After a quiet start yesterday, despite some rather wild times in the kitchen for Kent and me before the pilgrims arrived (he left the bar to start cooking (just for us-- we don't cook for the pilgrims), and cooked the whole pound of pasta instead of just a cup), I ran to the church for the Sunday service, then came back to finish the goulash, and we started greeting pilgrims. By about 6 p.m. We had 29 pilgrims, but couldn't find an empty bed. We put up the Completo sign and turned away one young man. Then as it was getting dark a petite young woman arrived. Paddy from Ireland offered to give up his bed for her, then accompanied her to the Laguna Hostal. However the only space they had was a private room that cost 30 Euros, so she returned to stay with us. Before lights out at 10 p.m., we found the missing bed. She was warmly welcomed by a group that included Spanish, Dutch, German, Korean, and Italian pilgrims. They cooked, ate and visited together. I got tearful watching them, and told them that this was what I love about the Camino -- people from so many countries sharing and enjoying each others' company. What if the leaders of the world walked together, staying together in dormitories and sharing bathrooms? Perhaps we could have peace?
The Korean pilgrim gave Kent and me a pin and necklace with a yellow ribbon commemorating the deaths of Korean students in a boating accident in 2014 that many feel the government did not adequately address.
Today has been a quieter day. Cold again, and cloudy, with just a few minutes of sunshine. 22 pilgrims have arrived by 7:20 p.m., the last one from Belgium just a few minutes ago. Nationalities represented today: Belgium, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Australia, and Russia.
We got candles at the tienda, which add a bit of warmth and color, although we are mostly out of wood, and don't have a fire tonight. The washer and dryer have been going, and pilgrims are now cooking in the kitchen, which also helps.
Tuesday, 18 October.
We ended up having a fire after all last night, and the usual lively groups around two tables. One older man was alone, so I joined him, and soon there was a lively group sharing life and Camino experiences. Kent came in from a long nap, then I went to bed early (a bit after 9). It is exhausting interacting with so many people speaking English and Spanish in so many accents for 9 hours per day. Kent closed down the house at 10 p.m.
Today it feels like we have finally hit our stride. Done with cleaning by about 10, we went across the street for napolitanas and coffee, then I put on my boots and we both went for a walk. My right foot has been hurting, and I think it is because I have been running up and down stairs and around the village in my crocs. Much better in boots. We found the train station, about a 15-minute walk away, trains twice a day, morning and evening in each direction. Everything closed up at the station.
The station area was mostly abandoned.
A Bibliobus (bookmobile) was parked by the school next door to us.
We had sunshine this morning. It is the first time since the day we arrived that the sun has shone in our windows.
The music I put on my iPhone seems to be a success. One man arrived yesterday to Marian Anderson singing Ave Maria, and he was amazed. He said he'd been singing it all day while walking. He must have known he'd come to the right place.
So far today our arrivals have included two couples, starry-eyed young lovers who met on the Camino, from Israel, Hungary, Lithuania, and Ireland.
Wednesday, Oct 19
Only 14 peregrinos last night. Our first dog (not allowed). One pilgrim arrived complaining of bed bug bites, which had us a bit worried. Others wanted to stay out after 10 to watch a football match. They arranged for one pilgrim to let hem in, so we locked the door and went to bed. It is dark in the mornings until 8 a.m. when pilgrims have to be out so we can clean, so it is hard to get them all going. The music helps -- lively music for morning. Hit the Road, Jack, Zorba's Dance, Morning has Broken, Heavenly Day, And Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah are in the Playlist.
We got a load of wood, with more to come today, and Kent got a ride to Sahagun to the ATM machine so we won't run out of cash. So, we are settling in. It was even warm enough to sit outside without our jackets yesterday afternoon, and the little heater took the chill off our room.