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Hospitaleros and Hospitaleras

Barbara

Active Member
#1
And those in hotels and pensions and hostals who go above and beyond their contract or duty.
I've got one shining example of a really helpful Hospitalero who I met yesterday, at the albergue at Betanzos. I'll bet they're are plenty more of you who have been helped in an unexpected way, and if so I thought it could be good to share. GOOD WORDS ONLY, please. A thread for kindness, if you like the idea.
So here is my tale of "above and beyond" Young lady from Japan on the Camino Ingles, not having done much walking, and alone on her first Camino got lost between Ferrol and Pontedeume and got to Pontedeume very late, having done a good deal more than she intended. Struggled on to Miño and Betanzos, and I arranged with her to share my room at Bruma. (My plan being a pick-up at half way with a return next day to continue) On arrival at Betanzos albergue it was clear she would have to stop, which is where the Hospitalero stepped in. He sorted out her taxi to join me, found a place for her bag, let her sleep in next morning, then carried her bag to the taxi stand in the afternoon and explained to the taxi driver where to go to meet me on the Camino. Thanks to his kindness and help she will be back next year to finish her Camino instead of going home in tears. She will see Santiago before she returns to Japan. I'm sure you will all have examples of Camino helpers, please share some feel good factor!
 

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JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Muxia - Finisterre 2014
StJPdP to Burgos 2015
Primitivo 2015
Porto -SDC 2016
Portuguese Senda Litoral 2016
Ingles 2016
#2
Warms your soul does it not?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#3
During the recent past totaling 450 cumulative nights in pilgrim albergues I have encountered innumerable helpful and kind hospitalero/as. However two very special women who graciously served November 2014 were exceptional.

Trudging on from Sahagun to El Burgo Ranero was COLD, bleak and solitary. During 5 hours only a handful of pilgrims passed by but all were battling the incessant wind and rain. With great relief I finally arrived at the simple adobe albergue Domenico Laffi and met the friendly hospitalera named Alicia "like Alice in Wonderland!" as she said.

Wonderland indeed! Alice who had just arrived herself would be resident hospitalera for the next two weeks but already had an open fire warming the downstairs common room (there was no other heat) and her lunch was cooking in the kitchen. One other soaked cold pilgrim, Carlos from Madrid, came in. Since it was Sunday and both bars and the village shop apparently closed Alice immediately set the table for three and graciously invited us both to share her meal. Thus the delicious HOT rice, vegs and salad was stretched with his cheese and my biscuits and bananas. In the spirit of Wonderland we all drank several steaming mugs of HOT sugared tea. Alice enjoyed recounting her many camino memories while serving as hospitalera. I sensed that wherever she might be it would quickly be her 'home'; across the years the camino had become her way of life.

Monday at dawn the rain had ceased and the pale blue sky was luminous with that special glow of an early medieval painting; at last the day was perfect for walking! I walked on to Mansilla de las Mulas east of Leon where in the municipal albergue another special hospitalera, Laura, has served for many years; she and her father manage the place together. Over time much space has been re-purposed; what was a shower is storage, new showers are now on the patio and a tiny entry level dorm has become the supplementary dining area. Many potted plants brighten the interior and electric heaters provide warmth during cold nights. Most pilgrims cook and congregate in the comfortable kitchen where Laura offers a multitude of tips re shops, routes or blister care, etc. She greets each pilgrim personally and always gives me a big hug remembering my name and earlier visits.

Thus in both these albergues two outgoing gracious women each in her distinctive way have created 'pilgrim homes' with much ambiance and soul. All who stopped are richer for the experience.
 
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