Friday 9 October 2020

Kinda Like Old Times

Trees are turning yellow, but the sun still shines bright.  We counted 22 pilgrims on the Way this morning, most of them Italians, many without backpacks.   

It's a strange, strange year on the Camino. There's a bus carrying pilgrims past Leon, which is locked down for a couple of weeks.  There are a whole lot fewer pilgrims than before. It is nice. Like old times. 

We've had a few come here to stay with us. Nowadays, without exception, they are the ones who don't have money to stay with Bruno or at the Hostal. They all are very spiritual. Some of them, apparently, are not very functional adults. Like old times, back when there were hippies all along the Way. Free spirits,  broken doves, lost boys. 

The pilgrimage has gone quiet. Santiago 2020 is not an easy path for people with no money, as the only places open these days are privately owned. Most have cranked their prices up as far as the market will bear. The privileged sleep on beds with clean sheets. The poor sleep outdoors. 

Yeah, just like the good old days.

I love pilgrims, I continue to help them move along the Way in a safe and orderly manner. I do not so much miss having them here in my house. There are not many poor people on the camino, so we don't get many at our door.  When they come, we let them in, we let them stay. We follow the hygeine rules, but it's still risky. Doing the right thing is not always the safe option. 

So far, so good. I am healthy, tanned, and fit, working hard out in the weeds. Peaceable Projects is quiet, too. I expect that to suddenly change one of these days.   

I hope for better things, a brighter future. 

For now, we enjoy a rest, a Sabbath year. Covid-Tide.      


mawuli said...

Lovely cloud photo, 2 doves in flight or angel's wings.

Warren said...

Glad to see your post and get caught up on pilgrims. It’s gratifying to know some souls are pushing forward on their path and that your door is open. Bless you for that. I live 2 blocks from the Elder Care and work to blocks from the hospital in Kirkland WA that treated them. If the Covid didn’t make the world crazy enough, it’s 15 days until we (all on the planet) can exhale if we rid ourselves of this Nero of a president. Your news from Peacable really does help.

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G. Garcia said...

So good to find your post and hear from you again. I was worried about you. A Sabbath year. I like how that sounds. Greetings from Texas.

G. Garcia said...

What a pleasant surprise to good to hear from you again. I was worried about you. A Sabbath year. I like that. Greetings from Texas.

Bill W said...

Hi Rebeka, I’m from Pittsburgh, moved at 28 to Chicago. Ive been in Asheville, NC for 4 years now. Many people here have hiked and were disappointed not to return again this year to the Camino. Myself included, I walked the Norte and Primitivo in 2019 with my daughter having just turned 70. I really liked the Furnace Full of God. I have been meaning to visit your blog for awhile. I plugged it as well as the book in our WNC APOC Chapter newsletter a few months back. We have all been hungry for on the ground news from the Way. Thank you for giving us eyes and real feelings from the path. “Coved-tide” is a frightening prospect in 2021. I hope vaccines get dispersed in time to prevent.

Laura Taylor said...

Thank you for your beautiful posts, Rebekah. I found you via your recent YouTube interview with the Canadian Company of Pilgrim's Mary Virtue. I have ordered Furnace Full of God and can't wait to read it; I love your writing style. I walked the Camino last year for the first time with my girlfriend. We had been planning and training for it for 5 years for Sept-Oct 2020, and then COVID hit. Western Canada was in a low after our first wave and Spain was allowing Canadian travelers. I had been following the status of the Camino on Ivan's Camino Forum for six months and things were looking very positive with no outbreaks along the Camino or any area that we would be traveling through, so we decided to go - and I am so glad we did. I think we might have been two of the 22 pilgrims that you saw walking through Moratinos in your October 9th blog - we left Ledigos and walked through Moratinos later that morning on our way to Bercianos del Real. We weren’t carrying our backpacks because our feet were really suffering after a few 30+ kilometre walk days in the afternoon heat along the meseta so we shipped our backpacks ahead to the next albergue. The days when we saw the most pilgrims during our 32-day Camino we might have seen 20 people all day, including at the bars for our meals. There were no communal meals and we were forced to book private rooms for most of the way as the municipal and parochial albergues were closed. It was not the communal and global experience that we had been dreaming about, but in retrospect we feel so privileged to have experienced the Camino of "old times" that you blogged about. In spite of all of the challenges it was a blissful, meditative and healing experience through breathtaking countryside. We found all of the Spaniards to be warm and welcoming, and we experienced lots of trail magic along the way. The Camino loves you, hurts you, and begs you to come back and I am already planning my 2nd Camino. I remember the prayer flags and sweater-bombed trees in the plaza mayor in Moratinos, and the "hobbit-like" bodegas in the hills. We walked through early in the morning before anything was open but it was a stand-out community for us. On my second Camino I hope to spend more time there. I had also already planned to pick up litter along the Way - which we had done on our first Camino anyway, we found it shocking to see pilgrim litter along the Way as in Canada there’s an unspoken “pack it in, pack it out” rule in nature - but next time I plan to do more litter collection to do my part as a trail angel. It was cool to see your Ditch Pigs project in the interview with Mary Virtue. Thank you for the inspiration and validation. You are putting so much good out in the world.