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A Great Kindness in El Ganso

Past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
September 21, 2021, a week or so after I injured my left ankle, I was still (stupidly) trying to walk as much as possible and to stick to my planned itinerary.

I set off from Astorga that fine morning wearing compression wrap on my foot and using (first-time ever!) Nordic trekking poles. They didn't help much. The foot was complaining by the time I passed the Ecce Homo chapel.... And by the time I got to El Ganso I was a wreck....

I staggered into the nice restaurante next door to the (closed) Cowboy Bar, got a cold drink, and asked the manager about bus service from El Ganso to Rabanal. "Oh , yes! In fact, there will be a bus along any minute now! Hurry! Hurry!" He pointed me to the rear entrance to his restaurante, and to the small quiet plaza beyond.

Twenty/thirty long minutes passed.... Nothing.

An elderly local man on a near-by bench watched me sitting there. He finally came over and said "Good morning..... Are you alright?" I explained the situation. He said, "You've been misinformed, Father. There will be no bus today." We chatted pleasantly . "I suggest this," he said. "I will drive you to Rabanal in my car. And you will pray for me at the shrine of the Apostol."

He did, and I did. ... Deo gratias.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
September 21, 2021, a week or so after I injured my left ankle, I was still (stupidly) trying to walk as much as possible and to stick to my planned itinerary.

I set off from Astorga that fine morning wearing compression wrap on my foot and using (first-time!) Nordic trekking poles. They didn't help much. The foot was complaining by the time I passed the Ecce Homo chapel.... And by the time I got to El Ganso I was a wreck.... I staggered into the nice restaurante next door to the (closed) Cowboy Bar, got a cold drink, and asked the manager about bus service from El Ganso to Rabanal. "Oh , yes! In fact, there will be a bus along any minute now! Hurry! Hurry!" He pointed me to the street on the side opposite from the Cowboy Bar, and I went out.

Nothing. Twenty/thirty long minutes passed....

An elderly local man on a near-by bench watched me sitting there. He finally came over and said "Good morning..... Are you alright?" I explained the situation. He said, "You've been misinformed. There will be no bus today." We chatted pleasantly . "I suggest this," he said. "I will drive you to Rabanal in my car. And you will pray for me at the shrine of the Apostol." He did, and I did.

Deo gratias.
Beautiful.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
This is what is meant by “Santiago works / helps in strange ways…”

Camino magic, this sort of serendipity happens regularly on all the Camino routes. It testifies to the Divinity lurking in each of us.

It also reminds me of the gospel reading for today, 31 October - All Hallows’ Eve (aka Halloween), and the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time for Catholics and many others. In this passage from Mark’s gospels, an overly clever person tries to trip Jesus up by asking him which are the greatest, most important commandments.

He replies (paraphrasing here): “Love God with all your mind, heart and soul. This is followed by the second greatest commandment - love your neighbor as yourself.”

The provocateur was disarmed by this. End of story.

Not trying to go religious in this thread. I am just stating this to support the basic “golden rule” nature of most pilgrims I have met over the thousands kilometers of various Camino routes. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It is a fact. There are Camino angels everywhere and everyday. Be kind and generous to all you meet. It ALWAYS comes back to you - very much like karma.

I speak from direct experience. Also, this is how I try to live my life daily, even when not on Camino. It really does make life easier and filled with more satisfaction.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Ah, what a great story! This is the first thing I read this morning, and what I read is always special to me! Lovely! And tsk, tsk, Rappahanock-- you should NOT be on that foot, and I hope you're much better now. So glad you were on Camino, good sir.
 
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meazara

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
A wonderful report from the Camino. Thank you for sharing, And you headed to Ramanal where Isabelle in Albergue de Pillar provided a safe haven to me for four days with much tenderness snd care while I recovered from an injury. I hope that wonderful village affords you the same.
 

Paul Roby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 France :-)
2019 Portuguese Never happened :-(
This is what is meant by “Santiago works / helps in strange ways…”

Camino magic, this sort of serendipity happens regularly on all the Camino routes. It testifies to the Divinity lurking in each of us.

It also reminds me of the gospel reading for today, 31 November - All Hallows’ Eve (aka Halloween), and the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time for Catholics and many others. In this passage from Mark’s gospels, an overly clever person tries to trip Jesus up by asking him which are the greatest, most important commandments.

He replies (paraphrasing here): “Love God with all your mind, heart and soul. This is followed by the second greatest commandment - love your neighbor as yourself.”

The provocateur was disarmed by this. End of story.

Not trying to go religious in this thread. I am just stating this to support the basic “golden rule” nature of most pilgrims I have met over the thousands kilometers of various Camino routes. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It is a fact. There are Camino angels everywhere and everyday. Be kind and generous to all you meet. It ALWAYS comes back to you - very much like karma.

I speak from direct experience. Also, this is how I try to live my life daily, even when not on Camino. It really does make life easier and filled with more satisfaction.

Hope this helps.

Tom
Tom, I am hoping you meant 31st October....
 

danielle aird

La vie est belle
Past OR future Camino
May 2018; September 2018; May 2019; Sept (2019)
September 21, 2021, a week or so after I injured my left ankle, I was still (stupidly) trying to walk as much as possible and to stick to my planned itinerary.

I set off from Astorga that fine morning wearing compression wrap on my foot and using (first-time ever!) Nordic trekking poles. They didn't help much. The foot was complaining by the time I passed the Ecce Homo chapel.... And by the time I got to El Ganso I was a wreck.... I staggered into the nice restaurante next door to the (closed) Cowboy Bar, got a cold drink, and asked the manager about bus service from El Ganso to Rabanal. "Oh , yes! In fact, there will be a bus along any minute now! Hurry! Hurry!" He pointed me to the rear entrance to his restaurante, and to the small quiet plaza beyond.

Twenty/thirty long minutes passed.... Nothing.

An elderly local man on a near-by bench watched me sitting there. He finally came over and said "Good morning..... Are you alright?" I explained the situation. He said, "You've been misinformed, Father. There will be no bus today." We chatted pleasantly . "I suggest this," he said. "I will drive you to Rabanal in my car. And you will pray for me at the shrine of the Apostol."

He did, and I did. ... Deo gratias.
What a lovely story. I had a similar experience this past October. I also injured my foot and in O'Cebreiro, I met a Spanish woman named (no kidding) Maria del Camino. Maria who is in her 50's is taking time off to dedicate herself to helping pilgrims in distress along the Camino. She drove me to Filoval and the next day to Triacastela. At the same time, she was taking care of LLuc, a writer from Majorca with also an injury. She drove him to the airport. Maria drives along the Camino and sometimes has to sleep in her car out of which she has taken the back seats. What a wonderful memory. Maria and I hope to travel around Europe together someday. The Camino is full of wonderful memories. Back home, my hiking companion and I were able to help a young man from Jamaica who was quite lost and very stressed in Toronto. He said we made him shed tears of joy. Someday you will have the opportunity to help someone, we told him. Kindness is to be passed on. Another time, I was able to pay the 2 euros for a woman who had no change (just a 20 Euro note) on the bus to the airport. The driver told her she would have to get off the bus. I will miss my flight, she said, in great distress. I will pay for you, I said. And as I did it, I remembered that someone had done that for me once when I arrived from Europe to Canada and had no change for the bus downtown Toronto...
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
September 21, 2021, a week or so after I injured my left ankle, I was still (stupidly) trying to walk as much as possible and to stick to my planned itinerary.

I set off from Astorga that fine morning wearing compression wrap on my foot and using (first-time ever!) Nordic trekking poles. They didn't help much. The foot was complaining by the time I passed the Ecce Homo chapel.... And by the time I got to El Ganso I was a wreck....

I staggered into the nice restaurante next door to the (closed) Cowboy Bar, got a cold drink, and asked the manager about bus service from El Ganso to Rabanal. "Oh , yes! In fact, there will be a bus along any minute now! Hurry! Hurry!" He pointed me to the rear entrance to his restaurante, and to the small quiet plaza beyond.

Twenty/thirty long minutes passed.... Nothing.

An elderly local man on a near-by bench watched me sitting there. He finally came over and said "Good morning..... Are you alright?" I explained the situation. He said, "You've been misinformed, Father. There will be no bus today." We chatted pleasantly . "I suggest this," he said. "I will drive you to Rabanal in my car. And you will pray for me at the shrine of the Apostol."

He did, and I did. ... Deo gratias.
That does it. I'm getting a priest's collar.
 

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