a hug from the volunteer hospitalero. There were supposed to be two volunteers on duty, but one had left suddenly. There were 27 pilgrims staying the night. 27 was more than half the number that could stay and about the maximum that one hospiterero could care for.

This morning after everyone had left we stripped the bunks, washed the sheets, mopped, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, then made the beds. Finally after 11:30, I had a chance to clean up and go in search of breakfast and WiFi. Two café con leches and a bit of tortilla and I’m ready for my first full day as a hospitalero.

The albergue is a donotivo, opens at 14 and there is no WiFi yet.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Desert Bruce,
What a busy time you have had upon arrival! Surely those cafés con leche tasted especially good.

Over past years when I stayed at the Najera municipal a good value nearby resto was Mesón El Buen Yantar, Calle Mártires, 19, bajo. Perhaps you might also enjoy it.

Carpe diem!
 

meazara

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I arrived at the Nájera municipal albergue last night to cheers from the pilgrims and a hug from the volunteer hospitalero. There were supposed to be two volunteers on duty, but one had left suddenly. There were 27 pilgrims staying the night. 27 was more than half the number that could stay and about the maximum that one hospiterero could care for.

This morning after everyone had left we stripped the bunks, washed the sheets, mopped, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, then made the beds. Finally after 11:30, I had a chance to clean up and go in search of breakfast and WiFi. Two café con leches and a bit of tortilla and I’m ready for my first full day as a hospitalero.

The albergue is a donotivo, opens at 14 and there is no WiFi yet.
Such a heart warming experience, I salute you.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Bruce!!!! My wife and I met you at the Pilgrim House in Santiago a week or so ago (we are from Sacramento). At that time you were unsure how useful you’d be as a third hospitalero there - amazing how the Camino recognizes one’s worth and maximizes your value to helping others! So happy to see you serving, both in SdC and Najera. Ultreia!
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
I arrived at the Nájera municipal albergue last night to cheers from the pilgrims and a hug from the volunteer hospitalero. There were supposed to be two volunteers on duty, but one had left suddenly. There were 27 pilgrims staying the night. 27 was more than half the number that could stay and about the maximum that one hospiterero could care for.

The hug must have been from Paul😊.
I loved being a hospi in Nájera, even in the "old days" with 90 occupied beds but it was July and there were 4 of us!

From Paul's account over the past weeks the albergue has often been completo.

Thanks for volunteering and enjoy!
 

Derek Booth

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
Ah! Wonderful memories of going to the Najera Municipal albergue after arriving in the Town and discovering, along with several other pilgrims, that our albergue of choice was closed, or more correctly, not yet open. (Well in was the 3rd/4th? March in 2019)

I remember going for a shower in the late evening and 'discovering' that 'Lights Out' had occurred whist in the 'facilities'

Trying to find my bunk in the blackout was interesting to say the least!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Hello to all from another volunteer hospitalera for Nájera. Today I finished my pilgrim walk in Santiago and am spending a few days resting in San Martin Pinario and preparing for my hospitalera stint in Nájera. I shall travel there on the 13th to be on duty the next morning. Another hospitalera will be joining me there a day or two later, so I hope that someone there now can cover for the day (or two). My return flight to Canada goes from Madrid airport on the very early morning of November 29, and I may have to get a PCR test at the airport in sufficient time for it to be processed before my flight. If anyone has up-to-date information on Canadian covid travel regulations, please pass it on.
Albertagirl
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Albertagirl,
What happy news this is! All your friends and forum family will be so pleased to know that you are now in Santiago.
Have a good rest after your long camino for a new adventure awaits you on the 13th.

Carpe diem,
Margaret
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hello to all from another volunteer hospitalera for Nájera. Today I finished my pilgrim walk in Santiago and am spending a few days resting in San Martin Pinario and preparing for my hospitalera stint in Nájera. I shall travel there on the 13th to be on duty the next morning. Another hospitalera will be joining me there a day or two later, so I hope that someone there now can cover for the day (or two). My return flight to Canada goes from Madrid airport on the very early morning of November 29, and I may have to get a PCR test at the airport in sufficient time for it to be processed before my flight. If anyone has up-to-date information on Canadian covid travel regulations, please pass it on.
Albertagirl
You can make an appointment at the airport for your test. The process is relatively simple. Phil had his results in hand and on his phone within an hour.
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
@Desert Bruce , I will always be grateful to you and all the other hospitaleros 😎 Nájera is one of the more challenging albergues although other serving hospitaleros have said that they were well looked after. I recall one older Spanish chap with a guitar , It was his annual 2 week holiday and would rather serve in Nájera than spend his off time anywhere else.❤️
 

Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
The hug must have been from Paul😊.
I loved being a hospi in Nájera, even in the "old days" with 90 occupied beds but it was July and there were 4 of us!

From Paul's account over the past weeks the albergue has often been completo.

Thanks for volunteering and enjoy!
I didn’t meet Paul, he left the day before, it was from John who was frazzled by a nearly full house.
 

Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
Bruce!!!! My wife and I met you at the Pilgrim House in Santiago a week or so ago (we are from Sacramento). At that time you were unsure how useful you’d be as a third hospitalero there - amazing how the Camino recognizes one’s worth and maximizes your value to helping others! So happy to see you serving, both in SdC and Najera. Ultreia!
Hola Robert, I remember you, you went on to Canfranc didn’t you?
 
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Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
Desert Bruce,
What a busy time you have had upon arrival! Surely those cafés con leche tasted especially good.

Over past years when I stayed at the Najera municipal a good value nearby resto was Mesón El Buen Yantar, Calle Mártires, 19, bajo. Perhaps you might also enjoy it.

Carpe diem!
Hi mspath, I found myself on Calle Mártires yesterday so looked for Mesón El Buen Yantar. I regret to tell you that it seems to have been closed for a while. I will go by again this evening after the Pilgrim rush, LOL, is over to make sure.
 

Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
We had 13 Pilgrims Monday night with only 11 Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They all seem to start their day in Logroño and arrive within an hour of each other. Given the shorter days, the cold, and the clouds threatening rain I would stop before dark too.
After we open I sit outside reading and watching the Camino. Usually the pilgrims walk past the albergue, as the front doesn’t face the Camino, for a little ways before they realize where we are. I stand up and wave to save them the extra steps. This is the best part of my day, they are excited to arrive and take off their bag with the knowledge that there is no need to go farther.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hi mspath, I found myself on Calle Mártires yesterday so looked for Mesón El Buen Yantar. I regret to tell you that it seems to have been closed for a while. I will go by again this evening after the Pilgrim rush, LOL, is over to make sure.
Sorry to learn that. Here is their telephone so you can call before heading out.
Carpe diem.

Mesón El Buen Yantar, Najera
+34 941 36 02 74
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Bruce, I can picture you in my mind's eye outside reading. I enjoyed Nájera and sense you are pleased to be in this historic town. Do you know if it is true that Nájera—or a place nearby—is the birthplace of the Spanish language? Salud! John
 
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Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi mspath, I found myself on Calle Mártires yesterday so looked for Mesón El Buen Yantar. I regret to tell you that it seems to have been closed for a while. I will go by again this evening after the Pilgrim rush, LOL, is over to make sure.

Mesón El Buen Yantar is open as of this morning. They were on vacation for a while. Tom, an experienced hospetelero, stayed with us last night. He had worked in Nájera several times and also recommended El Buen Yantar. It was still closed, but had a sign that said it would be reopening today. I will go for dinner this evening.
 

Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
Last night we had an interesting group of 11 Pilgrims; 4 Spanish, 4 French, one American, an Australian, and a Canadian hospitalero walking to Grañon for his posting. He had worked in Nájera several times so he was a wonderful source of information about the city and it’s citizens.
No one from the city has contacted us during the 6 days I’ve been here. Monday I will go to city hall to see if anyone can tell us what to do with the donations the pilgrims leave.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Not to derail the thread, but that must be the first Australian for ages! Unless it is someone who has been out of the country since the pandemic began. Or someone very keen. We have only been allowed to travel overseas since 4 November.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Greetings from up the road a piece! I’m in Astorga. At least until the crack of dawn on Tuesday when I finally start my way home. Wishing you all the best Desert Bruce and Albertagirl!

Karin
 
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Frances 2021
Hey Bruce, isn't this is your second hospitalero in a row? Way to go, and much appreciation for filling the need in Nàjera. Enjoyed seeing you in Walla Walla before your Camino start. Will see you down the road sometime!
Phil
 

Cecilia-Russell

New Member
I arrived at the Nájera municipal albergue last night to cheers from the pilgrims and a hug from the volunteer hospitalero. There were supposed to be two volunteers on duty, but one had left suddenly. There were 27 pilgrims staying the night. 27 was more than half the number that could stay and about the maximum that one hospiterero could care for.

This morning after everyone had left we stripped the bunks, washed the sheets, mopped, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, then made the beds. Finally after 11:30, I had a chance to clean up and go in search of breakfast and WiFi. Two café con leches and a bit of tortilla and I’m ready for my first full day as a hospitalero.

The albergue is a donotivo, opens at 14 and there is no WiFi yet.
Carry on telling us about your adventures. I am sure you were really welcomed.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
El Buen Yantar was open a couple of weeks ago, filled up to the half-capacity permitted by Covid rules -- the lady in charge zealously keeps to the rules. Maybe it's closed for vacation?

The first written evidence of what we know as the Spanish language -- and the Basque language, too -- were notes scrawled in the margins of a manuscript in the library at the 11th c. Monastery of San Millan de Cogolla (https://g.co/kgs/ETBPNE ) a big monastic complex about 25 km. from Najera. The manuscript and the library and the great moldering convent are still there, as well as the smaller original cave-church up on the hill where Millan first did his thing back in the 6th century. Daily buses will take you there, and you can stay in the nearby town or the luxury monastery hospederia/hotel, which offers a nice pilgrim rate.
A worthwhile side trip for those with time and resources. (there's a waymarked trail from San Millan onward to Santo Domingo).
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Last night we had an interesting group of 11 Pilgrims; 4 Spanish, 4 French, one American, an Australian, and a Canadian hospitalero walking to Grañon for his posting. He had worked in Nájera several times so he was a wonderful source of information about the city and it’s citizens.
No one from the city has contacted us during the 6 days I’ve been here. Monday I will go to city hall to see if anyone can tell us what to do with the donations the pilgrims leave.
Hi Bruce,
Your Canadian would have been our friend, Tom. Granon is reopening Monday. Tom and his fellow hospitalero, Angelo from Italy, have run a singing workshop for hospitaleros in past years in late November. He has sponsored a Zoom Saturday singing session for a few hospitaleros around the globe the past year or so and my husband, Phil, participates. Tom also teaches classes for Canadians wanting to be hospitaleros.
Enjoy your time! We always love to volunteer for a few weeks.
Janet
 
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Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Bruce,
Your Canadian would have been our friend, Tom. Granon is reopening Monday. Tom and his fellow hospitalero, Angelo from Italy, have run a singing workshop for hospitaleros in past years in late November. He has sponsored a Zoom Saturday singing session for a few hospitaleros around the globe the past year or so and my husband, Phil, participates. Tom also teaches classes for Canadians wanting to be hospitaleros.
Enjoy your time! We always love to volunteer for a few weeks.
Janet
Yes Tom says HI! We are having dinner at El Buen Yantar with 3 other hospitaleros from Grañón and Mary Louisa the new hospitalera in Nájera.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
El Buen Yantar was open a couple of weeks ago, filled up to the half-capacity permitted by Covid rules -- the lady in charge zealously keeps to the rules. Maybe it's closed for vacation?

The first written evidence of what we know as the Spanish language -- and the Basque language, too -- were notes scrawled in the margins of a manuscript in the library at the 11th c. Monastery of San Millan de Cogolla (https://g.co/kgs/ETBPNE ) a big monastic complex about 25 km. from Najera. The manuscript and the library and the great moldering convent are still there, as well as the smaller original cave-church up on the hill where Millan first did his thing back in the 6th century. Daily buses will take you there, and you can stay in the nearby town or the luxury monastery hospederia/hotel, which offers a nice pilgrim rate.
A worthwhile side trip for those with time and resources. (there's a waymarked trail from San Millan onward to Santo Domingo).
Hi Rebekah. Thank you very much for this information. I wanted to include in my manuscript (working title: Cuckoo Me), something about the origins of the Spanish language as I thought it might be of interest to my readers—all 3 of them. :cool:
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Hi Rebekah. Thank you very much for this information. I wanted to include in my manuscript (working title: Cuckoo Me), something about the origins of the Spanish language as I thought it might be of interest to my readers—all 3 of them. :cool:
People were speaking the languages a long way before someone tried writing them, so no one can say this is where Spanish came from, just that it's the first place we know it was written-down.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
People were speaking the languages a long way before someone tried writing them, so no one can say this is where Spanish came from, just that it's the first place we know it was written-down.
That's important. In the same way the Japanese were able to record (in written language) the "Orphan Tsunami" that originated along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the present day coast of Washington State, but there was no written record on this side of the Pacific Ocean as the local First Nations Peoples were a proto-culture at the time with no way of describing—other than orally—the impact of this 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The Japanese pinpointed it at January 27, 1700.
 
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Desert Bruce

Planning next year’s Camino
Past OR future Camino
2021
It’s a rainy day in Nájera today, light drizzle most of the day after last night’s rain.
We had 5 Spanish pilgrims last night and 4 hospitaleros.Heidi, the second hospitalera arrived before the pilgrims, She immediately set about exploring the bits and leftovers in the refrigerator to create an hospitalero lunch.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
I arrived at the Nájera municipal albergue last night to cheers from the pilgrims and a hug from the volunteer hospitalero. There were supposed to be two volunteers on duty, but one had left suddenly. There were 27 pilgrims staying the night. 27 was more than half the number that could stay and about the maximum that one hospiterero could care for.

This morning after everyone had left we stripped the bunks, washed the sheets, mopped, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, then made the beds. Finally after 11:30, I had a chance to clean up and go in search of breakfast and WiFi. Two café con leches and a bit of tortilla and I’m ready for my first full day as a hospitalero.

The albergue is a donotivo, opens at 14 and there is no WiFi yet.
You are a super star as all other hospitalarios - thank you thank you thank you
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
Checking in from El Buen Yantar - the last chance for the other hospitalera and me to have an evening meal together that we didn’t cook ourselves, since Bruce leaves tomorrow. Sniff.
 
I was lucky enough to be hosted by Bruce and John when I checked into Nàjera on my way to walk to open Grañòn to reopen it for the first time in 20 months.
They were doing a great job and I appreciated that they let pilgrims staying with them know that the parochial albergue here in Grañòn is now open.
I was also sad that El Buen Yantar was closed for a break but Angelo and I returned with Marina to eat there with Bruce and Mary Louise after it reopened. Such fun to share stories and experiences.
We have had some great groups singing here but as the weather worsens with rain and predicted snow the pilgrim numbers naturally are dropping off.
 
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HeidiL

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
OK, I'm home, there really wasn't time to report much during my stay, which included a solo weekend with 7+6+7 pilgrims.
It was great, and I really enjoyed it. There were pilgrims from 21 different countries during my stay (November 14th to 30th), anything from 2 to 14 at the same time, and the weather was - shall we leave it at changeable?
Nájera is one of the places where the hospitaleros can get out and do stuff while the albergue is closed, so I managed to do so, prioritising this to sitting in a bar updating the forum, sorry...
I managed to go to two museums, one botanical garden, one liqueur factory visit, one wine tasting and tour, four churches, including one from the 5th century, built over and around a Roman 2nd century tomb, the local weekly market twice (I came home with at least 20 new pairs of good walking socks), shopping for ham, cheese, olives, Spanish truffles etc, plus some very nice walks, in company and solo. I am now quite happy to isolate myself in my home office...
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
HeidiL,
Glad to learn that you are home again safe and sound. How is the weather in Norway? Do enjoy all those delicious foods as you now relax in your home office.
Stay safe and Carpe Diem !

PS. Where was that botanical garden ?
 

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