I am writing this post from the garden of Albergue Verde in Hospital Orbigo. Our host is playing the guitar in the living room as two of the others prepare food for tonights vegetarian meal. I have just had my legs and back massaged by Gael – a gifted Spanish masseuse who was trained mostly in Thailand. My beloved sleeps beside me on the sunbed in the shade after a quick visit to the bar down the corner, our two friends are relaxing in the hammocks swinging from the trees. There is a storm threatening on the horizon but after last nights fantastic light show I no longer view it as a threat from Mordor. I will be in the yoga class in half an hour.
The accommodation is 9 euro per person, the food and the massage – by donation. We are in a haven on the Camino known only to a few who care to walk the extra distance from the main street of town in Hospital de Orbigo. Thanks must go to Shirley for reminding me of its existence a few days ago. I think it was the Englishman Dave (with the red ankles) who first gave us the heads up.
Well how did we get here you may wonder. Did we fly on the wings of eagles – or struggle step by step through the midday sun? The latter is more realistic. Today we started well although I had been disturbed by the early leavers clonking about the refugio in boots even before the crack of dawn. We apparently only had a 14km hike so didnt need to rush things and we decided to carry our bags again. My beloved felt the pain today – his heels did not like the extra weight and as usual he was hot. Dont worry I felt it too my blisters made another guest appearance from under the petite callouses – I thought they’d retired for the journey. The first ten kilometres were on a long straight stretch and we thought we would have a stop at about 4 or 5 k’s into it for breakfast. That was not to be and the day dragged on. My beloved entertained me with a few Chad Morgan songs he had downloaded because I threatened divorce if he keeps wearing the Chad Morgan hat. Now I cant get “The Cat Came Back” out of my head and its deeply disturbing. Even more so than the Chad Morgan hat.
Prior to our vegetarian dinner (without wine or beer) our hosts sang in Spanish along to the guitar. My beloved felt a bit ill and didn’t eat all his dinner. (Might actually have been the guest appearance of the fresh mushrooms me thinks). We had a beet citrus salad with a side serve of roasted capsicum for starters and a cashew stirfry with broccoli, mushrooms and other tasty treats. Many of us had not seen this many vegetables since leaving home. The evening finished with the Tibetan bowl ringing out to the sunset. Those young enough (or those with really long dreadlocks) headed into town for the summer solstice festivities. In earlier times that may have been me – the party started at midnight – I was in coma.
The yoga class was a class to remember. Lets call him Minchim (names and places are changed in this blog – not to protect the innocent, but because I either can’t remember them or can’t spell them!). He could give any yoda a run for their money. I asked if he was the Jeffe (boss) when he arrived back in the afternoon – “you are the manager, I want for you to be happy”. And in yoga/meditation class “Breath in, breath out” “emmmmph, I think if you have oxygen, you can solve all problems mmph” “mmmh if you walk to Santiago, maybe you will discover ……. you have two legs and two feet – and eight blisters”. The answer to the universe is near I think.
If only all days on the Camino ended in a place like this where we could rest and recover before the next days torture – but who knows – maybe tomorrow will be a walk in the clouds!
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