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No-one writes about the hospitaleros.....


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014 I was told by Maria Teresa, hospitalera of the beautiful refugio in Tui. I was on my way out, the last, as always. We got talking, "Pilgrims should realise that we have families and another life" she said. She went on to tell me of a couple who had arrived by bus from Oviedo the day before who were outraged when she told them that they would have to wait for others to arrive before she would admit them. "We'll write to the Xunta de Galicia," they told her very rudely. "I hope they do," Marie Teresa said: "They will get the same answer as I gave them: "Peregrinos a pie, first, then con caballos, then con bici, then finally those with coches de apoyo. That is fair. I am not going to turn away someone who has walked 30 kms that day because two yet-to-be pilgrims think they have a right to beds before they have even walked a kilometer."
And she is right, of course. Perhaps the greatest lesson any of us can learn on the Camino is the humility to accept what we are given and not to expect anything and to put others before ourselves when there is a clear need. Certainly this has transpired to be my lesson on this Camino from Portugal. It is one I am still working on...but I still have 100 kms to go!
And now someone has written about the hospitaleros.....

Now that I have finally got interbet acces (thank you so much Concello de Poriño Biblioteca) I will try to get as much caught up on my blog as possible. SO MUCH to write about!
Tracy Saunders
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Deleted member 3000

Therese Fardo, Miradoux, Chemin de St. Jacques, at the gite "La Pause Verte"

Therese has welcomed pelerins into her home for decades. She collects sink water to recycle to her plants, so one must indulge the perpetual mess of the kitchen, but she is a gracious hostess and fantastic cook with much of the food being seasonal from her garden. An Air France flight steward, Sebastian, was so taken with her commitment to pilgrims after staying with her as a guest, that he returned for a few days to help after he finished his walk to Santiago, before having to return to work, and was there to greet pilgrims that day. He was at least tri-lingual, so was very valuable to the Scot, two Americans, Quebecoise, Swiss couple, French woman, and Spaniard during the dinner conversation.

Therese loaded four of us into her car before dinner and drove us 15 km to Lachapelle, a restored baroque chapel that is now a national historic site, but far enough off the beaten path that it gets few visitors. At one time the Chemin de St. Jacques passed by, but a re-routing has left the place high and dry. The extensively gilded interior was restored by the French government, and is as striking as any cathedral in Spain. The chapel docent gave an excellent tour.

After dinner in the evening, Therese guided her guests to the church in town for which she is the guardian of the key. She brought along a tape player, and sang hymns and Ultreia with the pilgrims that knew the words. She had a very nice voice, and Sebastian's baritone sang harmony.

Now someone has written about the hospitalera!!


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Deleted member 3000

Re: No-one writes about the hospitaleros..... Thérèse followup

Thérèse singing in the church of the next town to Miradoux: ... re=related

Thérèse talking about being a pilgrim (in French): ... re=related

She is a classic, alive, and immortal because of the internet! I think she cleaned up the sink area behind her in the interview just for the interview. She usually has buckets and tubs all over it collecting the plant-watering water.


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Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
And here's a photo that shows some of the many flowers she has nurtured outside her house:


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Active Member

I agree that the hospitaleros can be an important part of the Camino. I ahd at least one poor experience with a hospitalero whihc I am happy enough to forget. I also had a good experience whihch I do remember and which helped me when I was having a problem

I arrived at Castrojeriz with a "sprained" ankle. I stayed at the Casa Nostra whish seems to be in a several hundred year old home. The hospitalero, Juan(?), was very helpful. He helped me find a doctor, directed me to the farmacia and was ready to lend me his bike or car to get myself to the farmacia. When I decided to continue on the Camino but shorten it he gave me a ride to Fromista where I caught a bus.

He was quite busy but was helpful when I needed it. Much appreciated.

Sometimes I would take pictures of the hospitaleros (because I appreciated what they were doing) and I goit the impression that too many people came through absorbed in their own experiences and relating to the hospialeros as only people providing a service and not as part themselves of the Caminio experience.

They are part of our Camino experience and we theirs.

I do go on :)


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