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The Barber of Sarria


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Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
In the main street of Sarria there is an old barber shop. Joseph Prado inherited the business from his father who died when he was 10 years.
Even though 50 years have passed, the local maintains the original terrazzo floor and at the edges, where they have not stepped on the old tiles they still shine. Black tile covers half the wall. The red chairs are cranked to gain height. On the shelves lie relics of old aftershaves - Agua Brava, Flo, Male Dandy or Brumel. He also keeps razors that are not used today "except for emergencies".
There were bad times especially after the war. But the business started to grow in the 1990s with the increase of pilgrims.
“I have catered for Japanese, Australians, New Zealanders, have clients from the USA, Europe and including Germans”
The barber of Sarria charges 10 euros. “Most ask for their hair to be cut very short – a number one or two."
"In reality I should retire, but I'm very comfortable. I am not bored. Here in the barbershop I have everything, television, people, news papers. What would I do if I retired?”
A fortnight ago he received a couple from Aragon of 83 and 84 years old, who come every year. "I thought they might not come this year but I was wrong. They spoke of a man 90 years who they encountered in Cebreiro."
Joseph envies and admires the many pilgrims of a certain age.
"Those of us here do not move because we believe that we are going to tire. Those people have the world, they are adventurers.”
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