So tonight we are in what used to be a barn. It’s been converted into a pretty low-tech albergue, all Ikea furnishings and bedding, industrial shelving and lockers. Definitely keeping the Tevas on in the shower. And sleeping in my sleep sack. Sometimes I berate myself for being too prissy, but I have to remember that I am not 22 anymore. I have earned the right to be a titch picky about how much mold I’ll take with my shower, thank you very much.
On the other hand…everyone is so incredibly nice. The proprietor of the hostel, the other peregrinos–yes, even Valentina, who can’t stop talking about what an amazing athlete she is (ski instructor and motocross maven), and how good she is with languages (Italian, Spanish, French, English, a little Russian). And then I look at Drew across the table, and he’s got that little boy who just got a train look on his face and I realize that HE IS SO HAPPY. He really is. He loves meeting new people, and he loves the roughing it. Looking at him, smiling and eating his homemade pannacotta with honey, I feel less tired, and I smile, too.
Other highlights from today:
Meeting Jokin at a little church and getting a full-on lecture, in rapid-fire Spanish! (and email with attachments later on) about the church, and the mariners who worship the Virgin and depend on her to bring them home safely. Oh, and by the way, he reminded me, don’t forget about the role the Philippines played in the commerce of Spain, back in the day! Sending a little quiet thank you to my bisabuelo, who apparently was a Basque shipbuilder, from, we think, Donostia.
Buying homemade cider from a little farm on top of a hill. They set out a little honor bar and a lovely bench for all passing pilgrims to avail of.
Having random people insist they knew where we were trying to go (one guy insisted that Andrew go to the beach, when we were just heading toward a fountain in the park to refill our camelbacks. Another kept telling me to go to the albergue, when all I wanted was to sit at a cafe.) Helpful, but not helpful.