thehealingpilgrim’s travelblog 39

23rd Jan Hontanas – Boadilla del Camino
I enjoyed the stay at Hontanas. It’s a nice Albergue run by a young Spanish lady. She had 2 other older ladies with her but i’m not quite sure what their job is there, perhaps they just like the company and help a bit for something to do. It was all good fun. Christian and i had a couple of glasses of wine together in the kitchen before going to sleep at about 10pm.
The next morning i set off alone and i felt pretty good and didn’t really stop until i got to a bar in Itero de la Vega 22 km away where i had something to eat and updated my blog for an hour or so.
The track these last few days on a lot of the stretches has been on wet, heavy clay. I’m not sore whether it clings to ones boots in an attempt to stop you making progress or whether it’s so tired of it’s surroundings that it can’t bear let go of it’s only chance of freedom from being just another bit of mud in a sea of mud. I just know it adds another 1kg of weight to each foot and a further 200g to the end of your stick. athe combination of the extra weight and the suck of the mud on your ankles is really wearing by the end of the day. You try in vain to find the least muddy way but you just have to accept that it’s everywhere and push on.

Tao – The movie!
A sparrow kept me company for a few minutes during the day. Beauty, grace and total harmony.
It was a bit blustery and the sparrow was banking and divivg here and there. With a flick of its wing tips it shot off in a different direction. An average Sparrow probably weighs ounces and you would think it would struggle to get anywhere in a stiff breeze, but they are totally at one with the elements. This little dude was like an artist in the air, darting here and there before being joined by 3 of his Sparrow buddies, What a show! the finalie was a joint landing on a barbed wire fence. Twiggy claws open. land perfectly at the same time, twiggy claws shut. Bam! not even the slightest wobble- nothing! Amazing!

When people talk to me about religion i used to always say “i’m not religious, more spiritual”, in fact i actually think i’m totally religious.
It occured to me today that my feelings on religion are a bit like this Camino. The pilgrims come from different countries but are heading for the same place and, i think with a common purpose. We respect each others way just as we would like them to respect our way and we try our best to be patient and helpful with any problems that might happen along the way.
I think for me religion is similar to this. People use a different path but are all heading in the same direction, trying to achieve the same thing. Enjoy your way and let others enjoy theirs and if on this difficult path someone needs your help or vice versa,  give it freely or accept it with thanks.

The Albergue in Boadilla del Camino is very welcoming and the first thing you see as you enter the town. The owner is Serafin from the Basque country and he is being helped there by Lucas from the Czech Republic. Serafin is passionate about his Albergue, he is tough, straight talking, determined, respectful yet humble and he expects to be treated in the same way. Lucas by contrast is calm, relaxed but totally capable and ready to do whatever is needed to make sure the Albergue Putzu is a success. They have built it up from a bit of a ruin. They are both ex pilgrims and are totally dedicated but have quite a bit of competition in the town. They are in the process of digging out the whole to install a swimming pool before the summer rush comes. They need a good summer to enable them to keep the Albergue open during the lean winter times.
I put to them the idea of me putting my Tipi in their garden or on the rest spot opposite. had no objections but said i must be willing to help out around the albergue as well. Seems fair. We will see.
Later that evening a friend of theirs named Jose arrived for a chat etc. He was clearly in great discomfort with a sore back which, after a while i offered to massage for him. Serafin insisted that he accept whatever help i could give. Jose lay on his front, on the sofa and i went to work. His back was very tight but eventually began to let go after about 1/2 hour of massage. He bought me one of Lucas’ hand made necklaces by way of payment. Serafin was very pleased that i had been able to help his friend and i was happy to be of some use.
Before i left the next morning, i left a note saying i hoped they would have a successful season nad left them a shell necklace each.

Sun 24th Jan Boadilla del Camino – Carrion de los Condes
I stopped off in Fromista at about11.30am for a coffee at Bar Manchego before saying some prayers at Inglesia San Pedro. I also asked for myself that i might be shown (and to be able to see) signs that would help me find MY WAY. About 30 mins later a car pulled along side me and asked if i would be happy to do an interview for the regional news. I agreed and the car drove on a little way to park in a safer place. By the time i reached the camera man and interviewer they had got everything set up. All i had to do was say my name, where i was from and why i was doing the camino in this, the Holy Year?
I said my 30 second piece, they thanked me and we parted company.
As i walked on, i felt disappointed with myself.
I kept thinking of the words to a song by Eminem called ‘Lose Yourself ‘. 
An opportunity had come to me to and i hadn’t been open enough to embrace it fully.
If i had another chance i would say something entirely different to the news crew.
Why didn’t i say these things when i had the opportunity?

30 mins later i saw the same news crew driving towards me.
Before i could think ihad jumped into the road and was flagging them down.
As the camera man wound down his window i explained how i had felt and that it seemed fortuitous that we should meet again. “would they mind if we rerecorded the interview and they could choose which one to air”.
They agreed and we set off together to find a suitable spot for part 2.
I said my name, where i was from and that i was here because a lot of the people from my city had asked me to take prayers with me to santiago because they don’t have the power to come themselves. I have the energy and so i have come on their behalf. I am planting seeds for them when i find special places to do so. I am carrying a lot of things. I have my rucksack on my back and the people in my heart, but sometimes the people carry me. Along the way i am shown many things, it’s the majic of the Camino. I write about these things and the people can also see that i am still going and i get nearer every day. My blogsite is, i have a lot of space to carry more prayers in my heart so if anyone who sees your program wants me to ask Santiago something they can write to me. Don’t worry if you don’t speak English, write to me in spanish and i will find someone to translate it for me and take it to Santiago, come on, i have space, lets’ go!
The interviewer touched me gently on the arm and smiled.
I thanked them for the opportunity, said see you later and went on my way.
I noticed the camera following me as i left this time.
That’s why i am here, i thought to myself.
As i turned the corner the track in front of my went on for miles and miles and on each side of the track, every 20 m or so there where concrete pillars with the Pilgrim shell sign of Santiago.
When i ask for your help you are always there.
If i need all these signs, i guess i must have been bimbling around with my eyes shut hey?
At that moment a song came on my MP3 player.
‘Fix you’ by Coldplay…….and so did the tears – my tears.


Posted from ES
posted Sun Jan 24, 2010

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