The Camino Frances

The Camino Frances

Friday, September 21, 2012

What have I done?

Saturday Sept 15 in Rabanal

So, dinner with David and a pilgrim was great - the food was fine, and the talk was great - the pilgrim was a psychologist, so who and why the Camino was an interesting topic.
I was in charge of the Albergue while my partner David Arthur went to dinner with Claire and Keith, who are leaving tomorrow, then they went to Compline. There are 3 services a day at the church across the plaza, run by the Benedictine monks, who have a monastery beside us. I didn´t get to bed until 11, but for now I am not a pilgrim.

However, the day begins at 6 am, as we prepare breakfast, which is coffee and tea, hot milk, bread and jam. It is served from 6:30 to  7:30, then we encourage the pilgrims to leave so that we can begin the breakfast cleanup, then the cleaning of 4 bathrooms, containing 8 showers and 8 toilets. Then we also wash all the stone and tile floors, in the bedrooms, the barn, which has 16 beds, and the stone floor in the garden. The mind boggles! It took 4 of us about 2.5 hours, and tomorrow just David and I will clean. We have already registered 32 pilgrims, and will take 8 more if they show up. It was hot today, and several walked 40 km, so I have seen some damaged feet (to put it delicately).

David and I went into Astorga from 11-1, to pick up supplies for the hostel and pilgrims, and lunch type food for he and I. We are aiming for salad for lunch each day, as our cost for the pilgrim menu is covered each day.

I served tea in the garden from 5 to 5:45 - we went through many pots, and most of the pilgrims made a point of showing up for some, and the biscuits, of course. It felt easy and familiar, as will breakfast, but I am not looking forward to the cleaning, to put it mildly.

It will happen, but just how I don´t know. Wish me luck, and good rubber gloves.

Darlene, the  hospitalera


  1. Good Luck Darlene! Wow, sounds like lots of work, but good for the soul I am sure. I got tired just reading your blog. I am sure you will have a wonderful experience and... think of the people you will meet. You are made for this. Take care! Love Julie

    1. Thank you so much, Julie. I am feeling like it is much more doable today. I so appreciate your comments.

  2. Mam! You can do it! Maybe try to remember who you are doing all this work for... all the tired and (hopefully) grateful pilgrims who are on the journey of a lifetime, and for yourself! You will benefit so much from your service. It will be easiest when you recognize your great opportunity. You are a strong lady, in body and spirit. I have faith in you.

    I sent you a card yesterday... hoping you get it soon. All my love is contained inside.

    Lovelovelove Aisy

    1. What a wonderful reminder! The pilgrims seem to be so grateful, and I know this was the most welcoming and comfortable albergue that I stayed in, so I have a high bar to reach. They really are so exhausted when they arrive, and the fresh spring water with lemon is a wonderful welcome. Yes, I can do it.
      I´ll watch for the postie - my parcel arrived that I mailed in Leon.