Wednesday, 2 October 2013

At the house of the priest.

Since Saturday I have been walking with Simon who is from Melbourne . He is the father of three and I have enjoyed his company . Most evenings we meet up with Pauline and David . On Monday we were at Terredilos de los Templarios and were trying to arrange lodgings for Tuesday . I asked the girls to help but the first place gave a different number and the second did not answer . Eventually I got through to the Casa del Cura in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos  . I booked two rooms at€2 each.
Tuesday 1st October proved to be the wettest day  of the Camino so far. (Many pilgrims took the pragmatic decision and made their way in public transport.) Simon and I donned full waterproofs and trudged off . As we approached Sahara (which Brierley wrongly claims has a population of 170,000!) we encountered a Danish lady on her cycle . The three of us negotiated the puddles to visit the Ermita Virgen de Puente, sadly closed.
In Sahagun we headed for a coffee and found more pilgrims waiting for a bus. I visited a pharmacy as I felt that a cold was coming on. Simon also needed waterproof trousers. As we left Sahagun Simon retired behind some trees to change his trousers.
The final 9 km to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos was on a straight path which closely resembled a lake!It was a huge relief when the village came into view .
When I arrived at the hostel two ladies were asking the price. Despite the appalling conditions they turned away.Henna the owner greeted me warmly . It was exactly the right place for a wet day . The house had an open -plan room and a central staircase . In the bathroom there was a bath!
When Simon arrived I was ready for my bath. Sadly his rucksack had fared badly in the conditions and everything was soaked. I suggested that he had a bath and then we would have some lunch.
Downstairs I met Leo who was the husband of Henna . When I checked in I pointed out that it was appropriate that I should be in the priest's house and Leo addressed me as Padre. I ordered a glass of wine and was given delicious cheese with bread and olive oil . Simon and I enjoyed delicious seafood soup and salad . Leo was constantly offering witty comments.
Later David and Pauline arrived and Angela from north of Melbourne . She is the mother of seven and is walking the Camino with two of her daughters.Henna asked me whether we would be happy to have supper together .She also took away everybody's wet clothes and said that she would sort them. Eventually Silvia from Chile and her friend Rebecca arrived as did Nigel and Dale . I had met these two in Carrion.Nigel is an Anglican priest in Suffolk and Dale is an electrician from Devon . I blessed the table and the food and we had a delicious meal. At the end Leo appeared with some of his father in law's local liqueur . It was a very happy gathering. Apart from Emaus in Burgos,this was the first time that I had experienced anything like the fellowship that had been common place in France . It may have cost more to stay at the Casa del Cura but it was worth every euro!

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