Last night we had dinner at our albergue and there were five of us who enjoyed paella, salad, pudding, and wine for our pilgrim dinner. There was one woman from Brazil (a dance professor at university), one woman from Australia who teaches French and is on an extended sabbatical, Lena, me, and Klaus. Klaus is an older German man (I would say he is in his mid 70s – but he could be older) who is walking the Camino for the seventh time. He is very slow when he speaks, but he is incredibly speedy when he walks. I doubt he stops for anyone. He was a teacher and now a kind of conservator for an “older” man,—but his real life is centered on walking. We left an hour an a half before him today, but when we got to the town we are staying in tonight, he was already here. How did that happen? He, of course, is going further than we are – I doubt we will see him again on the Camino. Below you can see a picture of our dinner fivesome – including Klaus.
Last night we also attended the Pilgrim mass in town. It was in Spanish and hard to follow, but I could make out parts of the Eucharistic prayer (“Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”) I could also understand the Lord’s Prayer and the passing of the peace.
After the service, the priest asked all of us who were pilgrims to come to the front pews and then asked where we were from. From that, we read a kind of pilgrim’s blessing and intention in a variety of languages. Finally, he tried to get folks from each country to sing a song from their nation. I enjoyed the community of it all – and it did bring me out of my funk a bit.
Today, as we walked, we stopped in a church in Hontanas where there was a very interesting “prayer center” that included pictures of “witnesses” from many nations, faiths, and places in life. I found it quite moving and it gave me a different window on this journey, land, and my own faith. At the front of the prayer corner were reproductions of ancient orthodox icons. We lit a candle in anticipation of the coming of the new Baby Boy Zazzera in the next day or so.
Finally, today we had another chocolate croissant as part of our second breakfast. Believe me, I think a lot about chocolate croissants. Today’s was not necessarily the best, but was a wonderful treat after 7 miles or so. Here are some tips about eating them:
- Wait until after you’ve had a good morning walk, it tastes better.
- If you can get it heated up – that is always a bonus. However, don’t let the lack of a microwave prevent you from eating one.
- Avoid the pre-wrapped croissants unless nothing else is available.
- Choose a good liquid accompaniment – usually café con leché or fresh squeezed orange juice is best.
- Always use a fork and knife – it will last longer that way (and the Spanish have nice small forks).
- Allow your partner to choose which croissant she wants, sometimes you will end up with the bigger one.
- Remind yourself that you are just eating the way that Europeans do.
- Whatever you do, take pleasure in eating this amazing creation!