Ribadiso: Our Last Day

15 October 2019

Today is our last day as volunteer Hospitaleras at the albuergue in Ribadiso. As hosts, we enjoyed greeting hundreds of guests from all over the world while staying at this historic albuergue that has been welcoming visitors since 1523. Now it’s time to say goodbye.

We’ve gotten used to candlelight breakfasts.

This is the main dorm. It has three levels. After we get the straglers moving, we usually do pre-cleaning by removing debris and sweeping. It usually takes between 15-30 minutes. The paid staff comes in later to do the real cleaning, disinfecting and floor mopping.

Terry and I said goodbye to Maricarmen, one of our Xunta supervisors.

Farmer Alfonso is finally fixing the fence so the cows can’t escape.

Home Sweet Home! We spent a couple hours cleaning our cottage and washing linens and towels. Thankful there was a washer & dryer here.

We stopped next door at Meson Rural to say goodbye to our friends. Sylvania poured us a Gin & Tonika.

A toast to Ribadiso and our two weeks in paradise.

Even little Chisco came by to say goodbye.

This is Lolo our cab driver for the past two weeks. He said next time we return we need to speak more Spanish and he will learn more English. He gave us a ride to the bus stop in Arzua. From there we took the bus to Santiago where it was raining hard. We had a few hours to kill at the bus depot before catching our all-night ride to Madrid. From Madrid we fly to Boston and then to Minneapolis and back to reality.

It’s been an awesome five week adventure in Spain. Meeting and sharing so many experiences with people from all over the world has been enriching, enlightening and inspirational. It’s time to head home now but I have a feeling Jane will be in Spain again.

Adios Amigoes!


Ribadiso: Monday Monday

14 September 2019

Today it is more than just cold rain, it is a downpour. It rained most of the night and the Rio Iso is rising. The water is moving much faster than before. Most of the pilgrims have stopped walking for the day

Dark skies all day long accompanied by rain most of the day.

The river is rising.

The water used to be so clear you could see every rock on the bottom. Now it’s muddy and murky.

We showed up for our 1:00 pm shift and it was still raining hard. Ana the Albuerguesa sent us on our way. It is too cold. We spent most of the afternoon at Meson Rural drinking wine, blogging, backing up phones, catching up on news and talking.

Terry and I have been together for almost five weeks. One would think we would run out of stuff to talk about …. never.

Here’s another nook at the Meson Rural. This is the indoor grill. Looks like they stoke it with charcoal. It has a very large vent over the top.

Taylor from Long Island, New York said her realtor license expired today and she was happy about it. Didn’t like working 24/7. She’s walking the camino to discern her future. She graduated from Art & Design school a few years ago. When she returns to NY, she would like to start out doing retail window display design.

Ken from Toronto, Canada is done for the day. Walked in the rain and cold and has had enough.

This would be our last day working with Ana. I made a batch of Mahnomen Porridge, a Native American recipe from Mahnomen tribe from Minnesota. We packaged it up and made a thank you card to go with it.

Mahnomen Porridge: Wild rice, roasted hazelnuts, dried blueberries, cranberries and cherries, maple syrup, cream. Serve warm.

Cow rebellion: Rosella, Agnes and Elsie rebelled and made an escape. They left their pasture, crossed the river and walked through the Albuergue. Freedom! And where did they go — straight to the neighboring Pension’s fenced in garbage. It smelled so good they were licking the wood.

In the meantime, poor Bernadette was all alone. She did not leave the pasture, would not cross the river and did not approve of the others going. She paced around the pasture and moooed a lot. She was quite upset.

The great escape: Elsie takes off over the bridge

Agnes hides behind a tree.

Rosella makes a run for the weeds.

The three renegades went through the weeds, crossed the river again and ended up where the grass was greener.

Terry comforted Bernadette who stayed behind.

Alfonso and Chisco got everything under control. The gals are all heading to the barn.

Today’s Cutest Couple: Bernadette and Rosella

As you can tell, things have gotten slow at the Albuergue. Time to go home. We leave for Santiago tomorrow.


Ribadiso: A Cold Rainy Sunday

Ribadiso Albuergue

13 October 2019

Fall is definitely settling in here. The days are getting shorter. It’s dark at 8:00 am and dark at 8:00 pm. It’s windy, cold and rainy. Not a good day for pilgrims to be walking today. Sunday morning is very quiet at Meson Rural.

One of my priorities today is to call my son Owen, it’s his 20th birthday. He is going to school at NDSU in Fargo. It’s about 3:00 am in Fargo, so I better hold off until later today.

First Pilgrim to Arrive Today: Pablo from South of Seville, Spain. He said he walked in rain the entire way form Palais de Rey.

Melissa from Seattle on a rental bike. She said the bike was rented through Cycling-Rentals.com. The bike was at her first stop when she arrived. It came in a box with directions on how to attach the pedals and adjust the handlebars which were packed for shipping. It also came with a helmet, tool kit and the panniers. When she reaches her last destination, she leaves the bike as is with the helmet and panniers in a garbage bag next to it. Someone comes and picks it up. She said they also rent e-bikes which I think would be a great option for this terrain.

Melissa said biking is about as fast as walking because she stops often to take photos or look at the scenery. She said while riding, her eyes are focused on the road mostly.

Cutest Couple: Rose and her brother Clarence. Both are from California. Rose has walked four caminos and Clarence has done two. She’s already planning her next one.

The Ladies from Taiwan: Ching Lee, (Terry), Maria, (Jane), Teresa. Agnes is taking the photo. We may take a lot of photos of pilgrims staying at the albuergue and passing through Ribadiso, but we are also in a lot of photos. Many pilgrims take our picture or want us in a photo with them. As the saying goes … there are no strangers on the Camino, only friends who haven’t met yet.

Teresa from Taiwan wanted a photo with the American Theresa. Very sweet!

Even though it is a damp cold with mist and rain today, people are still in the icy cold water of the Rio Iso. It’s good therapy for tired feet. Our numbers are dwindling … it was just a week or so ago and the river was full of pilgrims.

Farmer Alfonso had the cows in the pasture across the river from us. Three of the four cows crossed the river and came on to the Albuergue property. Bernadette our favorite cow does not leave the pasture and gets upset with the other cows for leaving.

Dinner tonight is spaghetti with a sausage meat sauce and Parmesan. Of course it is accompanied by a bottle of wine, some good bread and salad mixta. A hearty meal to end a cold, rainy day.


Ribadiso: Fiesta National de Espana 2019

Ribadiso, Albuergue

12 October 2019

Happy National Spain Day! Today is a national holiday that WHAT?? Commemorates Christopher Columbus?? I guess we still kind of have remnants of that in the US too but they are trying to call it Indigenous People’s day or something like that. We were a little disturbed with the origins of National Spain Day but after some research, we feel that the people of Spain get it about Columbus and are trying to switch it to more of an indigenous day similar to what is being done in the United States. From our observations, it is also a day when they celebrate the Spanish military and those who protect the public. It’s a day that families celebrate together at home but in Ribadiso, it was just like any other day.

Today is a very rainy and cold Saturday morning. As usual, I went over to the Meson Rural to blog. There were only a couple people there and they had the TV on with a typical news type show. The segment I caught showed a line art depiction of a coffin being removed from a floor tomb inside of a big church or cathedral. The line art animation showed the hole where the coffin had been, being filled with cement and covered to match the rest of the floor.

Terry happen to arrive at Meson Rural and I asked her who was being removed from their burial site at a big fancy cathedral. She thought about it for a moment and said it was probably the Spanish dictator Franco. It was controversial because he was buried at the Valley of the Fallen which is a Catholic basilica and a monument memorial. It is a national park north of Madrid where the remains of 40,000 people are registered. Many thought that Franco did not belong there. Also, his followers were becoming a distraction at this sacred place. I’m not sure why they were showing this on National Spain Day but the bartender at Meson Rural assured me it was not part of the Spain Day Festivities.

The next thing that came on TV was the royal family of Spain; King Phillippi the 6th with Queen Letzia and daughters Leonor and Sonja. They took their seats in a special viewing station on the parade route.

The opening highlight of the ceremony was when a paratrooper leaped from a military plane. He parachuted down with a giant spanish flag. It was a beautiful sight … the paratrooper flowing through the air with the Spanish flag until …. splat — he collided with a street lamp. The crowd gasped as did everyone at Meson Rural.

That poor man! They showed him and the flag tangled. He struggled to pull a tool or knife from his gear to free himself. But was unable to do so. The stoic King and Queen did not lose composure. They smiled and clapped politely. I wanted to laugh really hard but I didn’t know who was around me and how they might react.

The paratrooper remained hanging from the light post. The ceremonial ground troops found another giant flag, unfurled it and the show went on. They marched down the street carrying the giant flag that the king would ceremoniously raise on a flagpole. We later saw on an internet news posting that they brought in a cherry picker to get the paratrooper untangled from the street lamp.

After the flag was raised all of the military was on display. The airplanes, the helicopters, the tanks. There was even a military boat on a trailer with it’s crew in place and ready for action. The part we enjoyed the most was when the Guardian Civil rolled through. They had a police dog riding front and center on their vehicle in a place of honor.

What an honor for this police dog to have such a prominent place in the parade.

Eventually, the bar staff shut the TV off and started playing music. Time for us to return to the albuergue.

First Pilgrim to Arrive Today: Marcia from Salavador, Brazil.

Pilgrim dog had to carry his own supply of dog food.

This is Diego from Matzalan, Mexico who obtained the beet from an English speaking farmer. Diego is a doctor and analyzed Terry’s ankle. Because the pain is still persisting and its coming from the inside of her ankle, there is a possibility of a fracture or break. There is nothing more to do but rest, ice, elevate and have it looked at when she gets home.

Three chicas with matching headbands are from Mexico: Graciella, Alexandra and Dulce (Sugar).

Melissa, Jose, Diego and Quique from various parts of Spain. Very tired and hungry from a long trek today.

It was a slow Saturday. Less than 30 pilgrims staying at the Albuergue. We retreated to the cottage early. Tonight’s gourmet dinner was a concoction of mashed potatoes, sausage and cheese.

It’s a joy to relax at the table with no worries and to gaze out the window at the green pasture, the rapidly moving river and just ponder whatever comes to mind.


Ribadiso: A Trip to Melide

Ribadiso Albuergue

11 October 2019

It’s Friday morning and we leave next Tuesday. Our time in Ribadiso is running out. This morning we are going to visit the little town of Melide which is about six miles away. We had stayed in Melide three years ago when we walked Camino Frances.

Two camino routes meet in Melide, camino Primativo — the oldest route and Camino Frances — the busiest route. The two routes become one to Santiago. Tourism from the two routes plays a major role in the economy of Melide alongside more traditional agricultural activities.

This town square features a statue of Mary with a beautiful blue sky background.

The streets of Melide are very broken up and hard to follow. The square in the above photo is bordered by the church of San Pedro (Saint Peter). We visited this church three years ago when we were walking Camino Frances. The church is from the 1400s and has many interesting features.

… Naked baby Jesus behind bars is one of our favorites.

This is the burial site of Alfonso Vazquez de Insua from the year 1415. We’re guessing he was a knight and fought in some major battles of his time. There was some verbiage but it was in Galician and google couldn’t translate it.

Sun shining through the stain-glass embellished doors of the church.

Back on the streets of Melide we came across a mural of the camino. I think the pilgrim in the mural must be dreaming of reaching his destination of bread, cheese and eggs. Above the mural is a horreo — The grain storage unit that has become ornamental throughout Galicia.

We walked through a wine shop that also had a very large display of antique seltzer bottles.

We needed to return to Ribadiso by 1:00 pm and many restaurants don’t open till then. We found chicken wings and chicken strips for lunch. We’d catch up on the vegetables at dinner time.

Time to head back to the albuergue. Pilgrims would be arriving soon.

Pilgrim of the Day: Loy from Manila, Philippines — Loy was meeting her Japanese friends at the Albuergue and it was a happy reunion.

Cutest Couple: Terri and Jim from Boise Idaho. We saw these people every where we went and it was always fun running in to them. They started in Sarria which is 100k (62 miles) away and were looking forward to finishing in Santiago in two days.

Loveable Local: Diana — Diana is the first waitress we met at Meson Rural. She speaks a little English and always greets us with a smile. She lives in Melide and works full time at Meson Rural.

Friday was a slow day in Ribadiso. I took time to put my feet in the Rio Iso like all the pilgrims do. This spring fed river is Lake Superior cold, but it does feel good on the feet.


Ribadiso: Many Visitors Today

Ribadiso Albuergue

10 October 2019

It’s another beautiful day in Ribadiso. It has been an amazing experience to be staying in this beautiful countryside with a babbling brook flowing under a 6th century Roman bridge that leads to our 16th century accommodations. I feel so fortunate to experience this in addition to having the opportunity to meet and greet people from all over the world.

The Rio Iso flows under the 6th century Roman bridge.

Today we have a special guest. It is Annie, our American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) contact person. Annie is an American who now lives in Santiago with her husband and five cats. She is fluent in Spanish and has served in various capacities for the APOC organization. Annie was one of the leaders at the Hospitalero training Terry and I attended two years ago in the Twins Cities.

Annie is working with the Galician government to help oversee the pilot program at the Ribadiso Albuergue that allows Americans to work as volunteers. According to Annie, there are many pilgrims from a number of countries who do not speak Spanish as a first language or in general. They found it helpful to have English speakers assisting to welcome these pilgrims. In addition, it has been challenging to find Spaniards willing to volunteer. Volunteerism is not a strong part of the culture here as it is in the United States. In fact, there were so many American’s who volunteered for Ribadiso that they are considering starting the program at a second albuergue location.

Being a cat lover, I enjoyed hearing the saga of Annie’s cats. She started out with three. Living in Baltimore, she came across a mother and kitten living outside a grocery store. Not a great neighborhood and she feared for the cats’ safety. She planned to find them a home after taking them to the vet for shots and to be spayed. After performing the services, the vet announced that they were feral cats and she best take them back to where she found them. No one would want feral cats. Well Annie did, especially after investing money in their care. She packed up all five cats and flew them to Spain through an animal transport service. The cats had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany and stayed overnight at an animal hotel. The next day they flew to Santiago and a local vet picked them up and kept them until Annie and her husband arrived. What a kind hearted woman!

Annie also connected with Albuerguesa Ana when she came to visit us. Afterward the three of us went next door to Meson Rural for lunch.

Annie has been connected with the Ribadiso albuergue for several years. She has been a volunteer hospitalera here a few times. Part of her current role is to connect with the Albuerguesa and make sure the program and accommodations are in order. She helps maintain a good relationship with Galician government and workers.

First pilgrim to arrive Today: Dragon from Toronto, Canada. He said his name is Serbian. Dragon and his daughter were walking the camino together.

This is Hai from Israel. She said her name is pronounced ‘shy’ and she made good time from Palais de Rey this morning. It was a very warm afternoon and the first thing she did after registering and unloading her gear, was hop in the river and lay down. Second thing on her “to do” list was to get a beer from Meson Rural next door.

Pilgrim of the Day: Jeff from EDINA MINNESOTA!!! It was very exciting to cross paths with someone who lived so close to us in Minnesota. To top that … he graduated from the same high school as me — HILL MURRAY. However, we did not attend at the same time, he is a bit younger than me. As soon as he arrived at the albuergue, he sat down on the ground and settled in for a good long chit chat. Prior to starting the camino, he had a very challenging 18-months with lots of life changes. For him, the camino was a time of contemplation. He started in St. John Pied-de-Port which is the long 500 mile route.

This is Margaret from Beijing, China. She works in marketing for Price Waterhouse in Beijing. She was tired of her job and decided to quit so she could walk the Camino. Her boss gave her four months unpaid leave and she does have a job to go back to.

Margaret has original artwork in her stamp credential. An artist outside of Tricastella offered to paint his mark in her book.

When I returned to the albuergue, I found this artist sketching the Roman bridge.

This is the path I walk several times a day. It leads to the modern shower houses and a right turn goes to our Cottage. Beyond the clotheslines are cornfields that have just been harvested and plowed under.

This is a view of the horreo with the cottage tucked behind it on the left. The river is left of the cottage. Horreos are common in Galicia. They were for storing for grain and built off the ground for rodent prevention. Today they are mostly ornamental.

Yesterday, Terry returned to find Alfonso’s cows grazing in the back yard. The walked through the river to get to our side. Terry told Maricarmen and she came with her broom to sweep them away. These bovines are really big animals.

Here, the bovines peacefully graze on their side of the Rio Iso.


Ribadiso: Sunshine after a Rainy Day

Ribidiso Albuergue

9 October 2019

It’s Wednesday in Ribadiso! The sun is out and it’s warm compared to yesterday when it rained and was cold. When the sun is shining there is more pilgrim traffic.

First Pilgrim to Arrive Today: Bradley from Virginia. He’s familiar with the Midwest because he went to grad school in Madison. He has walked six caminos– the Ingles, the Norte, Primativo, Portuguesa and Frances twice.

Pilgrim of the Day: Girard from Montreal — “Call me Jerry,” he says with a thick French accent. This guy is a gem! Very fun to be around. After telling him there was no Mercado in Ribadiso he was going to walk 1-1/2 miles uphill to get some bread in Arzua. We offered to give him some of our bread. It was day old — to make it look better I put a ribbon on the bag. He was napping in the dorm when I dropped it off so I gently left it on his stomach.

Terry’s Bench also helps with travel arrangements. This gent from the United Kingdom was going to walk the Frances with a friend and his son. The wife became seriously ill and the friend and son cancelled at the last minute. He decided to walk it alone. He made it this far with no problems but needed help making arrangements to stay in Santiago.

Loveable Local: Maricarmen — Maricarmen is Galician and lives nearby in Arzua. She works for the Galician government as an Albuerguesa at our municipal albuergue. She alternates days with Ana, the other Albuerguesa. She speaks a few words in English but most of the time it’s “no comprende.” Her husband is a baker. She often brings us bread, eggs and tomatoes from their garden.

Cutest Couple: Simone and Mattis from Hamburg Germany — Simone had worked as a volunteer hospitalera (like Terry and I are doing now) at an albuergue in Ponferrada. Her son Mattis wanted to see where she worked and he wanted to walk the Camino. He is on fall break from school so they have two weeks to walk from Sarria to Santiago. Simone’s husband stayed home with the younger children. They had already visited the albuergue in Ponferrada and Mattis got to see where his mother worked and what she did. This kid was having a great time at our Albuergue — he was in and out of the river, playing with dogs and interacting with the other pilgrims. Bueno!

Bathrobe Bob from San Diego stopped by on his way to Arzua. He is wearing a bathrobe with a sarong underneath.

Jesus from Madrid roasting chestnuts in the Pilgrims’ kitchen. He probably gathered them on his way. As we discovered when walking Camino Ingles, Chestnuts are plentiful in Galicia.

Another French Canadian: I welcomed the dude in the red shirt in the late afternoon. He said he was from Quebec. I introduced him to Girard from Montreal. There was a burst of French verbiage, smiles and pats on the back … oui oui new friends!

Girard from Montreal gave a harmonica concert from the 6th century bridge this evening. It was lovely. (Unfortunately I cannot post videos on this blog.)

Day is pretty much done when Alfonso the farmer returns with his cows which is usually around 8:00 pm.


Ribadiso: The Féria Comes to Town

Ribadiso Albuergue

8 October 2019

This Tuesday in Arzua is Féria! It happens on the 8th and 22nd of each month. It’s kind of a festival market. Our American Pilgrims on the Camino contact person, Annie who is an American who lives in Santiago, said we should go and experience it because it’s part of the Spanish culture. And so we did. We took a cab into Azura and had the driver drop us at the Féria.

It was a rainy day but the Féria goes on. It takes place from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. It was huge and far bigger and much more than I anticipated. There were countless vendors who sell housewares …

… lots of clothing …

… hardware …

… underwear …

… plants …

… cheese …

… many types of salted fish …

… Meat …

… really good bread …

… fruits and vegetables …

… hooves …

… this is a bit gross for me. I don’t think it’s a Halloween mask … and there is so much more that can be found at the Féria. I think this is where the locals do much of their shopping. Whether they need a winter jacket, a frying pan, a rake or whatever. There are no big department stores near here. I was told that the vendors move from town to town and it’s a regular schedule for them.

There is a covered area with tables and benches where they serve lunch. We had some pulpo (octopus) and wine. The wine comes in a pitcher and you drink it from a bowl … that is the traditional way of drinking this particular kind of wine.

They also serve charcuterie which is an assortment of grilled meat. The ribs were awesome. We took a lot of leftovers home with us. The cost was far less expensive than if we had eaten in a restaurant and the quality was exceptional.

This is the grill they cook the charcuterie on. Needless to say, we filled up on protein and wine … it was so hard to stay awake in the afternoon.

The First Pilgrim Today is Ken from Taiwan. It was rainy and cold so I hung out in the Albuergue’s pilgrim’s kitchen for awhile. Ken was making rice.

Pilgrim of the Day: Marie from Stockholm, Sweden — Marie is a retired flight attendant from SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). She’s flown internationally and everywhere else. She lives in Valencia, Spain in a house her mother owns. This is her first camino and she is in no hurry and will be taking her time to finish.

Around 5:00 pm, Terry and I headed for our cottage. The heavy meat filled lunch had done us in. We both zonked out and had a nice nap. We skipped dinner. Around 7:30 I went over to Meson Rural to do some blogging. A woman asked if she could sit at my table. Of course I welcomed this pilgrim to join me.

It was Helen from Ireland and she was charming and blessed with the gift to gab. I knew there would be no blogging so I folded up my iPad and listened. She had been walking alone so I understand she may have needed to connect with someone. We talked about so many things such as Fungi the Dingle Dolphin. I told her how David and I traveled around Ireland in the late 80s and how I liked the Dingle peninsula and the Dingle Dolphin who I assumed would no longer be around. She assured me that Fungi the Dingle Dolphin is still alive but very old. He’s not as active but he is still entertaining visitors. We talked a lot about Northern Ireland.

It was fascinating to hear Helen’s take on the Catholic Church today. She said they are the McDonalds for Catholics and only interested in their numbers and income. She also told me about the smoke test they do on new housing in Ireland to test how well a house is sealed. They fill the house with some type of harmless smoke. The inspector stands outside and watches to see if it seeps out. The house is then rated. The conversation went on and on. I finally excused myself and headed back to the cottage. Helen stayed around for last call which takes place around 9:15 pm.


Ribadiso: It’s a Small World

Ribadiso Albuergue

7 October 2019

It’s a foggy Monday morning.

Around 10:00 am, little Chisco, who thinks he’s a herd dog helps farmer Alfonso escort the cows to their pasture.

The singing pilgrim stops for a song and then he’s back on the Camino again.

At Meson Rural, there are three copper vats that hang over the bar. We have seen these elsewhere and wondered if this was some type of micro-brewery set up. Well, today we saw how it all works.

David, the Estrella Galicia beer man arrives.

He brings his ladder in and inspects the vat. Then he opens it and cleans off the inside and the outside.

Then he brings in a hose and attaches it to the vat.

The hose is connected to an Estella Galicia truck parked outside the bar.

It’s kind of like a fire truck but it’s filled with beer. He fills the empty vats. There is a nitrous oxide tank hooked up to the spigot where the beer is poured from. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of system in Minnesota. Seems like an economical way to provide beer as opposed to kegs.

Pilgrim of the Day: Dieter from South Africa — He’s 80 years old and walking the camino with his son Robert. He was born in Germany and recalls living there when he was five years old and the war was on. They sent the women and children to live in the countryside in case the city was bombed. Years later as an adult, he went back to find the women who had sheltered him during the war to thank them. He lives in south Madagascar and loves living there.

Cutest Couple: Evan and Blanca — Evan is from Switzerland and Blanca is from Mexico. They live in Switzerland. They enjoyed walking Camino Frances and love Spain as well as the ambiance of the Ribadiso albuergue.

Strangest Coincidence! We started talking to a group from Michigan passing by the albuergue entrance. Somehow Terry made a connection with the man (in the above photo) wearing a blue shirt and cupping a cell phone to his ear. He was from the same small town as her co-worker Sharon. Terry gave Sharon a quick call to see if she knew this man and sure enough she did … it was her brother’s best friend and she hadn’t seen him in decades. Terry ran next door to the Meson Rural where the Michigan group was on the terrace having a beer. She connected Sharon and John by cell phone. It was a nice reunion. It’s a small world.



Ribadiso: A Magical Stop on Camino Frances

Ribadiso Albuergue

6 October 2019

Sunday is another gentle day at the albuergue. It’s a beautiful sunny morning. It’s going to be very warm.

Not sure if this horse rider is a pilgrim or a local. Pilgrim’s riding horses have a different route and they need to stay at places that can accommodate the care of their horse.

First Pilgrim of the Day: Tomas from Belgium

Cutest Couple: King Richard and Queen Ingrid — Looking at the photo, one would think this couple has been married for years. Not so, they met on the camino and have known each other for 13 days. They are so compatible and have a remarkable sense of humor. Richard is from England and Ingrid is from Denmark and they call themselves King and Queen. As they were leaving, Ingrid said to Richard, “tell them why you are following me”. His response was, “I can’t say that in front of the ladies.” There was laughter and she replied … “he follows me because I know the way.”

Loveable Local: Bernadette: Farmer Alfonso walks his gals to the pasture everyday. Bernadette is an independent thinker. On the way to the pasture, she will stop by the Pension and inspect the parking lot. When she feels like it she will return to her peeps and continue on to the pasture.

Therapy bench was busy today.

It just takes one to get the party started here.

Then a couple more take the plunge.

Before you know it, everyone is in the water. Most of these people are from different countries and are camino acquaintances. Later that evening I saw many of them again at Meson Rural. They wanted to have dinner together and the party continued.