It had been our plan to walk 21 k's - about 12 1/2 miles - from Najera to the city of Santo Domingo de Calzada, but 15 k's later when we reached the small town of Cirueña, my body parts were ready to stop for the day.
So when we saw this sign while walking through the town,
....we followed it off the beaten path to the Albergue Virgen de Guadalupe, which turned out to be a homey, cozy, lovely little place.,
.....run by the nicest hospitaliera, here in his kitchen/office.,
...and his two sweet old dogs.
For 7€ each we got our own room,
...with this view from our window::
...that is, before it started to rain. Unfortunately, as soon as our hospitaliero washed our laundry for us with the plan that we'd hang out our clothes to dry in the sun and the wind, the weather changed suddenly and it started to pour rain. But no problem, we just hung our wet clothes up all around our room.
The walls of the albergue are decorated with the hospitaliero's art work and he built a little chapel in the attic for the pilgrims to use.
Our hospitaliero, while he prepared dinner, played lovely,soothing classical music: Mozart's "Theme From Eliva Madigan", Bach's Arioso", a Baroque Adagio. Dinner was 7€ each, for which he cooked us a delicious lentil and chorizo stew and for dessert there was yogurt served with the hospitaliero's scrumptious home-made fig preserves.
After dinner we sat around in the living room with a very nice Dutch couple and discussed among other things, politics, Tom's pit bull bite, and the problem with pilgrims reserving all the beds in advance. Like us, these pilgrims don't believe in calling ahead to reserve a bed, It's okay for those who want to do it that way, but we agreed that for us it's not our idea of the spirit of the Camino. In any case, we were all grateful to have been led to this little place. It was very Spirit of the Camino.
Oh, Marianne - as I'm now about out of computer time, I'll comment tomorrow on theories as to the pilgrim population explosion on the Camino.
A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
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