Day 1 Auspitalero Duties Begin!

I slept well last night. Boy did I sleep well! My luggage had arrived! I had my swimmers! I could use the most magnificent pool on the camino. By now, if you know me, you must be thinking every pool on the camino is the most magnificent.

Well if you’ve just lugged a pack 30 kilometres through 40 degree heat that may well be true but Najera was different. It really was magnificent. So I headed down for some laps as soon as it opened at 10! Bit different to home with all the athletes training at 5am.

After a nice hot shower at the pool (I didnt want to risk another opportunity to be trapped in the shower) i went back to the room and packed my packs 😂 . I headed to the albergue with one pack and hung my swimmers and towel outside on the line and returned to the Hostal get the other. We went for a quick visit to the Chinese Shop to buy some plastic jugs to serve pilgrims cold water and had a bite to eat. On our return to the albergue my towel was gone already! No more clothes on the line for me!

Najera looked beautiful and I had hoped to enjoy a rest day along the river but much to our shock the existing hospitaleros decided to vamos! Talk about baptism of fire. The pilgrims piled in one by one. Hot, exhausted and seeking refuge. I smiled as they hobbled past me to the shower some looking like they would never walk again. At the same time I knew they would rise on the morrow, put on their boots and head off down the camino.

Our spanish Hospitalero is a lady from Barcelona who speaks no English – I was to become a translator! Well that’s a quick way to improve my Spanish. We worked together to plan for tomorrow – I have to say a fair bit was lost in translation!. We won’t wake pilgrims too early, we will give them water and melon (I think). I had also bought some a giant packet of caramelos, and we’ll ask them to drop their sheets in box in the morning and go to bed and be quiet after 10.

This was the trapdoor shower from yesterday 😂

We dealt with our first few challenges of the day including a man who wanted to read after 10 in the dining area. Our spanish Hospitalero told him it was fine but then another man decided to talk on the phone and a few others decided also to join in. Auspitalero WA was firm and gave him a limit of 11pm. Lesson learned – no lights on after 10 (except in case of illness!).

There were a few people with painful shins to whom we gave ice and kind words. There was one young man with a toothache and an ingrown toenail who spent the first part of the night at the medical centre. Bit of bad luck that he was challenged from top to bottom and I hope he finds the specialists he was sent to in Burgos!

that’s all for day 1 hospitaleroing! We are exhausted 😴

Hasta mañana!

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