I think I have it down now. I have figured out a routine, and am now enjoying everything, including the cleaning. It is very satisfying to walk out of a pristine bathroom, especially since the pilgrims comment on how clean the whole albergue is.
Julie asked about the weather. It has been warm - even hot while I was walking. I have the windows wide open all day and night, and the albergue is quite comfortable. There has been no rain for a month or 2 and the scenery is quite brown. Most pilgrims leave at about sunrise wearing shorts or capris. Long pants are the exception. One woman was wearing the disposable plastic gloves that you get in supermarkets over here, as she forgot her gloves, and her hands get cold.
Once again there was a lineup when we opened, and we were completo at 25. We don´t know how many go away when they see our completo sign but we don´t want to open the barn, as it makes twice as much to clean.
Yesterday was a first for me, and for Dave, who has been here many times. Two young German men sat down to register, with a beer each in glasses. They said they would be cooking dinner, and invited everyone to eat with them. They had carried about 5 pounds of potatoes with them from Astorga, and assorted other vegetables. They settled on a Spanish menu of tortillas and Andrei made a risotto. The liquid in the risotto was white wine. Apparently it was very tasty. They worked thorough the early evening and served dinner about 7.30. I found it was just too much noise ( German punk music or something like it on their mp3 with a speaker), and they made about 4 visits to the tienda, each time coming back with more tinned vegetables and more wine. They ended up making about 6 tortillas. Dave stayed to enjoy and monitor, and I went to vespers at 7 and slept through the service. Then I went to Gaspar´s and enjoyed a quiet dinner with a pilgrim. The kitchen was empty and clean when I got back. There was leftover tortilla, which we served for breakfast, and some was wrapped up to take on the road. One of the fellows had a beer for breakfast. It made cleaning the garbage bags challenging, as they were leaking beer. So it was an alcohol fueled celebration, which almost all of the pilgrims enjoyed. ( Dave fielded a few complains while I was out).
Andrei, who made the risotto, was here 2 nights ago. He then walked to Ponferrada, took the bus back to Astorga, met his friends, and talked them into staying with us. I was quite surprised to see him again. He is returning to Italy to complete a 3 month residency, take his exams, and begin practice as a doctor. He seemed so young to me!
I made a lentil soup for Dave and I for lunch and there is enough for today. Yeah!! Plus I made a double batch of oatmeal fudgies for tea, and so there are some for tea today too. We have decided that we will be completo at 20, and be prepared to take in 24 if there is an emergency. So off I go to start the cycle all over again.
I wish I could illustrate the blog with pictures. However, if you google
images Rabanal you will get several thousand pictures, and a lot of them are of Rfugio Gaucelmo.
Darlene la hospitalera