It was dark and warm outside this morning. It had been warm all night. Our room had the two windows but with no breeze it was better to get some circulation from the dormitory. In the morning a French lady said it was a nice sleep because she felt lovely and cool and it didn’t smell bad like other Albergues! She even wrote a note in our book!
The bag above must be filled with food and makeup with no room for sleeping bag! Forgot to mention the size of makeup and food bags as opposed to sleeping bags and spare clothes!
I also handed some scissors to someone who needed to adjust their insoles .
Knowing today was my last day it was strange but I had tears as I bid farewell to the first lot of pilgrims. They left with smiles on their faces and bickies in their gobs! They left happily and I said buen camino as they walked across the courtyard and, strangely, I held back tears as they disappeared! This was it. This was the last time I would be saying goodbye to the pilgrims here.
I managed to halt a few excited chats in the baño – Mavis would wake too early and be grumpy again! It seems she slept well (with the air con on!)
The sheets were all coming out and the dormitory was well on the way to empty and it was still dark.
I tried to put the first load of sheets on but wouldn’t you know it – the change slot was full in the machine! The chica de limpiar or the new hospitaleras who arrive today could deal with that – it was Saturday. Maybe Mavis would persist until it started!
The salon cooled down a bit once I opened the glass door. But it wasnt frio!
It was filled with a happy crowd by 6:30. Many again saying thank you and telling us it was the best nights sleep they had experienced in an albergue! It was worth arguing with Mavis and sneaking out to turn the air con back on!
As it was close to 6.30am and time for lights on, I turned my Chinese shop speaker on and finally had the chance to do the Roncesvalles walk with music. But not out of tune gregorian chanting! And I’m not a priest so no preaching. Just Canned Heat. Play it yourself sometime. It starts slowly and gets you moving baby!
ON THE ROAD AGAIN – that’s me today too!
By the time I walked back into the salon with the music still playing people were smiling and dancing. Not sure Mavis would have been behind the habitacion door. But I told her yesterday I would play música before turning the lights on!
Then Fleetwood Mac came on – dont stop thinking about tomorrow! It was a grand way to start the day. Everyone knew they had to get up and get out! We didnt have to clean because chica de limpiar was coming. And Zebra and Mavis were happy for me to leave with two new hospitaleros arriving later in the day.
So I packed my last few things into my mochila and I knocked on the door and woke Mavis to say farewell. Sort of – Creo a saludar ahora – or something like that – I think I will leave now. Vale – Okay she said.
Zebra and I went to Naxera for desayuno together one last time! We watched the early pilgrims arriving over the bridge. We ate potata tortillas and drank coffee as the sun rose.
We were both exhausted, but Zebra was staying one more night. I hadn’t had a real rest since leaving Australia so was grateful I could leave them to the handover. I needed desperately to sleep in a clean air conditioned room! It was actually day 18 if you include the day I arrived when we met the hospitaleros before they exited stage right!
So I jumped on the bus to Burgos – and guess what! More tears! No I am not miserable. It was emotional and rewarding. It was a challenge and it feel like I met the challenge. We all met the challenge Well Zebra and I felt like that. Virtually no handover, my stolen towel on day one, I had been dealing with a missing backpack for days, the scandalous breach of vegemite and Tim tam rights, Zebras food and our chincha clothes being constantly given or taken away by Mavis, the main albergue contact on leave the whole time we were there, and Mavis with a very challenging military sheet folding and rolling background and a need to always keep one person comfortable regardless of others! (Actually she said she ran a bar and restaurant)
We had all been welcoming pilgrims in the best way possible. Zebra and I had been fighting for their right for fresh air and clean sheets (but not folded sheets okay!). And we had met them with lemon iced water and lollies and been farewelling them with biscuits and buen caminos! As Zebra and I said to each other at the bus station – It was Grand!!!
Zebra messaged me later and let me know two new male spanish Hospitaleros arrived – one experienced and of the opinion that temperatures need to be between 22 and 25 c in government buildings! And all pilgrims should have sacos! (Sleeping bags!). Take note future pilgrims!!!! And treat them to prevent infestation before you leave home!!
Wonder how much the new hospitaleros like washing. Or rolling sheets. Or mopping. Or disinfecting. Or chinchas!
Adios and hold tight for next post as I’m having a rest in Burgos before heading back onto the camino. Back with my people!!!!
I’m on the road again!!!! Xxxx