Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25 San Miguel Alberque and Youth Hostel

Intn'l Youth Contingent Helping Karen With The "Pilgrim's Blessing"

Two years ago today we finished our first Camino de Santiago de Compostella. It is memorable in that it was the culmination of 31 days of walking and alberques, bocadillos and cafe con leches, pilgrim meals and wonderful new international friendships, and of the realization that we had actually walked the 792kms we had dreamed about for two years. It was also such a wet and dreary day. We were exhausted and injured and as we dragged our wet and weary selves towards the catedral, it felt anticlimatic. The square was overcast and deserted. Oh that it were a day like today! We are experiencing the best sunny weather here in Estella and, as we say our morning farewells and buen caminos to our pilgrims, there is a tinge of envy of all the camino experiences that they have ahead of them, although there are some camino experiences that are evoke less envy - the blisters, shin splints and tendinitis, and Redicilla.

As hospitaleros we are over the hump. We have only one more week to go. If all passes are wonderfully as the past two nights, it will be clear sailing. We have had the best two groups. We've been 'completo' but not overbooked. Last night we had an amazing group of young pilgrims from Portugal, Italy, Isreal, Belgium, Spain/Russia, Canada, Greece and France. They all met in St. Jean Pied de Port and have been travelling somewhat together. It was our treat to have them staying at our alberque. Their facility with the languages was amazing and had me so embarrassed by my tedious efforts to learn French, German and Spain. ( I don't even try Italian.) Most of these kids spoke at least three languages and one really nice young guy spoke seven languages fluently and just flipped back and forth without hesitation. What a wonder! We did spend some extra time at breakfast putting our last supply of Mefix, Compeed and tape on a mass of blisters and hot spots. Blisters hold no age restrictions.

Today is the Feast of the Virgin of Le Puy so it's a major holiday in Estella. The only people working are the hospitaleros and two shops are open - the internet cafe and one tienda to get our daily ration of bread - 12 huge baquettes.


  1. We have been following your hospitalero adventures with fascination and envy! You have so brilliantly described the wonderful benefits and the very hard work of this position.
    Enjoy your final week!
    Lynne and John

  2. Hi Karen and Dayton
    You are having a wonderful time and I can just the smiles on your faces and the laughter coming from deep down inside. You are meeting such interesting and wonderful people and the joy you give and receive is quite beautiful. See you soon. And take care of yourselves.

    Cheers and Love
    John and Linda

  3. Karen and Dayton....Have enjoyed reading your blog and am excited about our doing the Camino in Sept.
    Dayton, your friend and mine, Wayne Stin. sent me this blog and am looking forward to speaking and picking your brain about the walk when you return.
    Thanks you two for a delightful read.
    Luce and Linda

  4. Staying in a youth hostel is absolutely fun and you can meet other travelers from other places and have the chance to become friends.

  5. What a treat for us when we walked into the Alberque on May 27th and you both greeted us so warmly.... When we heard you were from Canada, it was like a long lost relative for us!!
    We loved meeting you and spending an evening with you!!! Now I am reading your blog and enjoying your adventures...and reliving our memories..... thank you

    Many blessings to you both, Barb Vrolijk