First let me apologise for the poor grammar and spelling errors. This Blog is stream of consciousness typed on a fold up keyboard with an iPhone. Editing is not a priority but will come with time!
Meanwhile take heed that I too am disturbed by the numerous truncations, incorrect autocorrects and missing words! Eventually all will be repaired. But for now onto the days events!
This morning was a pleasure. I had stuck a notice over the light switches last night so it stayed reasonably dark whilst the early risers prepared for the day.
I handed out biscuits and it seemed everyone was happy. I saw the smallest girl with the heaviest backpack. And she was happy.
While we were cleaning a tall man dropped in to say hello. He was very happy. He told us we were guapas which is clearly his opening line for all new hospitaleras! He thanked us for volunteering and helping. He also informed us that there were no chinchas here. We were obviously glad to hear that because that’s the spanish word for bedbugs! …and we intended to keep it that way by washing the sheets once used. He suggested only if they were dirty! Not sure how we were supposed to detect that unless we assumed used meant dirty. A visual inspection would not detect “dirty” so we resolved to continue with our system. If they were used they were dirty!
I then spent my free time racing around the village, while Zebra sat calmly sipping coffee at our favourite cafe. I spent my time first trying to get the fellow who had sold me a sim at the mobile phone shop to fix the personal hotspot on my phone so I could blog when I wanted. I then tried to find someone else to help. – nope it’s iPhone no entiendo! You need to visit Logroño…. well that’s wonderful advice- I’ll have to negotiate that with Mavis now desafortunatemente!
Today was cooler weather and we only had about 30 pilgrims arrive around opening time which meant it wasn’t too hectic. We had split chores 3 ways, washed the sheets and guess what – Mavis cooked us a great lunch of chicken and salsa Spanish style – muy rico!
She was starting to win me over and had even bought some melon 🍉 to share with hot and bothered pilgrims when they arrived. It still needs to be said however that my implementation of rolling sheets to avoid the two person military fold had been converted to military rolling! My beloved would love this woman 😂 everything folded or rolled to perfection! For me, in terms of sheets (and for my fellow west Australian hospitalera now known as zebra) speed was more important than neatness for storage porque they’d be back on the beds very soon!
Just joking- this was our pile after Check-in.
Afortunadamente the albergue fix it man dropped in again later to fix one of the many broken handles in the men’s bathroom. We were able to explain that many people had pequeña mochilas and didnt carry sleeping bags so they lay straight on top of the sheets which means they are all dirty! He expressed concern about the cost but we pointed to the increasing donations that were being made in gratitude for these comforts.
Anyway our requirements for cleaning of sheets was clearly low on the priority of others who pride themselves in monthly spraying and a recent record of no chinchas. But even so – a sheet is either clean or its not!
Importantly, the pilgrims were happy to be offered cold water, melon, sweets 🍬 and best of all – clean bedsheets – well at least most of them were! The pilgrims happy I mean- all the sheets were clean! We were happy because they were happy.
The main difficulty we have now is that we wish all pilgrims would carry sleeping bags because those with the smallest packs, often had no jackets, often no spare clothes and no sleeping bags, then they want blankets and windows closed and quite frankly no one can breathe! (Mavis ensures the aircon is now off at night as the temperature drops) Pilgrims complain that they are cold instead of expressing gratitude for some reprieve from the heat! This makes for an interesting dilemma for those nearing exhaustion from heat stroke!
We had a bit of a wander further afield today and located the library for later use, the emergency department and the police! Muy importante!
Tonight’s group was only just under 40 people which meant I wasn’t risking my life heading to the bathroom in the dark by tripping over backpacks! Zebra cleverly placed everyone against the two outer walls which had numerous positive outcomes:- no one was under the air con vent (but others still complained), the passages were clear and the space needing cleaning was limited.
We maintained our resolve again – we will continue to wash the sheets while here even if we have to pay for some washing ourselves!
Buen fantastic camino a todos!