Tag Archives: friends

Teeny Tiny House

The Lord of the Rings village house

The Lord of the Rings village house

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

June 25, 2014

We walked until 10:30 am. We stopped in Ligonde at a donativo ( Fuentes del Peregrino) and we decided to stay there for the night all because the hosts gave us a hug. Yup…we needed a hug after having spent yet another night having a dispute about leaving the window open. If you don’t want to sleep by the window and plan on closing it at night for fear of getting sick, then do everyone the favor by selecting a different bed placement. Ahhh!
This one window thing in the bottom of a remodeled cellar that holds 35 people along with showers that have no outlet for the water condensation and thus the smell of mold permeates the room, is apparently the norm. I don’t understand. The owners of these private albergues spend lots of money remodeling and yet don’t include more windows and a good ventilation system that will accommodate mass amounts of people.

Anyway, we had a great time at the donativo. Even though we had to wait till 1:30 to check in, we knew that we had to stay here. If you ever wondered what it would be like to sleep one of those cute little hobbits’ homes, I can tell you that it was way cool. Everything you imagine it would be and have seen in The Lord of the Ring movies.

The donativo is owned by Campus Crusaders- or- Agape- I was slightly apprehensive for two reasons: the hosts who were volunteering for the week were all French (flashback of French Banshee woman went through my mind) and I also know from previous conversations from my mission days with this organization, they believe my religion to be a cult and that we are not Christian. They also actively and openly proselytize against us. Mmmm…will we be kicked out if this comes to light I wondered. But they hugged us and we felt impressed to stay here and so we did.

We had a blast with this group of young 20 yr olds as we all slept right next to each other in beds that were pushed so close together, it was like one big slumber party, complete with jumping on the beds and having a pillow fight (I was the casual bystander). My faith in Camino humanity was restored. We laughed, talked, joked and just clicked. They were from Canada- but they are from Quebec which is like a country in of itself as the first language is French and then English. The other members of this walking party came from France, Spain and Croatia. We spoke in English and had a grand time communicating thoughts and ideas. We talked about religion too. The one guy said, “You know, when they floated Jesus’s head on the water.” We all looked at him and through our communication skills, learned that he meant baptism, but didn’t know the English word for the action. We had a great laugh. Later that night, we all shared a meal (8:15 pm was when they feed us dinner after the organization had us first attend a devotional/ fellowship) with a group of 42 young adults who came from Ireland to walk the Sarria – Santiago portion of the Camino. They all belonged to the religious group and were camping along the way. Afterwards, the Irish entertained us with singing. It was a great time for Abby to hang around young adults her age from other cultures and hear and compare life stories. Abby also has decided that we need to bring home the cute Irish guitar player/ singer/ studying Bio- medical science, to serenade her to sleep each night.

And too soon, our relaxing, enjoyable evening came to a close. In the early morning hour, we all headed out. They to walk the 34km distance and Abby and I to walk our 11 km. And that is the way the Camino is. Bond quickly with an individual or a group by sharing time and a meal together and then moving on. It is never a ” Good-bye” parting of ways, but a “See ya later alligator” type. We will meet again…someday.


Just Stop With Planning

Day in Astorga

Day in Astorga

Do Not Make Plans. They Don’t Work Out

June 21, 2014


We had a nice rest day. Slept on a park bench in front of the Astorga Cathedral and Gaudi Castle until they opened. It is Saturday, everything opens up later in the morning…like 10:30. I highly recommend going in to see these two places. I am learning a lot about the Cathedrals’ history on the Camino. And Gaudi is one of my favorite people of all times. What an artist!

We met up with two of our friends from the American Pilgrims on the Camino, Amy and Ena who arrived in town walking down the middle of the street. It was nice to visit with them before they continued on.

Then we ate lunch. Picked up train snacks. Saw the Roman Bath House ruins that the Catholic Church had dug up while building over it. Ate an ice cream cone. Got lost walking to the train station. Saw some great slums. And upon arriving to the station for our 3:15 departure, found out it was going to be an hour late.
Uh-oh. We also had a connecting train to catch, but it wasn’t going to wait for us.

We hung out in the train station listening to great music from a Brazilian woman’s IPhone while we bonded with her. She had walked the whole way last year, but was leaving the Camino early and heading to Santiago to meet up with friends and head to the beach. She just wasn’t feeling the Camino Spirit inside her anymore. The people were not nice like last year and she found no need to continue.
She was a wonderful help to us in translating for us with the conductor later on.

Ok…so for the fun part. I am all about setting goals. It is the way one progresses. I read Stephan Covey’s books way back when I was 19. Hence why I like to have things kinda planned out and yet I’m not anal enough that I can’t go with the flow, however, NOTHING has gone as planned on this pilgrimage. The one lesson that keeps repeating over and over again is, “Don’t plan. Keep it loose. Just go with the flow.”

The conductor informs us that there isn’t a connecting train at the station for us. No train. He said something about taking a bus or a taxi. He is explaining this in Spanish. Abby comprehends some of it. I’m getting nothing. So for the next 40 minutes we are wondering what we are going to do. We agree that it will work out. We will sleep in the station until the next day to find out when the train comes or the bus comes. Once again, we are going to get in to a station that will be closed. The Albergue that we figured we could stay at would probably be filled up if we continued on to Sarria. And there are ominous dark clouds that completely filled the sky for the entire 4 hour trip. Rain. Yeah. Oh…and snow was on the mountains too in some parts. Yippee-skippee. And tomorrow is Sunday and trains and buses cut back on their service. And we figured we had lost out money for the remainder of our train ride and would have to pay more for another ticket.

The Brazilian woman told us to wake her up when the conductor came back and she would find out the info for us.
Thank goodness for her being there. Turns out that the conductor had made arrangements for a bus to meet us at the station to take not only us, but the other passengers that had missed the connecting train. We could stay the night at the town and have our money refunded partially or continue on without paying any additional money.

Of course we are continuing on.

We get to the station. The bus is there. We ride going 90 down the road and get to Sarria in 30 minutes. Then we get lost trying to find the Albergue. It starts to rain. It is 8:30pm when we find the place. And they are filled up.

I’m going to cry. It is raining. We look like pathetic drowned rats. We ask if they can call another place to see if they have rooms. Informed that the hostel down the street has beds at 20€ each. “I can’t afford that” I say as water is running down my face. She looks at us and says, “Wait a minute” when she comes back, she has found us each a bed in her place one at 9€ and another at 10€!

Yes. It has worked out. And breakfast is included.

We are tired. Grateful. And we will continue to start each day with prayer to help us find a bed that we can afford each night. We also give thanks each night for the blessings we have received each day.

Now let’s see if my prayers for no rain while I’m walking play out.