Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rabanal del Camino

I am in a little bar slowly drinking a Coke and using their WiFi.  We are staying at Albergue Gaucelmo, administered by the London Confraternity of St James.  Volunteers come every two weeks from England to run the place.  It is small and they only take donations.  Tea and treats are at 4:30 and breakfast is served at 7:00.  Pretty nice and very cute from the outside.  There is a courtyard and little grove of fruit trees out back.  The town is overflowing with Pilgrims and they are letting some camp out there tonight.  The church on the square has been resurrected in recent years so there will be Gregorian chant and Vespers will be at 7:00 tonight with a Pilgrim Blessing at 9:30.  It is lead by a Benedictine missionary Monks.  Should be good...there is generally good attendance at these services along the way.

I was kind of grumpy this morning as we started off.  It was raining and I thought we had agreed to take our time, go to a little breakfast bar around the corner and have a hot breakfast and fruit and then start off.  The breakfast bar didn't open until 7:30.  Andy evidently had other plans to get going...
So off we went at 7:00 in our rain gear into the dark.  Had to have a little heart to heart with The Lord about my attitude...

Fortunately it was a steady light rain and we didn't get soaking wet.  It stopped about 90 minutes later and only sprinkled for a few minutes later in the morning.   We watched the sky change and develop over the morning....the forecast said there was 70% chance of rain all day, so we were grateful when the sun came out.  Andy laughed at me because I put fruit plastic bags on over my socks to keep my feet dry...held them up with rubber bands.  He thought they looked like the old fashioned white socks with lace at the top we girls wore when we were little.  Can you imagine it?

We walked mainly through open range today.  With the dark sky, then changing to white clouds in
places, and then the blue sky shining thorough it was quite a show.  The range had trees of all kinds, shrubs, grasses, but no tumbleweed.  There was, however, a Cowboy Bar in El Ganso.  It was quite the place...decorated much like the old west in the USA.  The funny thing was there were three men standing at the bar drinking and talking with the bar tender the whole time we were there.  We had a potato tortilla and topped it off with some chocolate with almonds that we had gotten in Astorga.  After being revived we had only about 5 miles to go go get to Radanal del Camino.  The last part was uphill (what else is new?) and about 1/2 mile of it was lined with a wire fencing.  Over the years Pilgrims have decorated the fence with wooden stick crosses....hundreds of the of all sizes.  Was very rustic but a good reminder of how much The Lord Jesus sacrificed for us.

We got settled into the Albergue and had showers.  I did a bunch of laundry and the set off to check with the four hotels/pensions in this small town to get a room for tomorrow night for our day off.  No such thing...every room booked.  One gal offered to call the two reservations and make sure they were still planning to come...the rest of the rooms were full already.  She is going to let us know tonight what she finds out.  Otherwise, we will have to walk in the morning until we find a place to stay.  I will have to update that later.  Time to walk around town for a few minutes and then think about supper before Vespers.

I wonder what's behind door #1!

This is door #2 and it's the back door to the Albergue.

Door #3 is quite pretty and well maintained!

Door #4 is the front entrance to the Albergue.
Some pretty houses in town...

The fountain as you leave town
Keeping my feet dry...


Jerry Schmutte said...

Just picked up on your pilgrimage after reading the article in Delafield Neighbors. Was it the recent movie that sparked your interest?


Not really, Jerry. We saw the movie about the time we decided to do the Camino. A couple of fellow pastors told us the Camino was on their Bucket List. We started reading about it and decided it would be a good transition after 40 some years of full time ministry. It has been a great adventure, a challenge, and a wonderful time to review and reflect on the past as well as to think and pray about the future.