Things we like
Sleeping somewhere different every night. We’ve slept in albergues and apartments. In hostels and a swanky hotel. We walked into Granon and looked at the donativo albergue which offered forty yoga mats side by side on a church floor. And walked on. Later we heard someone we met decided to sleep in the yoga mat cupboard. Smart move.
Further up that street was a Franciscan donativo hostel which Helen looked into and said yes we’ll take it. Then over lunch it came out that the ‘room for two’ had no door and no floor. Under construction perhaps. It was all a little dark and dingy and hostage like she said. Made her think of John McCarthy and Brian Keenan. And she wouldn’t have said yes had she not just turned down the offer of the yoga mat.
No one else appeared to be staying in No door No floor. We looked up the street for one of our favourite characters, Pilgrim Pete who we first spotted at Stansted, who’s been keeping pace with us over the weeks now. Weirdy beardy scout leader type. Big staff. And big heart. We decided if he or another male pilgrim turned up we’d stay, otherwise we’d rescue our rucksacks and run.
No one came, so we made our excuses and walked another 8k to the chocolate hotel. A truck stop, a transport cafe with rooms. Very unprepossessing, very cheap, a vibrant citrus colour bedroom and the best sleep we’ve had yet.
Our fellow pilgrims.
Pilgrim Pete whose name I think is Art. Looks like a cartoon but I instinctively like him.
Sad Gerda, not her real name.
The symbiotic sisters from Brazil who share food halfie/halfie all the time.
A young Spanish man with a neat backpack and nice bum.
Kevin and Sharon, lovely ordinary people who are walking and praying for a sick friend.
Heinz, a retired German banker who said this was his last Camino and he had no religious faith at all.
A group of three French couples who are doing the Way ten days at a time over several years to mark and honour the death of a friend. They will finish in two years In Santiago by which time one of them will be 77.
Two daughters from New York, with their dad, Tom, 82!
So many people swinging in and out of our path. We don’t see them for days and then they appear at the next dinner table, smiling and waving as if we were friends. Which we are, for this short while.