Day 8: Nájera, 28.9 km

30km! Well, 29.1, technically, but it’s the longest day thus far, distance wise. It started out slowly, but by the end of the day I caught a bit of an additional wind and, finally, feel like my body is catching up to the demands I’m placing on it.

I didn’t realize how much I appreciate the group I’m traveling with, which save for a few is primarily European. Today, because we haven’t taken a rest day, we’ve caught up with people who started before us. They seem to be mostly Americans, oddly enough. They have such a different vibe, not because they are American, but it  might not help…they are a lot more stressed out, many of them are taking buses for parts of the day, and they are just…loud. Luckily, I’m still with a portion of the original group, mostly, a group of Germans and Dutch.   And of course, Aoife, Olivia, and Neika. I’m going to be so sad to leave them on Friday! But I also realize a part of me wants a more independent journey for my second half. I love traveling with these girls, and they’re all great people. I’m so glad I got to know them, and luckily Aoife lives in Dublin, so we’ll see each other again soon. But I know a more solo hike will be a different experience, and one I want to have. 

There isn’t much to say about the hiking portion of most days lately, various parts of our bodies hurt, which changes constantly. The terrain is generally very pretty, punctuated with the occasional unfortunate roadside walking. I am excited to get to Leon next week for a bit of varied terrain! I feel a bit bad about skipping the middle, but honestly, I’m just not particularly excited about being on the road for another three weeks after Madrid.   Two more weeks sounds perfect.

All that lies between me and a much needed break in Madrid is a 21km hike tomorrow, easy, right?  

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