Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hospitalera in Corcubion - Day 3

We are in Santiago!
Isa´s friend offered to bring us after we had done our chores and with only a few pilgrims it didn´t take too long to tidy beds, mop floors and clean showers and toilets. I put on Gregorian Chants at 7am to wake the pilgrims and they came down to breakfast with a smile on their faces!

Yesterday a Polish pilgrim left 10 eggs in a box which he didn´t want to carry to Santiago so I boiled them for our pilgrims for breakfast. I did a few extras which I´ll use in a potato salad for tonight. We each got hug hugs and muchas gracias´s from all the pilgrims. It started off misty and raining in Corcubion and this might mean that we will have more pilgrims tonight. Will have to wait and see.
The return journey to Corcubion was misty and rainy.
"How many pilgrims do you think we will have tonight?" asked Isa.
"14" said Lola.
"Completo" I replied.
"No Sil, not completo, maybe 18" said Isa.
When we arrived at the albergue there were 9 pilgrims waiting for us - all wet and cold , including a family with two young boys - so we let them in early, registered them and let them upstairs to shower and settle in. Then two arrived, then 1, then 3 more and by 5:30pm we were completo with one pilgrim looking really sick. Isa gave him water and his companion led him upstairs. He told me in the morning that he had walked 40km to Santiago, felt tired and headachy but still celebrated with his friends until the early hours and then didn´t drink much water the next day when he walked another 40km. He was probably hung-over and dehydrated!
I wrote a sign for the door - Completo, Full, sorry! but still they came. It was terrible to turn them away. It is another 9km to Finisterre and a long downhill 1km back to Corcubion. (No pilgrim likes to go backwards, ever.) One poor pilgrim was most distressed so we arranged for a taxi to fetch him, take him to the hostal in Cee and bring him back to the albergue so he could continue walking the next day. A third pilgrim arrived, saw the sign on the door and turned disconsolately away. I don´t know whether she walked on or turned back. Turning pilgrims away is hard - it really sucks!! Especially when it is late, cold and wet and there isn't anywhere close by to go to.
Dinner was salad, macaroni with Chorizo (Salsa for the vegetarians) and melon for desert. Pilgrims keep telling us that they are hungry. "I am so hungry" says one. "Ich bin hongrig" "Tengo hambre". I borrowed an idea from the albergue at Granon and suggested they join the San Roque Albergue choir and sing for their supper . To the tune of "We will rock you" they clapped their hands and banged on the table singing in their various languages. I start them off in English. Clap, clap, Bang - clap, clap, bang "We are... we are hungry" bang, clap, clap bang. "Tengo, tengo....hambre" bang, clap clap bang "Ich bin... ich bin hungrig". Queen would have been proud of them!
While we were eating Isa asked me if I was a Catholic. "No, I am a Buddhist" I said. "Que? What?" she looked positively shocked. "A Buddhist" I said. She laughed until the tears were rolling down her cheeks. The word for prostitute in Spanish sounds very similar to Buddhist in English and it seemed I was proudly telling her that I was a prostitute!! We had to share the joke but it was lost on so many different nationalities - Korean, Dutch, Italian, French, German, Dutch - there was even an Aussie there but he was hard of hearing so didn´t catch the whole story. There wasn´t much food left and after the meal one of the Dutch pilgrims sang a song that he had sung in the church at Santiago. Some of the pilgrims helped wash the dishes - bonus. One would think that with 20 pilgrims and a good home cooked meal the donations would be generous but they left less than the 7 pilgrims we´d had the night before. Once again we set out the plates and cups for breakfast and we finally got to bed at 11:30pm.
Breakfast at San Roque

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