Thursday, September 24, 2015


After breakfast Angela and I walked down the path towards the Santa Clara convent.  The convent, which is run by a closed order, the poor sisters of Saint Clara, is the one Marion and I had visited in 2007.  They sell cookies and preserves via a wooden revolving serving hatch.  When Marion and I visited, we put our money on the hatch and it turned, but when the nun behind the hatch tried to turn it again to deliver our order, the hatch became stuck.  We got such a fright when a side door opened and a smiling nun stood there with our cookies in her hands! She explained that she was a community nun and that was why we could see her.



The mass was beautiful - a singing mass with the nuns in a room behind the altar cut off from the main church behind grills and the priest, a young Berundian, on our side of the grill.  After mass we walked to Castrojeriz. 

The sunrise was amazing and the approach to the village gave us a different view to that of the one from the road,



 We walked to the square and visited Angela's friend at the little shop in the square.  She showed us where the Medico was.  The Doctor could be visited from 11am and a nurse from 1pm.  We sat in the waiting room for over an hour waiting for the doctor but he told us I needed a nurse so we had to leave and come back at 1pm. 
Back in the square we bumped into Mau Mariani (who Kevin had introduced to me on my first day at the albergue) and had a coffee with him before Angela showed me his beautiful place, Hospital del Alma (Hospital of the Soul) where he and Nia Peiro had set up home which included a gorgeous photographic exhibition. 

When I had first seen Mau walking into the ruins of San Anton I had immediately recognized an old soul, one of these people who, although you've never met, you know who they are and what they stand for.  Hospital del Alma is a place of refuge, a silent retreat available to anyone for a donation.  One can stay for a day or a month, or longer.  That is why Mau doesn't spend too much time at home!  He says that if he is there people want to engage him in conversation, so he spends little time there, preferring to cultivate his special vegetable garden outside the village.

We visited the hotel Jacobus and then did some shopping.  At 1pm we went back to the Medico and I saw the nurse.  I didn't have the Tetanus injection.  She cleaned the wound and redressed the finger and told me not to get it wet and to come back in two days time.

Angela's friend, a hospitalero from the albergue San Esteban, offered to take us back to the albergue and on the way we stopped at a café-bar for a drink, arriving at the albergue after 2 pm.  The place was full and Angela and I started to prepare dinner while Kristine had some time off to do her training walk.

There were three Spanish pilgrims, including a father and his beautiful daughter, in the albergue tonight, which was unusual; we have only had a handful of Spanish pilgrims staying with us.  After dinner the Spanish girl told us that she couldn't sing very well and would prefer to do a dance for us.  She clapped out a rhythm on the table which we followed, rolled up her top to under her boobs and her skirt down to below her naval and started to belly dance!  She was fantastic and was awarded with the greatest round of applause we have ever had at San Anton!

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