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Waiting for pilgrims in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hi All,
Phil is back in Spain and walking to his albergue assignment. He will be in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos as a hospitalero from Sept 15-30. I can't go along this year as I am working at my university job and my mother has not been well, but he will be walking the Camino before and after his time at the albergue. Tonight he is in Tardajos outside of Burgos at another one of the Hos Vol albergues and he says so far he is the only pilgrim. I don't know if he will be posting along the way, but I can let you know how things are going. He did have quite a time getting to Spain with cancelled flights and missed connections, but he is there now and things are going well so far.
Janet
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Good news, at least half of it. I am sorry that you can’t join him, Janet, but I also know the pull of caregiving.

Tonight he is in Tardajos outside of Burgos at another one of the Hos Vol albergues and he says so far he is the only pilgrim.

Do let us know how things are going, it is always fun to read updates. I have a good friend currently walking who should be leaving Burgos today and plans to go to Hontanas, I think. He tells me that the crunch he found after Pamplona has dwindled, but that it is still a good idea to reserve a day before to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Buen camino to Phil, Laurie
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I hope that he enjoys his stint as a hospitalero at Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. I really enjoyed my stay there two years ago. I hadn't planned on taking that alternative route, but the night before when I was in San Nicolás del Real Camino a friend from home emailed me to let me know that a mutual friend was serving as a hospitalera "in a small village on the Meseta." I feared that I had already passed it, but when I looked at the map I realized that it was a good stopping point for my next day's walk!
I really liked that cozy little albergue and it was so nice to see a friendly face from home!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
We worked out a walking schedule for him before he left home so he will be walking "slowly" and probably staying an extra night in Sahagun before the last push to the albergue. He is happy that people can understand his Spanish and that he can understand them a little, too. (We've been taking lessons for the past few years.)

He had dinner with another friend in Burgos last night who is in charge of the albergue at Granon. She said updates are done there to showers, etc., however, due to the current restrictions, that things would not be the same. They are not open yet, but she said if they did open, pilgrims could not cook together or be allowed in the kitchen at all. There could be no hugging at the meditation service. She asked Phil to pray in Santiago for a sign for her of when it will be time to open their doors again.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He is going to call ahead to reserve in Hornillos for tomorrow night since it is a stage and may be busier. He's walking about 10 Km per day right now and has plenty of time. He is 70 (will be 71 next month) and prefers to carry his own pack which includes his travel CPAP machine. He did say there are some other pilgrims in Tardajos, however, because the albergue where he is located does not have wifi or take reservations, it may be overlooked by some pilgrims. It is also a donativo which is still confusing for some pilgrims. He said the private albergue where he had a beer was busier so he may be alone at his albergue tonight, but there are other pilgrims about.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
We worked out a walking schedule for him before he left home so he will be walking "slowly" and probably staying an extra night in Sahagun before the last push to the albergue. He is happy that people can understand his Spanish and that he can understand them a little, too. (We've been taking lessons for the past few years.)

He had dinner with another friend in Burgos last night who is in charge of the albergue at Granon. She said updates are done there to showers, etc., however, due to the current restrictions, that things would not be the same. They are not open yet, but she said if they did open, pilgrims could not cook together or be allowed in the kitchen at all. There could be no hugging at the meditation service. She asked Phil to pray in Santiago for a sign for her of when it will be time to open their doors again.
How sad to hear. I guess the conversation about Grañón was with Marina.

Grañón was my first hospitero posting in 2012 and I have such fine memories of our communal dinners breakfasts and morning goodbyes (with hugs). May this all return one day.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Yes, it was with Marina. Phil and I were hospitaleros there over Christmas and New Years in 2018. It was a magical experience and I think there may be a thread about our time there somewhere although I can't find the old "hospitaleros" sub-forum now. All winter and spring he had been a part of a "Zoom" meditation Oracion once a week with former hospitaleros organized by Marina. She also coordinated the hospitalero "Encuentro" for 2020 on Zoom so he was glad to see her in person again.

Phil is in Hornillos tonight at the Meeting Point (I think it is called). He had a nice walk with a couple from the US. The night before he met some men about his age and had a good conversation. He was the only pilgrim at the albergue in Tardajos so I think any bed shortage must be from waves of folks starting on the same days and wanting to stay in the same towns. Tardajos is definately not on a stage.

Hornillos is a stage, but he had no trouble getting a bed. He had sent an email in the morning requesting a reservation, but said he thought they did not check it as they did not have any reservation for him when he got there. It was not a problem as there were plenty of beds apparently.

He will go on to Hontanas tomorrow. He is taking short days and that seems to work for him. (He's had a few joint surgeries since we walked in 2016. ) He's wearing trail runners this time and that also seems to be working for him. He got everything including his CPAP and big bunch of medications in a smaller pack this time and it weighed about 18 pounds.

He does have a down sleeping bag (Montbell weighs 16 ounces) and a silk liner bag. He said he was cold last night and glad to have his down bag. I think the CPAP contributes to feeling cold since this travel model does not have a heated hose.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Just a note about this travel CPAP. In 2016 when we walked, he had one that has had so much abuse from camping and traveling since that it is now being held together with packing tape. We also live in Laramie, WY, now at 7,200+ ft in elevation so his pressure settingshave changed alot. For this trip he got a new "auto" adjusting Z2 travel CPAP. The unit itself weighs only 10 ounces, but you have to have a lot of other stuff to make it work (hoses, mask, chin strap, plugin stuff and Euro adapter). Because of that he has a special stuff sack and it takes up as much room in his pack as his clothes or sleepng bag. Sometimes other pilgrims who need a CPAP are interested in this kind of detail.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
If I recall correctly, the albergue in Calzadilla de los Hermanitos has been updated since I visited in 2013 while a hospi in El Burgo Ranero which was long overdue. There is not much in the village but the little town store is a gem and the church deserves a visit. May Phil have a wonderful stay.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
It appeared as of last week on the gronze website that Via Trajana was closed. It looks open again now. Not sure if it is pandemic related or if they were just on vacation. Phil will find out when he gets there I suppose. There is one tienda there in town although I understand there was a different one that closed early in the pandemic that was pretty epic. We'll find out more when Phil arrives. His welcome letter says he is not under any circumstances to cook communal meals for pilgrims as that is competition to the eateries in town and the local store. That's good because Phil is a bit of a one or two trick pony when it comes to cooking. He makes a great lentil soup and knows one or maybe two other dishes, but he does not enjoy cooking that much. THis albergue can sleep up to 12 people with the pandemic restrictions and that would be two people to a room I believe.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil is in Hontanas tonight. His big accomplishment today was that he actually "passed" someone walking slower than he was! He is staying at Juan de Yepes-Santa Brigida. We stayed there 5 years ago and when Phil told the owner, he gave Phil a tour of what will be the "Roman Bath" on the property which will open next spring. Again no trouble finding a bed. He did not reserve ahead, but he isn't walking very far or very fast. He is usually there pretty early in the day and things have not been booked up so far. Tomorrow he will go to Castrojeriz which has quite lot of albergues and other lodging.

Another kind of funny thing was that he spoke to the owner in Spanish when he arrived and the owner told him to speak English as it was "easier" so he spoke English to the man, but Spanish to the female hospitalera. Things seem to be going fine. The church was open so he went in and prayed.

Yesterday while I was feeling kind of sorry for myself for having to stay at home, I found and reread our old albergue threads from Zamora, Granon, and Estella. It is a LONG holiday weekend here so I am trying to keep myself busy. I have my Spanish homework to do today and will walk up to my office and do some work there, too.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I asked Phil how many pilgrims were at his albergue tonight. He said he thought all the private rooms were booked (and I think there are four at this albergue), but that in his bunk room there were only 6 pilgrims and that even with the pandemic limitations (bunks here are 6-10 ft apart) there was plenty of room for more people. There are 14 sets of bunks in his room. Everyone who wants a bottom bunk can have one. He said he saw about 20 pilgrims today walking. Maybe people are skipping the Meseta or there just are not as many people as usual for September in this location? He said last night it was almost all English speaking pilgrims and tonight almost all French pilgrims.

He also said that for people who are having trouble reserving to keep in mind that if you are using Booking.com that only a certain number of beds at each albergue can be reserved that way. Often there are additional beds even if Booking says there are not. The best way is just to call or ask someone to call for you. He said most of the albergue owners know each other in these small towns and will be glad to help you out. It does look like Itero de la Vega (coming up in 2 days) does not have that many beds so he will likely call tomorrow to one of the two that is currently open per the Gronze website. Although Booking.com is convenient, he almost never uses them because he knows they charge the albergue owner a fee.
 

trecile

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Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Unfortunately, the little store that had been there forever is now closed.
There's information in this thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-interview-with-shopkeeper.67459/#post-847036
And this article:
Yes, this is the awesome little store. There is another store there now. Phil will tell us about it in a few days.
 
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Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
We have happy memories of eating lunch (all by ourselves - not another pilgrim or village resident in sight anywhere) at the albergue in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos in Nov. 2019. After lunch we wandered around and stumbled upon the wonderful display of Roman artifacts in the little park by the church and a noria wheel in the same area. I hope Phil enjoys every minute there, and that you can absorb some of the atmosphere from afar. Thanks for keeping us updated.
Elaine
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am a little confused about Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. So maybe someone can jog my memory, which is having a hard time with facts from 2004. I remember Calzadilla as the town at the end of a 12 km stretch from Sahagún with no services and a picnic table in the middle. The albergue on the far edge of town had a small round seating area that had stairs up and down and seemed precariously situated vis a vis the location of the beds upstairs. The hospitalero was reported to have had an affair with Shirley MacLaine. Is my memory right?

If so, I am confused by what I see on Gronze, which shows that the route to Calzadilla is no longer the primary route. I also remember, or think I remember, that from Calzadilla we went on to Burgo el Ranero from there.

Have things been totally re-routed? Am I remembering the wrong place?
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
If so, I am confused by what I see on Gronze, which shows that the route to Calzadilla is no longer the primary route. I also remember, or think I remember, that from Calzadilla we went on to Burgo el Ranero from there.

Have things been totally re-routed? Am I remembering the wrong place?
Right place. Though I can't speak for Shirley.

It was quite different when I walked in 2015, and the route was considered to be an alternative - the crowd walked on the senda next to the road, which seemed nuts to me. We met back up in Burgo Ranero Reliegos on our way to Mansilla de las Mulas.
(Corrected in an edit.)
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I am a little confused about Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. So maybe someone can jog my memory, which is having a hard time with facts from 2004. I remember Calzadilla as the town at the end of a 12 km stretch from Sahagún with no services and a picnic table in the middle. The albergue on the far edge of town had a small round seating area that had stairs up and down and seemed precariously situated vis a vis the location of the beds upstairs. The hospitalero was reported to have had an affair with Shirley MacLaine. Is my memory right?

If so, I am confused by what I see on Gronze, which shows that the route to Calzadilla is no longer the primary route. I also remember, or think I remember, that from Calzadilla we went on to Burgo el Ranero from there.

Have things been totally re-routed? Am I remembering the wrong place?
Laurie,
Perhaps this marker will help show the relationship .
Carpe diem!

146Route signs.jpg
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Oh, sorry, @peregrina2000 I mispoke!
Checking a map, I see it was Reliegos, not EBR! But it'd be easy to turn left on the LE-6620 - the crossroad you get to just a little way outside of Calzadilla - and end up in EBR.
Here's the spot. Go straight to Reliegos, turn left for El Burgo Ranero:
IMG_7868e.jpg
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil is in Castrojeriz staying at the municipal. He says it is pretty hot and kind of humid. This is probably a comparison to where we live in Laramie where the humidity is usually 10% or less and relatively cool. He stopped in at San Anton and spoke with the hospitalera who was from Russia. She had been there six days now. He's calling ahead to Itero de la Vega for tomorrow since two of the four albergues are showing as closed on gronze.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
The Spanish lessons are paying off apparently. Phil said today the hospitalera brought an Irishman to him and asked him to translate what he was saying to her. It was something about the signs pointing to the municipal albergue being too small. She is a volunteer and she said it is apparently political that the signs are so small. Anyway, Phil was pleased with the efforts and that she thought his Spanish was good enough to make a translation. He also called on his own for his reservation tomorrow and was able to understand and be understood. Our language teacher Christina will be so proud.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil is in Itero de la Vega at El Hogar del Peregrino. He has a small private room for 12 euros. The other rooms are doubles I believe. This pension type albergue is next to the Supermercado and he will also have dinner there tonight as well. The same couple own the albergue and the store. The wifi isn't good, but he has data. Last night he had supper with some Americans in Castrojeriz. He also met a woman from Wales and a man from England. He's not sure who is staying in the other rooms at El Hogar where he is tonight, but will likely find out at supper.

Tomorrow he plans to go on to Poblacion de Campos so a slightly longer walk than his usual 10 km, but still not too far. He's working up to the longer walk to Carrion and then the long stretch past Carrion to Calzadilla de la Cueza. No blisters although he said his feet are little tender after the up and down hill of Alto de Mostelares.
 
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Only a little?
Off topic, sorry, Janet...

Thank you for chanelling Phil's progress reports as he day by day gets closer to CdH - they are a delight to read. It must feel a bit strange being on the other end of his missives, rather than in the middle of them!
 
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Bala

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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Today Phil is in Itero de la Vega at El Hogar del Peregrino. He has a small private room for 12 euros. The other rooms are doubles I believe. This pension type albergue is next to the Supermercado and he will also have dinner there tonight as well. The same couple own the albergue and the store. The wifi isn't good, but he has data. Last night he had supper with some Americans in Castrojeriz. He also met a woman from Wales and a man from England. He's not sure who is staying in the other rooms at El Hogar where he is tonight, but will likely find out at supper.

Tomorrow he plans to go on to Poblacion de Campos so a slightly longer walk than his usual 10 km, but still not too far. He's working up to the longer walk to Carrion and then the long stretch past Carrion to Calzadilla de la Cueza. No blisters although he said his feet are little tender after the up and down hill of Alto de Mostelares.
I stayed there in 2018, great memories. Really nice couple who ran the albergue and supermercado, and they prepared a nice, homemade dinner.

Thanks for keeping us updated on Phil's camino, and all the best to him in his time as hospitalero. I thoroughly enjoyed your posting on your past times as hospis, and looking forward to reading about his current venture. (Edit for spelling).
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Really nice couple who ran the albergue and supermercado, and they prepared a nice, homemade dinner.
We had a really bad connection by WhatsApp today so did not talk long, but he did say the dinner was delicious! He also said he made a successful phone reservation for tomorrow and had a chat with a Spanish peregrina over a cold drink. He's so pleased about his ability to speak and be understood in Spanish.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil walked to La Finca just outside of Poblacion de Campos today. We had stayed there in 2016 shortly after they opened and the food was very good. The beds are in little alcoves with curtains so it does feel more private. When we spoke it was just after 2 p.m. in Spain and he was the only peregrino so far. He also signed up for supper. He said there were more locals than the usual pilgrim place which I think is to be expected due to the pandemic.

He said he saw very few pilgrims today, but I reminded him he stayed in the middle of a traditional stage last night and then walked just a little further than Fromista where one might expect most pilgrims to stay. Tomorrow he will go on to Carrion de los Condes. Originally he planned to stay at Casa de Espiritualidad Nuestra Senora de Belen as they have little private rooms, but I think he is going to try to stay instead at Santa Maria. Again we stayed there in 2016 and the warm welcome, singing, and services were so lovely. I reminded him that there may be no singing or shared supper due to the pandemic, but he was going to give it a go.

Last time at Mass, one of the sisters asked him to bring the prayer basket forward at the proper time and he broke down in tears he was so touched. We are not Catholic and he spoke no Spanish then, but we are Christians and he felt very cared for by the gesture.

He's getting every closer to his assigned albergue and he is taking every kindness into account to fuel his soul. He says being a pilgrim can remind the hospitalero of how important the smallest and simplest things can be.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil is in Carrion de los Condes staying at the Santa Maria parroquial albergue. Sadly the singing sisters are not there, but he said two nice young men were serving as hospis. He said they made him take off his shoes and pack and sprayed everything with disinfectant before he came into the registration area. He has not seen this kind of treatment to date, but it is similar to what his instructions say for his albergue in CdlH. It is 10 Euros this year at Santa Maria with no supper (was 5 euros with supper in 2016).

He was going to have a Menu del Dia for lunch and then eat light after Mass and before going to bed. It was market day so he was able to get some fresh fruit for the long stretch tomorrow. He's doing laundry in the albergue machines (5 euros for both wash and dry). The wifi isn't very good, but he had good data service outside near a bar. He's also in search of a bar of soap today as the small one he started with is done. In the past the cheapest soap comes in a package of 3 bars so we usually take one and put the other two in the donation box. Who knows what he will find when the stores reopen though.

Tomorrow he thinks he will stay in Caldazilla de la Cueza. There could be a bottleneck there as only one albergue and one hotel are open so he may try to reserve. The muni appears to be closed per the Gronze. I think the following day he will either stay in Morotinos or San Nicholas. Rebecca Scott lives in Morotinos, but I read on another thread that she might not be in town at this time. Phil had hoped he might get to meet her as we have enjoyed her books and applaud her good Camino works. (Phil has always longed to attend her Ditch Pigs clean up efforts.) I might try to PM her to see if she might be around for a coffee that day. On the other hand in San Nicholas is Casa Barrunta which is a wonderful restaurant. Last time were there there Phil had tripe soup (something he would never eat at home), pot roast and potatoes (his favorite at home) and ice cream with whiskey poured over (Whiskey cake). Pretty yummy.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil went to Mass tonight. It was not the pilgrim's mass at Santa Maria, but a regular Mass at a different church. He did go up for a "blessing only" at communion since we are not Catholic. He had a nice evening visiting with some men from Great Britain afterwards. He also bought new belt today at the "Pilgrim Store" across from Santa Maria Church. He said there were other Pilgrims inside trying to buy new shoes and hats. One peregrina told him her current shoes were "terrible".

He said that today he walked the Camino with a woman who did not want to stop to look at things and just wanted to get to Carrion (maybe her name was Janet?) Tomorrow he says he will make an intention to "walk his own Camino" so he won't miss anything. I told him I thought the trek to CdlC is pretty featureless, but maybe that is because when I walk I am going from point A to point B with only a coffee stop in-between. For that reason, I may not recall anything that would have been "neat to see". If there is something, then Phil will find it. The perks of a solo Camino for him.
 
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When I started school my teacher said I was a lovely child but I spent most of my day staring out the window daydreaming now 45yrs later I share Phil’s hope, even just a few days walking my own camino, staring out the window daydreaming and at the same time looking forward to hearing people’s story over a glass of wine I just hope I’m not putting too much expectation on my journey. Buen camino
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil arrived at Caldazilla de la Cueza. He had called the albergue from Carrion and they had a bed for him, but it was in the attic without electricity for his CPAP. The hospitalero called over and got him a discounted room at the Hostel so he has a private room with his own bath for 30 euros. The bartender also got him a "frosted mug" for his beer so he was happy. It is the little things isn't it. He was excited to have real towels and sheets again and there was a real bathtub.

Today he did walk with some new found friends from Carrion. Now that he is walking a little further each day, he's not meeting a whole new group every night. He did walk his own Camino and the group simply stopped when he wanted to take a picture or stop for a break. The four of them stopped at the Cafe Mobile for a break and everyone got ready to go on when he was ready to go on.
 
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Phil walked to La Finca just outside of Poblacion de Campos today. We had stayed there in 2016 shortly after they opened and the food was very good. The beds are in little alcoves with curtains so it does feel more private. When we spoke it was just after 2 p.m. in Spain and he was the only peregrino so far. He also signed up for supper. He said there were more locals than the usual pilgrim place which I think is to be expected due to the pandemic.

He said he saw very few pilgrims today, but I reminded him he stayed in the middle of a traditional stage last night and then walked just a little further than Fromista where one might expect most pilgrims to stay. Tomorrow he will go on to Carrion de los Condes. Originally he planned to stay at Casa de Espiritualidad Nuestra Senora de Belen as they have little private rooms, but I think he is going to try to stay instead at Santa Maria. Again we stayed there in 2016 and the warm welcome, singing, and services were so lovely. I reminded him that there may be no singing or shared supper due to the pandemic, but he was going to give it a go.

Last time at Mass, one of the sisters asked him to bring the prayer basket forward at the proper time and he broke down in tears he was so touched. We are not Catholic and he spoke no Spanish then, but we are Christians and he felt very cared for by the gesture.

He's getting every closer to his assigned albergue and he is taking every kindness into account to fuel his soul. He says being a pilgrim can remind the hospitalero of how important the smallest and simplest things can be.
Janet, you know I follow your thread, and am so glad to see Phil is doing so well. Please, may I say that if Phil wants a blessing, he only needs to walk up to the altar, fold his arms and gesture for the priest to bless him if the said priest doesn't get the message! Whoever looks for a blessing, may they receive it! Intention is the key. Greetings to Phil, and to your good self!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Thank you, Kirkie. He said he did have some trouble following the homily in Spanish and said even the scripture was a bit fast for him although he said he was familiar with the passage in English He tries to go to church whenever there is a service although it seems with the pandemic that services are more rare this year. Fewer opportunities for pilgrim Mass although still lots of time for prayer and reflection when walking.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He had a good day in Caldazilla de la Cueza. He met an American peregrina while out looking for the tienda. She was at the albergue, but came to the hotel to have supper with Phil and his three walking friends from GB today. Phil cautiously ordered a fish dish for supper. The last time he ordered fish on the Camino in 2016 it ended our Camino in Melide. He had a terrible case of food poisoning after a fish supper that ended our walking after 50+ days. 😢 Tomorrow he's going to Morotinos to see if he can meet some of the Peaceable Kingdom gang for a beer or coffee. His walking friends will move on to Sahagun or beyond. He still has plenty of time before he must be in Hermanillos.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil arrived at Morotinos today after using both "variants" between Caldazilla de la Cueza and Morotinos. Phil said the walk to Morotinos was pleasant and quiet. Shaded on the first variant and sunny on the second, but both were away from the road and senda. He stopped and had a coffee con leche in Ledigos and spoke to an Irishman who was on a "rented" bike. The bike was rented in Burgos and had a ruined tire before the first town and had to be pushed back to Burgos for repairs. The gentleman said he had to carry both bike and paniers over piles of rocks on the traditional camino foot route and that he was now traveling mostly by road since he could not afford to lose another tire and more tubes with limited bike repair services and supplies in the small towns on the Meseta.

Phil is staying at the San Bruno albergue in Morotinos. As of mid-afternoon, only he and three Spanish peregrinas had checked in. He said the albergue is really lovely with a beautiful garden and foot bath. It is run by the Italian confraternity. He paid for his room, evening meal, breakfast and laundry and it was 33 Euros. After getting his clothing washed and hung out he planned to try to find the Peaceable Kingdom and call in to see if Paul and/or Paddy wanted to have a coffee or a beer. Rebekah Scott is apparently speaking at a conference elsewhere in Spain, but she told me to encourage him to seek out Paddy and Paul to say "Hello".
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil popped in to visit with Paul. Paddy was resting so he and Paul chatted for an hour or so about being hospitaleros and the Camino.

This evening a wonderful Cena was prepared by Chef Anna with Italian Pasta primero, lomo and ensalada mixta segundo, and some kind of deliscious home baked tart for postre. Phil said he enjoyed his conversation and laughter with the three Spanish peregrinas and they were patient and helpful with his language skills. Another American pilgrim who had been injured and was advised by a doctor to take 5 days rest joined them. The albergue host will allow her to stay with her doctors note for 5 days. She had taken a taxi from Burgos so that when her five days ended, she would still be on schedule.

Tomorrow he will be in Sahagun and will stay at the Albergue de Peregrinos de Santa Cruz if there is availability. He has still had no real difficulty getting a bed . After tomorrow he will have a few days to kill so he is considering next steps.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Oops! May be a change of plans! Phil sent a text message tonight that he believes he left his phone charger at CdlC! I suggested a few options. He has plenty of time before he has to be at his albergue. He can call back to the hostel from last night and see if they have his charger then either walk or cab back to get it
If they don't have it, he may need to bus into Leon to buy one and then back. We will see what he decides to do tomorrow.

Leaving the chargers at Orrison was the first real spat we probably ever had during our 2016 Camino. I blamed him and he blamed me. We arrived at Roncesvalles. Phil went out for a beer after Mass with some German girls and I went to sleep. I awoke to him ripping through my pack just before 10 pm looking for the phone/kindle charger. At Orrison I had been up and ready to walk at 6:30 while he dawdled around until 8 am. Neither of us apparently noticed the chargers still in the wall socket. I was already mad because he was so late arising and we barely spoke all day.

At Roncesvales we realized we had no way to charge the devices and again spoke very little for a few days until we finally reached Pamplona where we bought a 5 euro charger at an Asian Bazaar. So stupid looking back that I am so impatient. So many lessons learned on a Camino. Losing a charger is not the end of the world and should not be a reason to argue with your beloved. Life goes on. But I would be sad not to hear his voice everyday if he can't get a replacement before the albergue. We will see what he decides to do.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil was ready and heading out for Sahagun when he had a chat with the hospitaleros in Morotinos. One phoned back to the hostal where he thought he had left his charger, but it had not been found or turned in. He was planning to walk on to Sahagun and hoped to find an Aisian Bazaar of some kind to get a new one, however, he was reminded by the hospitaleros that it was Sunday and the store would not be open. Instead they are letting him stay an extra day in Morotinos. One of his hosts also had a Samsung phone and let him borrow the cord to charge up his phone. They also found the "plug" adapter part for a phone in the "give away" box so he just needs the cord for a Samsung phone. He is hopeful that he will find one tomorrow and Bruno gave him the directions to the store in Sahagun where he should look.

He took the time to go to church and pray since it was open today. He then went to the "Bodega" restaurant and had a lunch. He played with a kitten that had followed some other pilgrims to the albergue, read a book, visited with the others, and generally just enjoyed a rest day. He will go to Sahagun tomorrow and if he does not find the cord with the proper adapter, he will bus into Leon for an overnight to look for one and then bus back into Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. He sent word to our volunteer coordinator and the local albergue contact in CdlH of his planned arrival.

He's already talking about when we can take our next trip to Spain and the Camino and I told him we would have plenty of time to plan and dream this winter upon his return to the US.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He's had a nice rest day and will head to Sahagun tomorrow in search of the elusive phone charger. He plans to stop at the Aisian market store first followed by a trip to two computer stores in town. If he comes up empty-handed for a Samsung charger cord, he will catch a train to Leon and look for one there. He will be in Caldazilla de los Hermanillos on Sept 15 with or without a phone charging cord. He's had a lovely time Morotinos with good food and good company at a beautiful albergue. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Today Phil was ready and heading out for Sahagun when he had a chat with the hospitaleros in Morotinos. One phoned back to the hostal where he thought he had left his charger, but it had not been found or turned in. He was planning to walk on to Sahagun and hoped to find an Aisian Bazaar of some kind to get a new one, however, he was reminded by the hospitaleros that it was Sunday and the store would not be open. Instead they are letting him stay an extra day in Morotinos. One of his hosts also had a Samsung phone and let him borrow the cord to charge up his phone. They also found the "plug" adapter part for a phone in the "give away" box so he just needs the cord for a Samsung phone. He is hopeful that he will find one tomorrow and Bruno gave him the directions to the store in Sahagun where he should look.

He took the time to go to church and pray since it was open today. He then went to the "Bodega" restaurant and had a lunch. He played with a kitten that had followed some other pilgrims to the albergue, read a book, visited with the others, and generally just enjoyed a rest day. He will go to Sahagun tomorrow and if he does not find the cord with the proper adapter, he will bus into Leon for an overnight to look for one and then bus back into Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. He sent word to our volunteer coordinator and the local albergue contact in CdlH of his planned arrival.

He's already talking about when we can take our next trip to Spain and the Camino and I told him we would have plenty of time to plan and dream this winter upon his return to the US.
Samsung phones don't need a special charging cable, they use a standard type C USB cable.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
The old ones we had with the first Spanish charger we bought in Spain were a not type C. They used a micro usb cable I think. Phil had substituted a type C cable and that is the one he lost this week. I just hope the Type C is not more difficult to find.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
🤞Here's hoping to finding one in Sahagun! It may not be quite as 'remote' as some of the small towns here in Idaho or Wyoming are. We had order extra cables from Amazon when we lost the last one traveling a little while back.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil is staying at Santa Cruz tonight in a private room (20 euros) which includes his own bath. He was given a bottom sheet for his bed (two man room with mattresses and pillows in plastic). No towels or soap, but it is still nice, quiet, and private. He uses a green scarf he got on the 2016 Camino as a pillowcase by night and by day it has multiple uses such to make his backpack more comfortable on his shoulders. Mass will be at 6 or 6:30 p.m. I think. No supper or breakfast served due to the pandemic. He said their Covid protocol is thorough including sanitizing hands, getting phone number for follow-up, etc.

This year he is using his smaller 40 liter backpack. He was able to get everything in including his CPAP and large pack of medications. In the past he has carried his giant 60 liter one which causes him to take more stuff than he needs. Unfortunately the 40 liter one does not sit on his hips right. Mainly because he has a large middle and skinny hips. As a result it is less comfortable and is putting more weight on his shoulders. He has lost quite a lot of weight before and during the Camino so far, but not enough. He had a shoulder replacement right before the pandemic so his left shoulder is MUCH improved, but as we all know, carrying all your worldly possessions each day can make your shoulders ache. The pack was 18 pounds when he left and getting lighter as he whittles down his medication supply and CPAP HME filters (They last 7 days each and he took enough for 10 weeks, I think.)
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hi everyone,
Phil says the Pilgrim Mass with the Marist Brothers at Santa Cruz in Sahagun is nice. They was some chanting with this Mass and passed out sheet music to those participating. He said they also made an effort to translate for those who did not speak Spanish in both English and French for this particular service.

He made the observation that pilgrims mostly kept to their own "pilgrim families" today and that staying in a private room impeded his ability to meet with other pilgrims who may be staying in the bunk rooms. He went to the Abanca caja automatico and the exchange rate seemed better. He said there as no fee charge from Abanca for the use of our card so thanks @Doughnut NZ for sharing the pdf with the banking information on another thread.

Tomorrow he only plans to walk to Calzada de Cato which is only about 5 km and he will stay at the HosVol staffed Albergue de peregrinos San Roque. We are assigned through HosVol so he expects he will find a fellow volunteer in CdCato. The next day he will walk on 8.4 km to Caldazilla de los Hermanillos to begin his own hospitalero duties.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today Phil stayed in Calzada de Cato. There are three pilgrims there tonight and the hospitalero said he has only had a few pilgrims every night even though the albergue will accomodate 30+ non-covid and 15 with Covid restrictions. I've been reading on the forum about people "needing reservations" and I still think this may be part of either a wave of pilgrims or people staying on the stages. It has not been full anywhere that he has stayed so far even by Covid standards. It also may be pilgrims who feel most comfortable only with private rooms.

Phil and the hospitalero went to lunch together. Jose Marie has been a hospitalero for 12 years and Phil 4 years. JM said that he thought Phil may also have only a handful of pilgrims each night in his location which would mean everyone would probably get a private room.

It rained much of today so Phil used his pack cover and rain jacket (controversial choice, I know!) He said he would wear rain pants tomorrow for the 8.5 km walk to CdlH if it continued to rain and remain cool. He says he may consider buying a poncho if the opportunity presents after the albergue gig. He will celebrate his 71st birthday on Oct 3 shortly after he leaves the albergue so his kids and grandkids have asked for the mailing address to the albergue so he can get cards for early well wishes.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He's at the albergue. He says he can have 8 pilgrims right now and they are using only 4 rooms so 2 per room and 8 total pilgrims. He sounded a little disappointed about some things, but will adjust when he gets things to his level of cleanliness I think. The stove does not work and the plug for it is taped off. There is a microwave and a refrigerator. Only instant coffee available that he could see. He said everything was "dusty". There is a washing machine (3 euros) and a clothesline. He said the entire second floor is off limits for pilgrims and that the hospitalero room(s) are up there. He said there are two more pilgrim rooms not being used up there right now. The wifi is good and strong. He was concerned that there seemed to be no Covid protocol being followed so he was going to follow up and get hand sanitizer and extra masks. He will assess the cleaning supply closet and decide what other things he needs. The current hospitalero will leave in the morning.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Phil's has had several hours of orientation now. He says he understands about 40% of the conversation and he has asked "mas despacio, por favor" a few times or asked to have the information repeated. Last time we had the "only in Spanish" handoff was at Estella and it was all on me. There are "vouchers" so he can buy his meals and any groceries in town.

Only one restaurant/bar accepts the voucher and that is at the other albergue (Trajana). He had some kind of lamb with gravy and fries for today's menu del dia. He had ensalada mixta for the primero and Torta de Casa for postre. There is one hand sanitizer dispenser at the albergue entrance and he has a jug of sanitizer to keep it filled. He will look into other options tomorrow for the registration table, etc. Vouchers are also accepted at the small store across the way from the albergue. He will go there tomorrow to get soup and sandwich stuff for his evening meals.

For the last two weeks there were 29 pilgrims at this albergue and three nights there were no pilgrims. Tonight they have two pilgrims (one from Germany and one from Italy who lives in Spain now.) I think this drives home my point that the worry about not having enough beds may be just a worry or limited to hotels and private rooms. Who knows, maybe a wave of pilgrims will arrive now that Phil is there and he'll be full every night for the next two weeks. This is a variation on the Camino Real, and apparently there have been a lot of bicyclists in the last couple of weeks at this albergue. It does have a place to lock up the bikes. It is situated on a green track which is not like the senda next to the road that the regular route has.

He says it is a little chilly and that the "heat" for the albergue is a wood stove in the common room. I asked him if he planned to start fire tonight and he said no, but perhaps he will do that on cool nights after he is in charge. We had a wood stove at one of our other albergues and it tended to be a gathering point for peregrinos.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Already 2 pilgrims today and one is English and the other Irish. They started their camino in Sahagun. The Mayor came to visit this morning while Phil was cleaning. The store provides any cleaning supplies and keeps a list that they turn into the mayor's office for payment. So far so good and Phil seemed happier now that he is in charge. Several pilgrims on bikes rode by while we were talking but it was only early afternoon and plenty of time to make it by bike to the next town.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
OK, it's a wave--only a little one, but he does have 4 pilgrims tonight. All three are from the British Isles. Two of his guests recognized other peregrinos walking by, but those folks had Booking.com reservations at Trajana. Two of his pilgrims went to Casa de Cura to try to eat, but were turned away because they were not guests of that establishment. They came back and went to the tienda and got something to prepare their own meal instead with the limited microwave option. Phil says another community restaurant was closed when he walked by today (maybe just for vacation?) and there seems to be yet another bar in town that he has not yet discovered in his exploration. He sounded more relaxed tonight and had gotten a few supplies of his own for evening meals.

We are having a discussion about whether he should try to buy a rain poncho in Leon in a couple of weeks. I looked on El Cort Engles and also the Decathlon websites and there are 4 viable options. I'm just not sure they will be in stock when he arrives. I think from where he is in Spain he may be able to order one over his phone for pick up upon arrival to Leon. He likes the rain jacket because it is warm over his clothes, but as we all know it is not ideal with a backpack. A poncho won't be as warm, but will go over his backpack. He does have "layers" which include a wool t-shirt, lightweight wool hoody, and a long-sleeved Columbia sun-shirt, but sometimes the rain jacket helps cut the wind and the cold. In the past he has just had a raincoat and rain pants, but has only really ever had to walk one really cold long day in the rain (in 2018). The pants worked well, but the coat was an epic fail. It was older and wetted through. The jacket he has this year has held up well in the rain here in Wyoming when hiking in the mountains. He does keep everything in dry bags in his backpack. He spent a month in Galicia in October-November in 2018 going to language school and it rained almost every day. He will ponder the poncho purchase over the next few weeks.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
OK, it's a wave--only a little one, but he does have 4 pilgrims tonight. All three are from the British Isles. Two of his guests recognized other peregrinos walking by, but those folks had Booking.com reservations at Trajana. Two of his pilgrims went to Casa de Cura to try to eat, but were turned away because they were not guests of that establishment. They came back and went to the tienda and got something to prepare their own meal instead with the limited microwave option. Phil says another community restaurant was closed when he walked by today (maybe just for vacation?) and there seems to be yet another bar in town that he has not yet discovered in his exploration. He sounded more relaxed tonight and had gotten a few supplies of his own for evening meals.

We are having a discussion about whether he should try to buy a rain poncho in Leon in a couple of weeks. I looked on El Cort Engles and also the Decathlon websites and there are 4 viable options. I'm just not sure they will be in stock when he arrives. I think from where he is in Spain he may be able to order one over his phone for pick up upon arrival to Leon. He likes the rain jacket because it is warm over his clothes, but as we all know it is not ideal with a backpack. A poncho won't be as warm, but will go over his backpack. He does have "layers" which include a wool t-shirt, lightweight wool hoody, and a long-sleeved Columbia sun-shirt, but sometimes the rain jacket helps cut the wind and the cold. In the past he has just had a raincoat and rain pants, but has only really ever had to walk one really cold long day in the rain (in 2018). The pants worked well, but the coat was an epic fail. It was older and wetted through. The jacket he has this year has held up well in the rain here in Wyoming when hiking in the mountains. He does keep everything in dry bags in his backpack. He spent a month in Galicia in October-November in 2018 going to language school and it rained almost every day. He will ponder the poncho purchase over the next few weeks.
I like a rain jacket and a pack cover. If I couldn’t get a pack cover (and it seems like there’s time to order one) I’d still get the jacket and either put all my gear in zip locks, or line my pack with a garbage bag, or see if a garbage bag would fit over my pack (and take extras with me). I’d rather my pack wear a garbage bag than me wear a poncho.

Edit: when I needed new socks (after a hotel ironed —melted—them🙄) I called a place in Astorga, they took my credit card over the phone, and mailed the socks ahead of me to the hotel I was headed to in Oviedo and also called the hotel to let them know I’d be arriving to get them. Socks were waiting for me in my room 🙂
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He already has a pack cover. The water soaks into the straps and then wicks into the whole pack with a raincoat/jacket. It is only an issue on really, really rainy days. I would also go with the jacket, but you know the grass is always greener and Phil is never quite happy with how things are until he is has tried something else. He was in the Army for 20 years so he is no stranger to the rainponcho or other raingear. I think he has just forgotten what a pain a poncho can be.
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
He already has a pack cover. The water soaks into the straps and then wicks into the whole pack with a raincoat/jacket. It is only an issue on really, really rainy days. I would also go with the jacket, but you know the grass is always greener and Phil is never quite happy with how things are until he is has tried something else. He was in the Army for 20 years so he is no stranger to the rainponcho or other raingear. I think he has just forgotten what a pain a poncho can be.
I was in the AF for 32, and I remember ponchos 😂 I guess our packs have different frames bc it was either rain sleet or snow every day the whole time I was on the CF and then Norte and some of the Primitivo and it didn’t wick into my pack, but my pack was suspended away from my frame. I hope he finds something his size that works for him
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
He has an Ospry, but it is about 10 or 11 years old. Does not have the molded hip belt. He's also a pretty big guy around the middle so his pack isn't sitting right for him. The one he has brought before to the Camino that absorbed the water through the straps has a lot larger capacity, but still a model that is at least 10 or 11 years old without a molded hip belt. He had these loaded and fitted to his frame when he bought them, but he's expanded somewhat and working on getting back to a more healthy weight.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
As of 2 p.m. today, Phil had no new Pilgrims. He said when he went down to Trajana for his noon meal that there were five pilgrims checking in who had made reservations. I will check back with him later to find out if anyone new showed up.

He said this morning's excitement in CdlH surrounded a bicigrino who had a break down and came into the albergue to ask for help. Phil was cleaning and had the doors open for ventilating the chemical smell when he heard an "Hola?". The bicyclist was an Italian who was asking if he had some tools to help repair a bike chain. Phil used to be a bike cop in a former life so knows how to make some bike repairs, but had no tools or supplies. He took the pilgrim into the store where Monica the shopkeeper works. She called her father and Phil said soon there was a one-armed man followed soon by a couple of other local men and then some women who all got some tools and were offering free advice. The closest bike repair was in Sahagun (about 12-13 km back) and the next bike repair is about 27 km away in Munsila de las Mulas.. Phil thinks they eventually "wired" the chain and the pilgrim took off again. Apparently a pin was broken and there was not a replacement available. He is hoping the pilgrim makes it to definitive care as there are really no services without making a significant detour and crossing a railroad line. One can get over to El Burgo Reino in about 6.5 km and the next town is Religios which is about 17 km. but there are no repair shops in those communities per the locals. He could have also called for a Taxi to give him a lift, but the pilgrim did not want that at this point.

One of yesterday's pilgrims left at 6:30 a.m., two more about 7:30 a.m. and the last peregrina had a big blister and left about 8 a.m. Phil told her she could stay another night if she needed a rest day, but she said she would give it a go and try to make some progress on her Camino.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
No pilgrims tonight l, but an interesting day. Bruno and family/friends from the albergue in Morotinos rode through today on horses. Phil said he heard a dog bark and the clip clop of hooves and went out to see four peregrinos on horses riding up. They were wearing riding gear--red jackets with the shell on the back. As they passed by Phil recognized Bruno from the San Bruno albergue (where he stayed in Morotinos). Bruno said they were out on a weekend camino. They asked if they might stay at the municipal albergue, but Phil had no place for the horses. They also had a dog, but did not feel the fenced backyard would be sufficient. Bruno consulted his "guidebook" and Casa de Cura (also in CdlH) did have place for horses and accepted dogs so they rode on.
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Thank you (and Phil!) so much for this thread. I absolutely love this, like a little TV series about the Camino but the video part is in my head.
Well said!
@J Willhaus , thanks for keeping us updated on the day to day life along the Camino and now in the albergue. Sorry you aren't there along with Phil, but I, too, appreciate being able to follow along with this mini-series. I loved reading about how so many locals came out to help the bicyclist -- camino spirit at it finest. Fingers crossed he made it to a repair shop ok, and that some congenial pilgrims show up for Phil's hospitality tonight.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Tonight there is one pilgrim and Phil at the albergue. The pilgrim is from Burgos and Phil has apparently not lost his Camino counseling touch. Every albergue we've served, I am usually the organizer, cleaner, and cook. Phil is the listener for the pilgrims. We were calling him Dr. Phil for a while at a few places as he listened to people with their stories of transition, camino crushes, spirtitual renewal, grief, and so on.

Today he and his pilgrim spoke of the Camino. The pilgrim shared that he had not had any faith before the Way, but that God was changing him from the inside now. The two of them discussed how the Camino does change you. The pilgrim said he sees now that it is not about the walking, but about the journey and the people he has met. He shared that his hips and legs were hurting from the walking, but that he feels good in other ways. Phil said after an hour of talking in Spanish his brain was hurting, but he was glad to be able to talk and understand with a little help from Google Translate once in a while. He said when he did not use the right word or pronunciation his guest helped him.

Phil's needing and using his Spanish in this community. Monica the shopkeeper speaks in Spanish and so does the Alcalde (town mayor). He's spoken to the mayor in person and by phone and also to Abdulla the local handyman who comes by to fix things and empty the trash in the cans out front. He's also communicated with the ayuntamiento over in El Burgo Renero as this abergue falls under their jurisdiction and they send him the vouchers. If there are work orders, they also take care of any issues. He did find out that Mass in this community is on Friday at 5 p.m. so he missed it this week, but hopes to catch it next week.

Phil brought downstiars an small electric oil heater tonight in the common room for a little while because it is cold tonight. His pilgrim was exicted! He is looking around for the stuff to make a fire in the wood stove tomorrow. He says there is a wood pile out back, but that the wood is mostly too big for the stove and needs to be split. He has no ax to split it with, but will look in the "bike shed" tomorrow and may have to call someone to come take care of it.

I've been reading about the change in the electic costs in Spain this spring. There is a new graduated rate and the electricity is lowest on the weekend and overnight. Overall the electrical costs have gone up enormously and even the central government is getting involved although that too has been a controversy.

On the homefront today, there is a freeze/frost warning for Sunday or Monday. We may also have snow so I have picked all the green tomatoes and brought them in. They are in a box now with a banana to try to ripen them. Laramie, Wy, where we live is at 7,200+ feet and it just isn't the right climate for tomatoes (or a lot of other flowers and vegetables) I have about 100 green tomatoes and have not picked a ripe one yet this season😢 although maybe 5 or 6 were starting to turn. I do feel lucky in some ways because last year it snowed the first week in September just after we had moved here from Boise, ID.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
It is Sunday. The community store was only open a few hours and then Monica (the shopkeeper) told Phil she was closing up and going home to be with her two children for the afternoon. Phil cleaned up the albergue and the owner of Trajana stopped by early to ask if Phil still had plenty of vouchers for meals. Yesterday Phil had gone down early in the day and purchased on his own a big plate of bacon, fried eggs, and the requisite bread, but had not gone back for noon or supper, choosing instead of eat something at his own albergue. Phil reassured his fellow hospitalero that he did indeed have plenty of vouchers and would be down today for a Menu del Dia. Today he had the hake (merluza) for segundo and a bowl of lentils for primero and flan for postre. He noted that there was a big pile of mochillas (backpacks) at Albergue Trajana so I am not certain if that means it is the central drop off point in the village for bag shipping or if Trajana was going to have a full house.

He took a short walk around the village and into the countryside and then returned to the albergue at the opening time. Around 3 p.m. he had a pilgrim check in (again from Great Britain). His guest told him he rather enjoyed the atmosphere at the donative albergues and had also stayed at Tosantos. Around 6 p.m. the village folk began a promanade with children running and playing and families walking up and down the main street. He went outside to watch and say "hola" as people passed by. He has also made an appoint to sweep his part of the sidewalk in front of the albergue and keep any refuse picked up so that people will see he also takes pride in being a part of their community.

It is beginning to be cool in the evening and so the relentless flies have been getting into the albergue. They want to come in where it is warmer. There are no screens on the windows and the part above large metal front doors is completely open so there is no way to keep them out. Phil does have a flyswatter. He has also used the fly spray a little, but then he has to go outside while it disapates. I REALLY don't like flies as in a former life I was married to a farmer and they were always everywhere in the fall until a hard freeze came along. Although I'd love to be there with him, I am glad to miss the flies.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I’ve never tried this but some stores in Baltimore that kept their doors open all the time did this: filled a gallon bag 1/2 full of water, put a few pennies or a piece of tin foil inside, and hung from near the top of the doorway. Supposedly it confused the compound eyes of flies. Couldn’t hurt to try…
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I’ve never tried this but some stores in Baltimore that kept their doors open all the time did this: filled a gallon bag 1/2 full of water, put a few pennies or a piece of tin foil inside, and hung from near the top of the doorway. Supposedly it confused the compound eyes of flies. Couldn’t hurt to try…
I will relay this or he may read it first. I am not certain he has any plastic bags that big, but he does have foil.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I will relay this or he may read it first. I am not certain he has any plastic bags that big, but he does have foil.
Probably any size clear bag would work. Google advice is divided on whether this actually works so I wouldn’t buy bags just for that purpose

Edit: in fact I wonder if clear water bottles (pilgrim empties) might work also…
 
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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I've had good results killing fruit flies with a saucer of apple cider vinegar mixed with just a bit of dish soap. Wine may work in place of the vinegar.

This webpage says flies can be repelled by crushed basil. Hanging some in the open window may do the trick.

 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Some of these suggestions would be ideal at home, however, there is one tiny store in this town with an extremely limited selection. Phil does not know the community well-enough to ask for these kinds of plants and herbs and would not recognize them if he did see them. In fact in the past when I was deployed and/or on an extended fellowship he had to send photos of plants to ask me whether it was a weed or a flower. Turns out he was carefully tending some weeds instead of the flowers. I'm sure he will give some ideas a try though and thank you to everyone. The bags or glasses of water with coins may be the most doable.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Today were are four pilgrims when we did our morning touch base call. Two from France who started in France. One from Belgium who started in Belgium and one from India who started at SJPDP. It is cooler today and Phil is going to look through the wood pile to see if he can find some potential stove sized chunks of wood. Albergue Trajana is full so they are sending pilgrims down to Phil. Maybe more to report by our later call before he locks up and goes to bed.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Tonight there were still just the four pilgrims. Phil says it is cold so a fire in the wood stove was in order. One of the French pilgrims tried to start the fire (not sure why Phil decided to let him try), but he ended up using all of the fire starting materials and stuffed the whole stove full of wood. His attempt was not successful so Phil removed all the wood and began again with some newspaper and smaller wood pieces. Soon there was a warming fire to be enjoyed. Phil says there is a big mess to clean up tomorrow. He will also try to call and get someone from the city office to come and split the wood so it is usable for future fires.

The peregrina from Belgium has been walking since July 1 and she has a kind of cart that she pulls with a belt around her waist. The French pilgrims are from LePuy and are also on their second credential.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
It appears the ever popular Albergue Trajana down the way is completo again today so they sent Phil three German pilgrims around opening time. Still plenty of beds in town as Phil could take 5 more pilgrims. I am certain the inability to "book a room" scares a lot of pilgrims off, especially first timers.

Today Phil called to see about getting more firestarter materials and will show whoever shows up with the goods (possibly Abdulla) about the limitations of the wood pile. He does have enough smaller wood available for another fire tonight if it is needed, but certainly the next hospitalero in October will need a reasonable wood supply so it is best to try to get it arranged before the new hospi arrives. One rule we have learned is that you should always leave the place as good or better for the next person since it does take a little bit of time to get the routine down.

A few nights ago Phil said they had an visitor in the night. Phil had a British pilgrim who heard a noise and peeked around the corner of her room to see a cat. As she stepped out the cat ran into the bathroom and jumped out a window. It appears there is a laundry sink below that window which made it possible for the cat to jump up and gain entry, Phil thinks he will try to ensure that window is closed in the future and checked around to see if the cat had made any messes or gotten into anything during the visit. He did not find any disturbances in the force so believes the visit was only a short one.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Well the handyman came by today with the fire-starting materials. (Phil is not exactly sure now what his name is and called him something that sounded like Obradoro so I am not sure if he has his name right at Abdulla or if a variation of Obrador means something like handyman. I think it means workshop in Spanish) In any case, he brought not only fire-starting materials, but actually started a fire for Phil in the stove. He said he would be back with an ax tomorrow to chop the bigger pieces. Phil's not exactly sure that is what he said, but he said he made some motions like he would be back to split the wood. He speaks rapidly and again Phil is catching about 40% so it may be a mystery until he comes back. I suggested maybe he was bringing an ax for Phil to chop the wood. (Phil has had shoulder replacement in the last few years so that would likely not be a good thing.) In any case, that leaves something to wonder about for the next day or two to see what really happens. Phil has moved some sticks of wood inside to a covert location since it is supposed to rain tomorrow and he wants some dry firewood back up if needed. The firewood is extremely dry and burns nicely one piece at a time on the coals.

His German pilgrims have enjoyed the fire and taken pictures of each other next to the stove. They told Phil they have not been reserving along the way and that they started in Burgos on this trip. One pilgrim has made several Caminos and for another this is a second Camino and he was not certain about the experience of the third. They speak a little English and Phil only knows a few words of German so there are liable to be some holes in the communication. In any case, everyone seems happy. Phil's glad to have pilgrims and they seem glad for a bed and a fire.

One of last night's pilgrims left a drawing in the guest book of the albergue with smoke coming out the chimney and some hearts. The note was in French, but I was able to decipher part of it saying thank you to Phil for the first fire of the Camino that warmed up the room.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Well the handyman came by today with the fire-starting materials. (Phil is not exactly sure now what his name is and called him something that sounded like Obradoro so I am not sure if he has his name right at Abdulla or if a variation of Obrador means something like handyman.
Probably obrero, which means worker.

 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Yes, that's a possibility. Phil does wear hearing aides so it is possible that this gentleman is named Abdulla or it could be something else entirely that kind of sounds like Obre--something. It is also hard through masks to do any kind of lipreading. In any case, the city/region seem to be attentive to the needs of this albergue, pilgrims, and hospitaleros.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Yes, I think it is definitely a wave...already five pilgrims tonight. One was brought down by the Hospitalera at Albergue Trajana. She had a German pilgrim worried sick she would not get a bed. Phil explained to the gathering of pilgrims that because this is a Muni and a donativo that they don't accept reservations and they usually have some room. He went back through the registration book and there were only two days in August that the albergue was at pandemic capacity of eight people. He said last month there was one day when there were six of the eight beds filled. He is hoping to capitalize on this when he leaves to walk on to Santiago and try to stay in the no reservation places as much as possible.

Another mystery semi-solved the handyman is not Abdulla, but his name is spelled out in the contact list as Obdulio. He was not back yet to split the wood and it was starting to rain. Phil does have some backup wood in the cleaning closet for tonight if it gets too cool again.

In planning for the next hospitalero/a, Phil will call and have the "coupons" delivered early for him or her so they will be there on arrival and he can explain their use. Basically he gets 10 euros per day to eat on so some days he goes for a menu del dia. Other days he saves up a few coupons for his personal grocery bill at the store and eats at the albergue. Monica is keeping a "list" of what he has purchased and he will settle up at the end. Theoretically if he has enough coupons left there will be no out of pocket cost. Although the albergue has only the microwave and refrigerator, it is still possible to make simple meals.

Each albergue where we have worked is slightly different. For example at this albergue Phil does not handle any of the money (similar to our experience in Estella). Someone will eventually come by and take the money out of the wall and count it. Pre-pandemic in some places we have averaged about 3 euros per pilgrim and in other places more. Its hard to know for certain because there is a regular 3 euro charge for a load of laundry and that is also just put into the wall with donations. As you recall, this is a donativo albergue and people give what they can afford and what they think it was worth. Generally in a place where breakfast and/or a community meal is served pilgrims tend to give a bit more, but not always. Some people will seek out the donativo because they are on a very tight budget and others will seek it out because they like the atmosphere set by of the volunteer host and the simplicity of the place and can afford to be a bit more generous. Some donativos have a special ambiance and a reputation. Others may be overlooked. In any case, we enjoy serving wherever we are sent by the volunteer coordinator and always have great experiences.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Yes its definately a wave. There are seven pilgrims tonight which is one less than allowed by pandemic criteria. It was a multinational group with Germans, Irish, Brits, and Denmark. Phil said that this bunch said the increase in numbers seemed to start around Burgos. One group of three pilgrims wrote in his guest book that they had tried to get reservations and had made about 20 calls for tonight without success. They decided to go on faith to Caldazilla de los Hermanillos and were rewarded with beds for all.

Monica the shopkeeper tonight told Phil to be prepared for "mas peregrinos" so she must have connections in some of the other towns and know that there are more pilgrims coming later this week. Of course he is delighted to have "mas peregrinos"! Phil said another group stopped in early to tell him they had heard that he has a "really good" albergue, but felt it was too early in the day to stop walking yet. Phil did stock up on more instant coffee and more milk. Most of tonight's pilgrims said they intended to leave really early so Phil showed them how to get out of the albergue in the morning if he was not there to open the door.

He had a another little fire tonight, but he says it supposed to be warmer tomorrow so he will probably save his little wood stash until it gets colder later this weekend. The wood pile still needs chopping so hopefully that will happen before it gets colder.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
A quick early afternoon report finds Phil "completo" for the first time in his stay and possibly for about 6 weeks at the albergue. One pilgrim seems a little on the fence and asked several times how far it was to El Burgo Ranero and if the way was clearly marked. Phil has not been that way himself so could not say for certain. She wants to get up to leave at 5 a.m. and plans to walk 41 km to Leon. She has no guidebook or maps so Phil let her look at his book and she's taking photos. She seemed concerned that there were no "doors" on the sleeping cubicles and her pack was still in the entryway although she had signed in already. I'll find out later if she decided to move on or stay the night.

Pilgrims from Spain, Austria, Germany, etc. Still no Americans although Phil is told there are many Americans out there on the Camino right now. This must be the pilgrim "wave" that Monica, our shopkeeper, told him to expect from yesterday. A Spaniard in a car stopped to ask if there is a "cafeteria" in the community and Phil gave direction. Still no firewood chopping has occurred, but it is warmer today. I'll get another report before he locks up for the night so possibly more to be revealed then.

Tomorrow is the weekly Mass at the Ermita and Phil's looking forward to participating with whoever in the community attends. It will also be his first chance to see inside one of the churches that are spoken about in materials about the community.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I’ve never been to this pueblo. I’ve walked the direct route to El Burgo Ranero and then followed the road north to connect with the old Roman road route. Next time perhaps ….

Enjoying your posts, thanks!
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
finds Phil "completo"
🎉. any word on the cat?

there were no "doors" on the sleeping cubicles
i'm wondering where she's slept before here, and is it wrong I'm relieved she's not American? by cubicles do you mean room full of a bunch of bunks, or is each bunk in it's own alcove? If that's the case I'm (a) super jealous about cubicles and (b) doubly curious about her previous sleeping arrangements. The only place I slept that had cubicles was the two-bunk set up in Roncesvalles--a Canadian couple had one bunk, and below my bed was an Italian bicigrino who walked in and stripped off his bike tunic and pants, standing there in just his socks as he rummaged in his bag (one of many good reasons to have a top bunk --you're not at eye level for that sort of thing). My email home that night noted that this would be an interesting pilgrimage
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
If you go on google maps to the albergue municipal in Caldazilla de los Hermanillos and then click on photos it will show some photos of the interior. The cubicles look similar to Roncevalles, but they have ceiling rather than being open at the top and the bunks are made of wood with ladders. They are not using the upper bunks, only lower bunks right now. I don't know what the pilgrim's prior circumstances have been, but she did decide to stay even without a door.

Phil had to turn away people today. He had one group that wanted beds for a Camino Family of 9 and also one or two other single pilgrims that came through. Everyone in town was booked and/or full (Albergue Trajana, Casa de Cura and Albergue de Peregrinos). He advised the pilgrims that they could take a cab and go forward or maybe go back to Sahagun where there were more beds and then cab an equal distance in the morning. That is what the Camino Family did (go forward). He also advised that they should call ahead to see if there were beds before getting out of the cab.

Two pilgrims are walking the 41 km to Leon tomorrow and have reservations at hotels. Phil said some of his current pilgrims told him that many pilgrims are making a reservation in every town and then not showing up/not cancelling so I am sure that is adding to the kerfuffle. He did meet two Americans today who were staying at Trajana, but they are the first he has seen in CdlH.

He did ask Monica how she knew of the wave. She is friends with the Albergue Trajana owners and she said their reservation line was "blowing up". Also she said her mother works in Sahagun and sees pilgrim after pilgrim on the Senda going in and out of town.

No sign of our wood chopper or of the cat today. It is warmer so no fire needed tonight. Phil says the Wise Pilgrim App does not show a stable; only the website. He has notified them in the past when he was staying at an albergue they said was closed so maybe he will reach out about the website. We will see what tomorrow brings.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
There are two bunk beds in each cubicle.
It's a cozy little Albergue. When I was there, there were only three pilgrims staying there. We each had our own cubicle.

It was completo when I stayed in July 2014.

I had been walking on and off with some pilgrims who had booked into the fancy Casa El Curo, and they invited me to join them for dinner that evening.

As the municipal closed at 10pm, I had to leg it back in the pouring rain to find the door locked at 1 minute past!

But the hospitalero let me in when I banged on the door!
 
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