May 20, 2007

5/20/08 Villar de Mazarife

"What we need is a cup of understanding,
a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience."
St Francis de Sales

Lots of rain and thunder last night, but the sky looked clear as we left the refugio. It was another long walk out of the city.

More underground bodegas converted into homes

As I walked alone, I thought more about my Camino. I still seem to forget the simplest lesson that life unfolds as it will with each new moment. I know I had unpleasant moments on my first Camino but now only the best memories remain. My Camino is to accept what happens as it happens, without worries or regrets.

Outside of Virgen del Camino, the Camino split yet again. The shorter way (22km) followed the highway while the longer way (31km) went through the country-side. Took a chance and decided on the peace and quiet.

Only saw one car on this new highway

At Fresno del Camino I found the little park that we had played at on my other Camino. It felt silly and good taking a few minutes on the swing set. Churag and Tanya stopped for a bit of breakfast. But the best surprise came when I saw Alexandra walking up the road. I thought she had planned on taking the bus farther ahead on the Camino.

Just like five years ago

Pilgrims on the tarmac

An interesting flower

The girls take a water break

Wondering if it is going to rain

The stork takes a look at Alexandra

It was a pleasant walk but more dark clouds were moving in. Stopped for a little break in Chozas de Abajo but soon after the rain started to come down. Got a few more strange looks because of my rain-skirt, but it sure does it's job.

Outside of Villar de Mazarife

Walked the last few kilometers with Alexandra. The city sure has changed in 5 years. Now there are two private refugios. But the biggest surprise is the transformation of the 'Albergue el Refugio de Jesus'. All I could say about it years ago was that it had character. At the time, it probably should have been condemned. But I had good memories of the place.

The new 'albergue' has been upgraded and expanded but still kept it's character. Now I would call it one of the best albergues on the Camino, but still the hospitalero Jesus only asks for a donation for staying here. Jesus found the pilgrim register from five years ago and we found my entry in the book.

The new and improved refugio

Later we went to the store, and even though it was closed, with a knock on the door the woman who owned it let us do some shopping. She and her husband were so happy, even though we interrupted their Sunday. They said that after several dry years, this year they've had too much rain and it was just as bad as the dry years for the farmers. It's still raining and Jesus says it will continue for a few more days.

With Alexandra