Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday May 21 San Miguel Alberque and Rehab Centre

Aussie Chef

I think it's been said that stress doesn't build character but that it reveals character. Either way we are character building every day. Once again we had an 11am line-up and the alberque was 'completo' by 3pm but the pilgrims just kept coming. We had to direct the late comers to the overflow dorms at the parish and then bulk up our menu to serve close to 40. One of our overflow guests was an Australian chef so he came up with a couple of good suggestions to enhance our 'creative' recipes. More olive oil!

Our wonderfully efficient cleaning, shopping and food preparation schedule has been thrown for a loop as we are now the rehabilation centre for a German lady who has tendinitis and wants to stay with us and rest her foot for FIVE days. The work here is fast and furious and we are busy all day long and that is all good. However......... there is a little niggling irritation when you have someone with her foot wrapped in ice resting it on the bench, drinking her fourth cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette while we clean and mop around her and the laundry line she has hanging from her bunk. Obviously my tendinitis treatment (work and wine) needs some refinement.

And then..........some of the pilgrims from the parish overflow rooms, which apparently are a lot quieter in the morning than the main alberque, showed up at 8:30am looking for breakfast, coffee and a chat. These are the things that help us prove how flexible and friendly we really are.

I did find 30 minutes last night to hobble down to the municipal alberque to watch an outdoor street performance by a group of very young South Korean kids who are walking the camino carrying not only their regular clothing and supplies but their costumes and drums too! And they are really young, probably nine to maybe fourteen or fifteen years old and really talented. The passers-by were treated to a wonderful concert of dance and drumming. Awesome.

1 comment:

  1. Karen, you are painting an extremely vivid picture of life as a hospitelera; finding small pleasures (and humor) amongst the trials and tribulations of serving your clientele. Be sure to offer the German lady a light and a smile along with her bottomless cup of coffee. I always wind up smiling when I read your posts. Great job on the blog and at the albergue. Extra wine all around!