Friday, September 25, 2015


Today was my turn to go to mass at Santa Clara and a small group of us left after breakfast, walking in the early dawn towards Castrojeriz.  There were at least a dozen prayer request in the box this morning and by the time the pilgrims left, only a few remained.  It was gratifying to know that the pilgrims' prayer requests were being taken to Santiago by other pilgrims. 
I had an idea for continuing the prayer requests after the albergue closed next week and chatted to Angela about it on our way to Castrojeriz.  Perhaps the sisters at Santa Clara would be prepared to provide a box in the church where pilgrims could leave their requests, as they did in other churches along the Camino.  I told Angela about the box of prayers in the Church of Santiago in her home town of Logrono and she said she would make an appointment for us to visit the sisters and speak to
them about the ides.
Because we had to wait until 1pm to see the nurse, Angela and I climbed the hill to visit the castle above the village.  When Marion and I visited it in 2007, most of it was off limits and was pretty much just a ruined pile of stones but in the last few years, a lot of money has been spent on the renovation and restoration of the castle.  One can now walk through the castle and see where the small dwellings were.  Climbing the narrow stone stairways gives you a view of four floors of living quarters, kitchens, pantries and water containers.

When we returned to the path in front of the castle we hitched a ride down to the village with a young man.  We walked to the Hotel Jacobus and both of us were able to have a hot shower - my first proper shower in two weeks!  Wonderful to wash your hair under a running stream of hot water instead of in a basin using a plastic cup to rinse!
We walked back to the square and visited Angela's friend, buying a few fresh provisions for albergue.  At 1pm I saw the same nurse at the clinic.  She changed the dressing on my finger and declared it almost healed. 
We returned to the Hotel and I met Ovidio for the first time.  He was busy behind his bar counter but listened avidly as Angela told him about the bed bugs and how we had been dealing with them.  She gave him a list of things we needed, including water, wine, candles, milk, bottled vegetables and fresh, and after half an hour he took us back to the albergue in his car, promising to return later with provisions. 
Kristine went off on her walk and Angela and I tidied the pantry cupboard and fridge so that we would be ready to pack the new provisions when Ovidio returned.  He brought a box of potatoes, onions, tomatoes and cucumber as well as lettuces, a box of bottled salsa sauce, milk and bottles of chickpeas and lentils.  He also brought 5L water bottles and a box of red wine.
That evening Maria Alvarez arrived again, this time bearing a huge tray-box of sweet plums and another of apples for the albergue.  We invited her to stay for dinner and when she told us that it was her birthday, we all sang happy birthday to her.

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