October 3, 2002

10/3/02 Villar de Mazarifé

21 km

A wonderful morning having cocoa out on the patio of the monastery, who should I see but Larissa! It's so nice to see friends unexpectedly. As was our norm, we walked out of the city in the dark. Only this time, we got lost. A man stopped us and tried to direct us in the correct direction but we weren't sure. By sunrise, we were finally on our way - correctly this time.

Larissa being a kid again

Had a choice today, either follow the highway or take a back road way that was longer. Such a nice day, we had to choose the quite back road! Passed through a few villages but mostly fields. Josué had said he wanted to stay in Villar de Mazarife so I went to check out the refugio.

Talked with the shepherd watching over his flock

Mosaic as you walk into town

What a great house! It needs a lot of work but it had so much character. I'm sleeping out on the second story porch surrounding a central courtyard. We have a great mix of people here tonight. Getting to know Gellko better as he is from Croatia. This small group of people just help energize the place.

We are a crazy group. After shopping for dinner fixin's, another Spaniard at the refugio had already cooked us a meal. What a wonderful soup! Because we had all the stuff, he also offered to cook us a second dinner a couple of hours later in the evening.

Food, wine and conversation flowed. Newly arriving pilgrims were given chairs and plates heaping with food before they could even get their backpacks off. Joining us were Antonio (Spain), Christopher (France) and Michelle (France). We're just one big family.

I had heard Andreia was a Massage Therapist working her way along the Camino, so I offered her a massage myself. Mine seemed pretty poor after she gave me one later. She's very good! Andreia has been away from home for almost five years and thinks it's time to go back, at least for a little bit. She said that as hard as it is for a man to be a wanderer, it's a hundred times worse for a woman like her.

Tonight brings back memories of the Appalachian Trail because I'm writing this by candlelight with the stars in plain sight from my porch mattress; the wonders of the Camino.

One big happy family!