Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hospitalera in Corcubion - Day 5

Rain, rain, rain. It rains most days here and even though the sun shone yesterday, it started raining in the night and was still raining in the morning. I feel sorry for the pilgrims when they have to leave the warm, cosy casa and walk off in the mist and rain, but it is only 9km to Finisterre and even the rain can´t stop their joy at reaching the last marker with the 0,00km marker at the top of bluff near the lighthouse.
The Austrian was first up and left after a cup of coffee. Then the rest came down in dribs and drabs, nobody really has a sense of urgency with so few kms to walk.
"Whats for dinner?" asked Isa when they had all left and we were having our breakfast.
"It´s cold" I said, "Let me make a vegetable curry tonight". She wasn´t sure, people in Spain are not accustomed to Indian curry, but I convinced her to let me make curried beans, South African style.

Once we had done the houswork and had a shower, we set off for Cee. Corcubion and Cee are practictaly one place, right next to each other like Johannesburg suburbs. There was a weekly flea-market in in the square and streets around the supermercado and we strolled around looking at the wares. I bought a blouse for 3€ to replace my polka-dot blouse which is now only good for doing housework in, and a long sleeve top for 3€. I also had to buy some reading glasses. Somewhere yesterday the little screw came out of one side of my glasses and I couldn´t find it so I bought another pair in Cee.

Then we went off to Muxia, a really pretty place with a lovely coastline, picturesque lighthouses and a church right on the sea with enormous, smooth rocks - apparently the place where San´Tiago landed in the stone boat which sailed across the sea without sails.
We had a cafe-bar stop along the way back and I bought Isa a Martini (poor girl is never going to guess right!) but I felt sorry for her!
"How many pilgrims tonight?" she asked.
"If it rains, completo" I said, "But if it stops raining, maybe 15 or 16."

When we got back there was a lone pilgrim sleeping on the bench. She got up when we pulled up in the car.
"Wait" said "Isa "we open just now." We had lunch, got the kettle on and the books ready and I opened the door for the pilgrim. When she gave me her credential I screeched! It was a South African credential, one that I had issued. Matty had emailed me for an urgent Visa letter before leaving South Africa and I had no idea that she was going on to Finisterre. So it was "Hello Skattie, hoe gaan dit" hug, hug, jump, jump, kiss, kiss! My first South African pilgrim at Corcubion.
Then two very bedraggled young women appeared. They sat down outside so I went to them and asked, "Are you going to sleep here tonight?"
"We´d really like to," they said folornly. "We walked too far yesterday and didn´t make it to the town so we slept in a tent, and we got wet, and the ground sloped the wrong way, and we are very cold and my feet are terribly painful ......"
"Come in then" I said to them, "Go upstairs, choose a bed, get out of these wet clothes and have a hot shower. When you are ready you can come down with your credentials and I´ll register you."
They looked like grateful puppies! "Oh thank you, thank you so much" said the younger girl. We are so tired.......".
"Go on then" I said, "When you come back down you can have a cup of tea or coffee." The older girl looked as though she was going to burst into tears.
"I think I'm going to cry" she said.
"Don´t you start that" I said. "You´ll have us all drizzling. Upstairs."
They come down an hour later showered and smiling but in bare feet. They have blisters and can't wear shoes.
Then Isa got a call from Begona in Finisterre. A group of 5 pilgrims had arrived in Cee and wanted to know if there was space in San Roque before walking up the hill.
"Yes" said Isa "we can take them". Soon we had another group of wet and bedraggled, limping pilgrims to process. They were friends of the first two so we organised the rooms so that they could be together. Four were from England, one from Holland and another from New Zealand. Then a Spanish couple arrived with a friend in tow and soon we had 15 pilgrims in the house. Once all had had a cup of something the sun came out and some did washing whilst others sat inside listening to music or writing. I cooked a huge pot of curried beans but had to keep adding an extra bottle of beans, and when those ran out, a bottle of veges as the numbers grew. We made three bowls of salads and with Lola´s veg soup as a starter we had more than enough for all the pilgrims.
"We have been dreaming of a big, hearty, vegetable stew" said one of the Enligh girls, "But this was even better - thank you". We sang the ´we are hungry´song and they took photos of the lemon peel arrows in the salads. By 10pm we had cleaned up and had started setting the table for breakfast when there was a knock on the door. A young French pilgrim arriving late, hungry and in need of a bed. Out came the soup, a bowl of curry, bread and a yoghurt for desert. He said that we were angels and he had come to heaven! Well, this angel was ready for bed so I took myself off and went to sleep listening to guitar playing and singing wafting up from downstairs.

(Isa receives an email from a German pilgrim)
For me a dream has come true! I owe God and all people thanks who have helped me on this way - with dear words by her friendliness and by her actions. My short visit in the Albergue of Corcubion will remain unforgettably for me. I am very grateful to you, Isabel, Lola and Sil.

1 comment:

  1. Another 'reaction' suggestion: 'lovely.' This is what this post is.
    Thank you, Sil.