Sunday, 22 September 2013

At the house of smiles

During the afternoon Mattieu invited me to supper saying that since it was his last night he wanted me to share it! I went off to visit the monastery of Santa Maria de la Real.This also serves as the Pantheon for the Kings of Navarre. On my return I delighted the lady who was running the Auberge by translating a Spanish poem about the Camino for her. (We had passed the original on the wall of a factory on the outskirts of the town). My reward was a very warm hug!  When she was booking accommodation for me I heard her say that I spoke excellent Spanish and was a priest.  (I have copied the original in a subsequent post: "Peregrino a Santiago".)
Whilst the supper was far from gourmet, it was great  fun. Both Mattieu and Amede speak some English so we meandered through both languages as they both reflected on their experience of the Camino so far. Carlos passed by but didn't want to join us. Back at the Auberge Mattieu said that he would be around to see us off.
There are two major hazards in an Auberge- snorers and street noise!  Last night we had both in abundance. I was up before 6 and went for a coffee at 6.30. At 6.55 Amede came down and said that he had not slept. I said that there was no problem and that I was happy to wait. I took my leave of Mattieu and we set off. There were far fewer vines than yesterday and but lovely views of the Sierra de la Demanda. Over breakfast Amede said that hew so pleased to see me yesterday. Mattieu had just told him that he was going home and he didn't know what to do. I reflected that it is strange that a 21 year old from Brittany should be so happy to walk with me. We spoke a mixture of French and English. At Santo Domingo I suggested that we visit the church before we had a break. I am pleased that we did since we met some English people who had arrived only to find that the lunch break had started!
 I had forgotten just how beautiful the church is. Amede was captivated and took lots of photos. We found a spot for beer and tortilla.I had booked at a convent but they wanted 30€. I suggested to Amede that we walked to Granon. We had no booking but there was an Auberge called the House of Smiles. Sure enough we got a lovely room with only three beds. I suggested to Amede that we have a beer. Paul turned up. In a village it is more intimate. I wandered to the bar and the barman wanted to know how I spoke such Spanish. Over a beer Amede asked if he could walk with me to Burgos. I am having a day off at Burgos he will see how he feels. It is nice to know that we will walk together for the next three days.
Here in the Rioja there are way markers and it is now only 555km to Santiago

1 comment:

  1. hi, de grosses pensées pour vous 2 que j'ai quitté il y a 2 jours. Le hasard est bien fait, le fait que l'on était dimanche m'a fait aller a Madrid et le bus longeait le chemin ou plutôt le contraire et je vous ai revus avec Amede à marcher. Je ne m'y attendais pas et ça m'a tout de même fait un pincement au cœur mais je n'ai pas de regrets d'être rentré. Merci pour ta gentillesse Gérard et ton ouverture d'esprit. Çà a été un réel plaisir d'échanger avec toi.

    Buen camino