Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tourist in Spain 4 - 24 May. Logrono, Maria, Viana

I left the hotel at 9am and followed the Camino path out of the town towards Maria's table. Many pilgrims passed me going into town. As I approached her table she recognized me and we hugged, doing a little jigg on the path! We sat inside talking about her daughter and grand children, her knees where she'd had operations in 2012 and her eye with the cataract which was now clear.  Pilgrims came in and she held up a credencial for me to see - a South African credencial.  The pilgrim was from Cape Town and was having a miserable time, not enjoying the Camino at all. She was walking with two American pilgrims and when I mentioned my name, Patty from Oregon asked if I was Sillydoll from the forum and knew Annie who had led groups in 2012.  We had our photos taken and they went on their way.
Back outside at the table, a car pulled up and I recognized Acacio from Villoria.  I was thrilled to see him because I had an envelope for Tomas of Manjarin that I was going to leave at his albergue on the way to Belorado. He told me that he had received a message and photo from Tomas that morning telling him that it was snowing at Manjarin.   I thought of the pilgrims walking in those cold mountains and hoped it would clear before our group arrives there in a few days time.
I said goodbye to Maria and walked back to the city. I packed the last box of chocolates in my backpack and got the bus to Viana.

I phoned Jose and we met in the square where a fiesta celebrating ethnic Basque dancing was in progress.  Jose left to direct some pilgrims to the apartment and I sat with his 8 year-old watching the dancing.  When Jose came back he invited me to have lunch with them at their home.  His wife, Pili, made us pasta and salad and I played computer games with the son.
I kept looking at my watch because the last bus was at 3.30 but Jose told me to 'tanqilla' -he would drive me back which he did, right to the hotel. Many pensions and hostals (different from hostels) are owned by families and the people are friendly and kind and make one feel at home.
Kathy was arriving at 7pm so I walked back to the station to meet her.  We stopped at the Carefore supermarket on the way back to the hotel so that she could by a yoghurt for her breakfast.
We shared pita and cheese sandwiches for dinner and had an early night.  Not much good it did with Spain playing 2 football matches and the bar across the road packed with screaming fans until 4am.

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