Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunday, May 15 Alberque San Miguel

Father David

We were up at 5:50am making coffee and cutting up bread. The coffee pot is a small one so coffe had to be made six times and we ran out of bread but everyone was very kind and no complaints. They understood our situation and generously accepted what we offered. Father David, parish priest was a little less enthused with our effort. He had an evangelical when he saw how much we had spent on vegetables and fruit. He let us know that we were to give him a list and he drives into Pamplona on Mondays to do the Spanish version of a Costco run. He's really nice but always in a hurry. We've nicknamed him 'the stealth priest' because he's in and out in a flash. He clears out the donativo box and he's gone. Grabs the grocery list but has no time to go over it and he's gone. I hear he says Mass with the same urgency. Pilgrims who attend the 7pm Mass are back and waiting for their dinner at 7:25pm. The other night Father David dropped in and I was eager to meet and chat with him but he just threw a package of 3minute popcorn in the microwave and three minutes later he was gone.

We are getting our schedule and efficiency down to a science. Up at 5am to make the coffee and lay out the breakfast: cereal and milk, bread and small cakes, juice and coffee, and lots of jams and jellies. This is quite a substantial breakfast on the Camino. Pilgrims are usually gone by 7:30am and we start the cleaning. First clean up the breakfast dishes and then wash all the plastic coverings on the beds and pillowcases, sweep the floors and mop. While we're doing this, we throw in a laundry of all the towels and cleaning cloths. Bathrooms are last and we make sure they are clean and well-stock with toilet paper. Yes! Then, with apologies to Father David, we go grocery shopping and get back in time to open the doors to meet and greet the pilgrims by 1pm.
Dinner preparation happens throughout the afternoon and we serve dinner outdoors on the patio at 8pm. Cleanup and a glass of wine and it's 10:30pm and time to get some sleep before starting again at 5am the next morning.

We have not had one unhappy pilgrim. They have all said this was their best dinner, breakfast and best stay. Yay.

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