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LIVE from the Camino Welcoming pilgrims at Arrés

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022, 2023
Hola todos!
Phil and I arrived in our rental car at the albergue about 1:30 pm. Manuel and Maria were waiting for us and after a quick handoff lasting about 90 minutes, they departed for their homes. Phil and I are experienced hospitaleros so they felt the albergue was in good hands.

We have 9 pilgrims tonight. Mostly Spanish. One from Ireland and one from France. Maria had prepared a big pot of spaghetti meat sauce and all I had to do was cook up some pasta and prepare a green salad. Phil took care of the church and tower tours for both our pilgrims and the ones at the Casa Rural. I think that may be a trend?

It rained on and off all afternoon and just before sunset as they were all standing out on the viewing point, the skies just opened up and it poured! Phil said the sunset was beautiful and the sun peeked out just an instant before setting. Most are back in the albergue now. Some may have sheltered at the bar as I hear voices coming toward the albergue just now.

Tomorrow, Phil and I will go to the store to get some essential items and we'll begin our service in earnest tomorrow with our own style of hospitality. I like to cook with pilgrims if they want to help so we will see what tomorrow brings.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Mid day report: one pilgrim so far today.

Phil and I drove into Jaca for a few groceries. I spent 77 euros which should last us a few days unless we get a hungry hoard. Maria and Manuel also left us stocked with some basics in addition to the Spaghetti sauce. There is a lot of spaghetti left. Phil asked me if he had to eat it for lunch every day the whole time we are here. I am loathe to waste anything so he's hoping for some strapping boys to come along who might eat anything leftover for a lunch so he isnt eating it until next week. We have seen that before in younger pilgrims without much means. They will literally clean out the frig if permitted as teen boys often do when not on the Camino.

Our first pilgrim is vegetarian so we'll find out what she and any others want to eat tonight. Thinking of making some homemade hummus? Maybe tomato potato basil soup? More on that later...
 
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Rental car, wow! I guess where you are that is a necessity. I am going to be at Canfranc from 1 to 15 July and having issues with the transportation logistics. I never considered the idea of a hand-off of a rental car between an arriving and a departing hospi.
 
Theoretically there is a way to get groceries delivered here, but it was going to be more complicated so we took the easy but more expensive route. Also on lighter days we can sight see. Might go to Sos del Rey Catholicas one day.
 
Rental car, wow! I guess where you are that is a necessity. I am going to be at Canfranc from 1 to 15 July and having issues with the transportation logistics. I never considered the idea of a hand-off of a rental car between an arriving and a departing hospi.
We were at Canfranc last summer pm if you need any specifics answered about logistics.
 
Mid day report: one pilgrim so far today.

Phil and I drove into Jaca for a few groceries. I spent 77 euros which should last us a few days unless we get a hungry hoard. Maria and Manuel also left us stocked with some basics in addition to the Spaghetti sauce. There is a lot of spaghetti left. Phil asked me if he had to eat it for lunch every day the whole time we are here. I am loathe to waste anything so he's hoping for some strapping boys to come along who might eat anything leftover for a lunch so he isnt eating it until next week. We have seen that before in younger pilgrims without much means. They will literally clean out the frig if permitted as teen boys often do when not on the Camino.

Our first pilgrim is vegetarian so we'll find out what she and any others want to eat tonight. Thinking of making some homemade hummus? Maybe tomato potato basil soup? More on that later...
Oh I was in Jaca too!
 
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Clearing out some books before my move to the new office in a few weeks.
Rental car, wow! I guess where you are that is a necessity. I am going to be at Canfranc from 1 to 15 July and having issues with the transportation logistics. I never considered the idea of a hand-off of a rental car between an arriving and a departing hospi.
Last summer at Canfranc we used the bus. It was reliable and inexpensive. We would have done that here but there isn't one that we know of.
Phil
 
Last summer at Canfranc we used the bus. It was reliable and inexpensive. We would have done that here but there isn't one that we know of.
Phil
I know, I am just waiting for the schedule to be published. But then wouldn't be great for arriving and departing hospis to share their rental car to and from wherever.
 
Hola todos!
Phil and I arrived in our rental car at the albergue about 1:30 pm. Manuel and Maria were waiting for us and after a quick handoff lasting about 90 minutes, they departed for their homes. Phil and I are experienced hospitaleros so they felt the albergue was in good hands.

We have 9 pilgrims tonight. Mostly Spanish. One from Ireland and one from France. Maria had prepared a big pot of spaghetti meat sauce and all I had to do was cook up some pasta and prepare a green salad. Phil took care of the church and tower tours for both our pilgrims and the ones at the Casa Rural. I think that may be a trend?

It rained on and off all afternoon and just before sunset as they were all standing out on the viewing point, the skies just opened up and it poured! Phil said the sunset was beautiful and the sun peeked out just an instant before setting. Most are back in the albergue now. Some may have sheltered at the bar as I hear voices coming toward the albergue just now.

Tomorrow, Phil and I will go to the store to get some essential items and we'll begin our service in earnest tomorrow with our own style of hospitality. I like to cook with pilgrims if they want to help so we will see what tomorrow brings.
Hello!

It seems to be a great start at your job as hospitaleros! Look forward to meet you. I start in Oloron Santa Marie and hope to be in Canfranc pueblo on 17th of June. I have followed the weather forcasts, and it has been a lot of rain lately. How is the condition at the camino, is it wise to bring waterproof trail runners ? They get warm and are heavy, so I prefer trail runners (altra lone peak). As we all know, shoes is the most important issue for peregrionos :) I would like to cook with you!
 
Phil and our 3 pilgrims have headed put to watch the sunset. I am off to an early appt with my pillow. Our German pilgrim and I worked together and made some hummus and potato tomato basil soup for supper. No leftovers tonight!

Two of our pilgrims had stayed with our American hospitalera friends at Canfranc 2 days before. It was a nice evening. I wish we knew more French so we could talk more to our French pilgrim.

It has rained on and off. Pilgrims had wet shoes and stuffed them with paper tonight. We also set up the inside drying racks in the Sala for tonight. Off to bed now!
 
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Hello!

It seems to be a great start at your job as hospitaleros! Look forward to meet you. I start in Oloron Santa Marie and hope to be in Canfranc pueblo on 17th of June. I have followed the weather forcasts, and it has been a lot of rain lately. How is the condition at the camino, is it wise to bring waterproof trail runners ? They get warm and are heavy, so I prefer trail runners (altra lone peak). As we all know, shoes is the most important issue for peregrionos :) I would like to cook with you!
I am in CanFranc Pueblo tonight- marvelous! I’ve always walked in non waterproof Altra Lone Peaks- they usually dry out in am after heavy rain and puddles with newspaper.
 
Hello all! So sorry for my silly question. Is this Albergue Cofradia de La Trinidad de Arre by a bridge? If so we pass today!
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hello all! So sorry for my silly question. Is this Albergue Cofradia de La Trinidad de Arre by a bridge? If so we pass today!
Hi @Brooklinn in this thread they are talking about welcoming pilgrims at the albergue in Arres on thé Camino Aragones (aka Camino Frances par Aragon) further south in Spain. Can understand the confusion as the town of Arre on the Camino Frances is a very similar name. 😎
 
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Off to a rocky start today. We had breakfast with our pilgrims and bid them farewell. No potable water between here and Artieda (about 18 or 19 km) so made sure they all had water for the day before leaving here.

We started our cleaning thinking with only 3 pilgrims it would be a light day, but at 9 am, the electricity turned off. We took a look at the fuse box, switched everything off and off, but nothing. We walked up to the bar at the Casa Rural and asked Maryluz and she showed me a notice that the electricity would be off from 9 am to 1 pm. It is pretty dark in most of the albergue so we did what we could. Now we are off to investigate the warehouse food market.

Hope we can clean some more when we get back.
 
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Electrics back on. We went to the Warehouse store Cash and Carry. Also bought more flyswatters at the Asian Market. Got fresh bread at the panaderia in Puenta de la Reina de Jaca.

It is hotter today with full sun right now. Rain forecast for later and tomorrow. We have 6 pilgrims now. 5 Spanish and one French . I apologized for the hit and miss cleaning, but everyone just brushed it off and was glad to have a bed. One man stayed here 9 years ago with wife. They all seem happy as the bar has reopened for lunch and refreshments.

1 vegetarian and 1 vegan tonight. Everyone else eats chicken.We are having my Dad's chicken rotelli recipe with a marinated lentil salad. I will make some without chicken and/or feta cheese.
 
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Electrics back on. We went to the Warehouse store Cash and Carry. Also bought more flyswatters at the Asian Market. Got fresh bread at the panaderia in Puenta de la Reina de Jaca.

It is hotter today with full sun right now. Rain forecast for later and tomorrow. We have 6 pilgrims now. 5 Spanish and one French . I apologized for the hit and miss cleaning, but everyone just brushed it off and was glad to have a bed. One man stayed here 9 years ago with wife. They all seem happy as the bar has reopened for lunch and refreshments.

1 vegetarian and 1 vegan tonight. Everyone else eats chicken.We are having my Dad's chicken rotelli recipe with a marinated lentil salad. I will make some without chicken and/or feta cheese.
Glad to hear that electricity is back on. You might want to warn your pilgrims that the Camino to RUESTA is basically without shade and very few refills of water. ARTIEDA is almost a stop necessary halfway to RUESTA.
 
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Glad to hear that electricity is back on. You might want to warn your pilgrims that the Camino to RUESTA is basically without shade and very few refills of water. ATIENDA is almost a stop necessary halfway to RUESTA.
Yes, also Ruesta is closed tomorrow for some event. It is 40 km to Undes from here. We recommend Artieda tomorrow and then either Undes or Sanguesa the next day.
 
Good morning,
Pilgrims are on their way. Most going to Artieda. One couple going past Ruesta. Our retired French woman going back to catch a bus in Puente la Reina de Jaca. It is her first Camino. She is a widow and a retired art teacher. At first she seemed out of place. Her pack is too large and she seemed quite frail, but she told me this was a test on a long weekend to see how it was. She will be back!

Everyone seems to enjoy the tour of the church and medieval tower and the sunset. There was nothing leftover at supper last night of the chicken version of the dish. One pilgrim received bad news of the death of a close friend right before we ate. She and her companion were getting the Vegan version of our Rotelli dish and due to her grief, they left to take a private room at the Casa Rural where she could weep without disturbing others.

Maryluz from the Casa Rural gave Phil a huge portion of asparagus for pilgrims tonight. They raise and sell it at the local markets. No way to grill it here so perhaps steamed with a bit of hollandaise sauce tonight as the salad course? I am open to recipes if you have ideas. I think here the asparagus is peeled and not left green like in the US.

Cleaning today. Might clean the church as our instructions say it should be done once during each hospitalero rotation. Wont go to the store again until tomorrow or Monday. Pilgrims have been generous with donations so might also need to go to the bank for a deposit soon. We are not to keep too much on hand. Last night Phil said 2 strangers at different points came in after 10 pm. One shouting for someone and another looking for a particular address. He moved the donation box so it was not near the entry and removed the "please come in" sign from the door. We have been keeping it mostly closed because it is cool outside and the flies are bad. I can't stand flies. I have lived on a farm and know where else they may have been.

More later...
20230603_085938.jpg
 
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Guess what!? There is a Feria in Puente de Reina de Jaca this weekend. Maryluz says it is today and tomorrow so we'll plan to go tomorrow morning after cleaning. We made a quick trip down the hill for bread and got a couple of Tarta de quesos with blueberry topping for postre. It could last a couple of nights if Phil stays out of them. I also saw that the bakery slices the bread (rebanado) and wraps it so got a loaf since that is easier in the toaster.

We have 3 French pilgrims so far. Two more walking up. More later...
 
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Guess what!? There is a Feria in Puente de Reina de Jaca this weekend. Maryluz says it is today and tomorrow so we'll plan to go tomorrow morning after cleaning. We made a quick trip down the hill for bread and got a couple if Tarta de quesos with blueberry topping for poster. It could last s couple of nights if Phil stays out of them. I also saw that the bakery slices the bread (rebanado) a d wraps it so got a loaf since that is easier in the toaster.

We have 3 French pilgrims so far. Two more walking up. More later...
Apparently, Phil is a hungry guy…
 
Best pocket guides for the Camino
Best lightweight guides for before and after your Camino, just 1.4 oz (40 grams)!
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Good morning,
Pilgrims are on their way. Most going to Artieda. One couple going past Ruesta. Our retired French woman going back to catch a bus in Puente la Reina de Jaca. It is her first Camino. She is a widow and a retired art teacher. At first she seemed out of place. Her pack is too large and she seemed quite frail, but she told me this was a test on a long weekend to see how it was. She will be back!

Everyone seems to enjoy the tour of the church and medieval tower and the sunset. There was nothing leftover at supper last night of the chicken version of the dish. One pilgrim received bad news of the death of a close friend right before we ate. She and her companion were getting the Vegan version of our Rotelli dish and due to her grief, they left to take a private room at the Casa Rural where she could weep without disturbing others.

Maryluz from the Casa Rural gave Phil a huge portion of asparagus for pilgrims tonight. They raise and sell it at the local markets. No way to grill it here so perhaps steamed with a bit of hollandaise sauce tonight as the salad course? I am open to recipes if you have ideas. I think here the asparagus is peeled and not left green like in the US.

Cleaning today. Might clean the church as our instructions say it should be done once during each hospitalero rotation. Wont go to the store again until tomorrow or Monday. Pilgrims have been generous with donations so might also need to go to the bank for a deposit soon. We are not to keep too much on hand. Last night Phil said 2 strangers at different points came in after 10 pm. One shouting for someone and another looking for a particular address. He moved the donation box so it was not near the entry and removed the "please come in" sign from the door. We have been keeping it mostly closed because it is cool outside and the flies are bad. I can't stand flies. I have lived on a farm and know where else they may have been.

More later...
View attachment 148432
As @SioCamino said: only trim the ends. One colour is because of being uncovered while growing, the other is because of being covered. At least, that is my story! Different tastes, different dishes. I sometimes chop the long ends and leave them longer in the steaming container. Even just a shake of good salt does the trick - but then, I always have salt free butter at hand 😁
 
Well we had 8 pilgrims plus Phil and I. I snapped the ends and peeled the stalk on the asparagus per Maryluz. It was really good with a lemon butter sauce! We ate the whole batch as our appetizer grilled with lemon butter sauce and course salt. The soup was also popular with more than half asking for seconds. Then we ate one of the blueberry cheesecakes. I didn't have any as I don't like sweets, but all reports were that it was good.

We had a late arrival. A pilgrim walking from his home in Belgium was brought to us by some nice Spanish folks from Puenta la Reina de Jaca. He wanted to stay in P la R de Jaca, but all the hotels were full or closed.. Some Spanish people saw he was a pilgrim and loaded him up. He arrived right at supper and we welcomed him. He speaks no Spanish and they no English, French, Flemish or German.

Anyway, it was a good day, but I wish I knew more French!
 
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Pilgrims off! They were a hungry horde this morning, wiping us completely out of bread for toast, eating lots of butter and jam, fruit, etc! Thankfully the bakery is open where we are headed!

We are going to the fair this morning and hope there may be some local fruits and vegetables amongst the farm equipment displays!
 
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Rental car, wow! I guess where you are that is a necessity. I am going to be at Canfranc from 1 to 15 July and having issues with the transportation logistics. I never considered the idea of a hand-off of a rental car between an arriving and a departing hospi.
There is no shop in Arres and no public transport. Volunteer hospitaleros are required to have their own transport, hence the hired car.
 
I have to say I am overwhelmed with admiration that you cook something different every day. If I were hospi and had to cook dinner, I'd probably just cook the same thing every day. It is a beautiful location though. If there were one camino I did again, it would have to be the Aragones. Keep up the good work.DSC05806.JPGDSC05803.JPG
 
If Phil were cooking it would be Lentil soup every night. He's a bit of a one trick pony! He can also cook frozen pizza, but we have no oven. I don't want to eat the same thing every night so variety is good. Thankfully there is only enough spaghetti leftovers for one serving tomorrow. Doubt we'll fight over it after 5 days of leftover spaghetti lunch!

The agricultural fair was nice. We bought fresh picked cherries and peaches for pilgrims and stopped for bread and wine in Puente de Reina de Jaca
We did not stay for the sheep or cattle show although in another life I was the mother of 3 boys in 4H who showed livestock at fairs.

When we arrived a pilgrim/hospitaleto from South Africa was waiting. He is on his way to his assigned albergue South of Logroño. It is a new one. He was going to the bar to eat and will be back to check in later.
 
One trick pony? I can also cook bacon and eggs, make instant coffee, and make great hotdogs (ha, ha). I can also make pork, apples, and onions (Janet taught me) as well as garbonzo beans and tuna. So the pony is slowly, very slowly learning new tricks

Phil
 
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Best pocket guides for the Camino
Best lightweight guides for before and after your Camino, just 1.4 oz (40 grams)!
Just met an American couple staying at the Casa Rural. I had mistaken her for one of the American hospitaleras at Canfranc Pueblo in May when I heard there were two Americans on the Camino. Her name is similar and she is from California, but not the same person. We are up to 9 pilgrims tonight. I think we will have pork, apples, and onions cooked with cinnamon in red wine for supper with a big salad. I can use the remaining marinated lentils for the salad. Our South African hospitalero is going to help with the prep.
 
A lovely community evening! I am always a but worried about whether the food will stretch. It was good and everyone seemed satisfied and ate every bite! For dessert we cut the little blueberry cheesecake 9 ways and then topped off with fresh bing cherries. Phil and I didn't eat cheesecake, but he ate cherries.. It was a multicultural event with pilgrims from Germany, Hungary, Spain, France, South Africa and of course Phil and I from the US. A contingent of Germans washed the plates. The Spanish and South African helped put the tables and chairs back in order.

Another great day.
 
I am ready to head out for shopping. Waiting on Phil to be ready. A tense moment for me today when I could not get the gas bottle changed on the hot water tank despite the many times I have watched the YouTube video. The tanks are heavy, but Trevor our S. African peregrino/hospitalero tried to lend a hand. Neither of us were successful and it was in the middle of the busy breakfast. After we saw the pilgrims off, Phil looked at it and I ran up to see if Maryluz or someone else might help. She said she would be down later after her morning guests left at the Casa Rural.

We cleaned with cold water and bleach/soap and I was not looking forward to a cold shower. Phil had one more go at the bottle and connection and SUCCESS!

Trevor if you read this, we found a purple towel. Let me know through PM if it is yours and what to do with it.
 
I am so enjoying your posts. You both are doing an above and beyond job. Those pilgrims are so lucky. As a vegetarian, your food is making my mouth water. Well done to both of you. Pilgrims taking care of pilgrims 👍❤️
 
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Back from a big shopping. A day to celebrate as Phil and I split the last of the leftover spaghetti from last Tuesday night. I am sure there will be other leftovers or we could actually eat at the bar.

We saw 2 pilgrims on the Camino headed our way. One has already arrived. There may be others.

Our pilgrims have been pretty generous so far so we're eating a little higher on the hog while still maintaining frugal pursestrings. In the past we were told to expect only an average of 3 euros per day. At one location we averaged 6 euros per day with breakfast only. These pilgrims are much more generous. It may be because we've had a lot of older retired pilgrims and only a few younger pilgrims without much means. Still the spirit of the donativo exists to provide hospitality to all who need our care regardless of ability to pay.


If you are staying in a donativo your contributions go to not only meals, but the utilities to wash the albergue sheets, run the gas for hot water. And general upkeep. Of course some people are not financially able to leave much, but please give according to your ability for the services offered.

This albergue was founded in 1998-99 by one of the founders of HOSVOL. D.Jose Ignacio Diaz from Logroño was looking for a place on the French Way through Aragon to locate an albergue for pilgrims. This had been the house of a former teacher and was the property of the municipality of Bailo (a near by town.) The mayor of the Bailo government gave permission and construction took 2 years. In the meantime pilgrims slept in military tents since there was a good relationship between HOSVOL and the.military. It is much loved by both pilgrims and HOSVOL volunteers. There are sometimes volunteer "work parties" organized for upgrades and maintenance. ( That paragraph was translated by documents here in the albergue, date and source unknown)
 
Back from a big shopping. A day to celebrate as Phil and I split the last of the leftover spaghetti from last Tuesday night. I am sure there will be other leftovers or we could actually eat at the bar.

We saw 2 pilgrims on the Camino headed our way. One has already arrived. There may be others.

Our pilgrims have been pretty generous so far so we're eating a little higher on the hog while still maintaining frugal pursestrings. In the past we were told to expect only an average of 3 euros per day. At one location we averaged 6 euros per day with breakfast only. These pilgrims are much more generous. It may be because we've had a lot of older retired pilgrims and only a few younger pilgrims without much means. Still the spirit of the donativo exists to provide hospitality to all who need our care regardless of ability to pay.


If you are staying in a donativo your contributions go to not only meals, but the utilities to wash the albergue sheets, run the gas for hot water. And general upkeep. Of course some people are not financially able to leave much, but please give according to your ability for the services offered.

This albergue was founded in 1998-99 by one of the founders of HOSVOL. D.Jose Ignacio Diaz from Logroño was looking for a place on the French Way through Aragon to locate an albergue for pilgrims. This had been the house of a former teacher and was the property of the municipality of Bailo (a near by town.) The mayor of the Bailo government gave permission and construction took 2 years. In the meantime pilgrims slept in military tents since there was a good relationship between HOSVOL and the.military. It is much loved by both pilgrims and HOSVOL volunteers. There are sometimes volunteer "work parties" organized for upgrades and maintenance. ( That paragraph was translated by documents here in the albergue, date and source unknown)
Excellent context to the albergue, and your careful writing shows clearly the link between donativo and what might be expected in such an albergue, part of the donativo network.
Thank you.
I am half sorry I cannot avail of the hospitality Phil and yourself are offering!
May all work out well, and I have no doubt you will leave the place in A1 condition.
 
Ok, need some help here.20230605_154317.jpg
There are little packages of very thinly sliced pork Lomo. They look like lunch meat to me, but are they like bacon and need to cooked?
 
I would do one lightly to check, but I would say so by the look of it. Are you near the shop? Como cocinar is all you need to ask! Sorry but have to go out so no more time to check...
 
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I am ready to head out for shopping. Waiting on Phil to be ready. A tense moment for me today when I could not get the gas bottle changed on the hot water tank despite the many times I have watched the YouTube video. The tanks are heavy, but Trevor our S. African peregrino/hospitalero tried to lend a hand. Neither of us were successful and it was in the middle of the busy breakfast. After we saw the pilgrims off, Phil looked at it and I ran up to see if Maryluz or someone else might help. She said she would be down later after her morning guests left at the Casa Rural.

We cleaned with cold water and bleach/soap and I was not looking forward to a cold shower. Phil had one more go at the bottle and connection and SUCCESS!

Trevor if you read this, we found a purple towel. Let me know through PM if it is yours and what to do with it.
Most gas connections have a reverse thread. That is if it is a screwed connection then anti-clockwise will tighten and clockwise will loosen.

I think that this is a safety thing so that only gas certified fittings are used.
 
Actually there is no "screwing on or off". There is a flange. You turn the gas off, lift up on the flange and it comes off. To put it on, you put the flange down until it clicks, then turn on the gas. I wasn't pressing the flange down to the click part.
 
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Interesting day. We thought we would have only 2 pilgrims--one Spanish and one German. Phil and I went for a walk and came back and there were 8 more by 5:30! One a family group of 5 and 3 young German men.

The Spanish group didn't want to eat with us as they had a big meal at Puente la Reina de Jaca so we had 4 Germans and one Spanish pilgrim at supper. We had deviled eggs and a platter of salad followed by a pork and white bean soup (pork belly, white beans, carrots, potatoes garlic, celery, onions, white wine). Fresh fruit for dessert. Great conversation and I did my best to translate for Antonio from Cordoba. The young men were on their first Camino. Antonio and Jens had been on several and were sharing advice.

I saw some Rosemary growing along the Camino near town earlier on our walk and pointed it out to Phil. I asked him to go get me two sprigs for the soup while I was cooking. He came back with two different cuttings of weeds...it has happened before. He used to send me photos of plants when I was deployed several years ago and he was carefully tending several weeds in the garden thinking they were flowers. We each have our duties. Me to be the cook and him to change the gas bottle.
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Pilgrims gone. Albergue mostly cleaned. We only need bread today so no big shopping except to the bakery in Puente la Reina d. Jaca. One German pilgrim's feet hurt bad. He said he had about 16 blisters. I called him a cab to go to Ruesta.

Another German mentioned last night how much he liked hummus for breakfast and there was time today to make some for him. The Spanish family was herded quickly in and out of breakfast by their matronly leader and they were on the road. The German pilgrims lingered over coffee, toast, cheese and yogurt, but finally got on the way.

Phil gave a bicigrino a stamp midmorning and I urged the man to take the road rather than the steep rocky path with his heavily laden bike. Depending the number and type of pilgrims, we'll have Asian cole slaw topped with crunchy
Ramen and shivered almonds for supper with pork and peanut noodles, another home favorite. Both easy to make and double or triple as needed to feed an army. I can make a vegan portion easily if needed.
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Another good, but harder day for me. My back is really hurting. At every albergue we've worked, they have the most uncomfortable chairs
I really need some back support and lying flat on my bed is about the only really comfortable position right now. Might look for something tomorrow. My back has to hold up for another week plus a few days.

Great crowd of 8 today. 3 Germans, 2 Spanish, 3 French. One pilgrim was 10 years old walking with dad. One vegetarian pilgrim, but pretty much every bite was eaten. The aisian slaw with the crunchy Ramen and almond topping was gone in a flash. The pork and peanut noodles only had a half serving left so Phil and I can fight over it tomorrow. They ate 2 big bowls of fresh cherries and two pastry sheets filled with chocolate and orange pastries for dessert.

Tomorrow some shopping for specific items such as clothes pens and a bottle brush for washing deep pitchers with small openings. Also will take a deposit to the bank.
 
If you are a side sleeper, sleep with a pillow between your knees as it will help keep your spine in a more neutral position. If you are a back sleeper, put a thick one under your knees.
 
My back feels better today. I will remember to take my ibuprofen regularly and add Tylenol if needed. Normally I ask for a prescription for a once daily anti inflammatory before I leave for Spain, but I forgot this year. Even though I am a nurse and know what I should do doesn't always mean I take my own advice...

Pilgrims off and we quickly cleaned the albergue then drove to Jaca to take a bank deposit. Had to stand in a long line. There is a closer branch in Berdun about 7 km away. The clerk said the clerk in Berdun does not speak English, but I am pretty sure I can make the deposit with my Spanish so we'll try that next time. Stopped at Mercadona on the way out of town.

Back at the albergue we put things way and are ready for pilgrims. Our first is a Spaniard from the Camino Catalon (our first). He told me he's been here 4 times.

Tonight's menu will depend on the number and mix of guests. I am leaning toward chicken and noodles. I usually make the noodles from scratch although I have no rolling pin here so will substitute some tagliatelli egg noodles. Maybe a green salad. I bought some salad fixings such walnuts, craisins, olives, tomatoes, cucumber.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Ok, interesting group tonight so far. Two Spanish who have stayed multiple times. One is a trained hospitalero. He said he probably won't eat supper as he had a good breakfast and lunch and "la cena" makes your waist big. (So true...). The other on the Camino Catalan walked from Ena which is a really long way. He will be on the road at 6 am so it is a good thing I get up early.

One Frenchman walking from Cadiz. He has a little cart to carry his stuff and camps sometimes. One is from Portugal, but lives in France. He is 80 years old and started in Lourdes. The last to arrive so far is from Germany and also camped last night.

I am rethinking supper. Maybe deviled eggs and a salad with the remaining beef vegetable soup from a couple of nights ago. I will add to it so there will be plenty. They seem like a beef vegetable group. Most nights our pilgrims are here by 6 pm. We'll see if anyone else joins us.
 
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Ok, the day turned out great! Everyone must have been really tired earlier as it was a quiet afternoon. At 7 pm, Phil took 4 of the 5 to the church and tower.
The German pilgrim sang a hymn in the church and Phil said it was beautiful.

At supper there were only the quiet sounds of eating. Almost everyone took seconds and one had thirds. They mowed through a half a basket of fruit and each had a yogurt. After, the French and Portuguese Pilgrims washed all the dishes. Our 80 year old peregrino said he always washed dishes on his Caminos. He has done 7 Caminos. He says this will be his last. He urged me to walk from France one day...

I had long and pretty much one sided conversation about being a hospitalero with our hospi/pilgrim. He worked at Zamora earlier this Spring and told me how crazy busy they were. He said he didn't think he could manage more than breakfast.

The German pilgrim talked to Phil for a long time tonight. He is walking over time from his home in Stuttgart, Germany, and will stop this year in Logroño. He sang a beautiful hymn for us after supper. It is obviously a religious journey for him.

Phil said it was the best soup to date, but he always says that. Anyway it is all gone except a tiny bit which he can eat for lunch tomorrow.

Tomorrow we clean the church and watch tower. Later this week Phil will pull up the shower floors and clean out all the grossness from underneath. We need to do that once at each albergue to keep the drain pipies free of hair and debris. He's my hero for doing that part of the albergue service.

We did hear from our replacement. He is coming early on the 14th. Don't know if he is new or if he just wants to come early to hang out with us a couple of days.
 
Albergue clean.

I awoke at 5 am anyway so got up to make coffee and breakfast for our 2 Spanish pilgrims who were planning a 40+ km day to Sanguesa. Had a good chat. Then the French and German pilgrim got up and lingered more than an hour over coffee. We had a great talk about the Camino. The Frenchman has walked from Cadiz and is on his way to Jerusalem. The German is walking from his home in annual stretches. They compared notes, discussed how the Camino is the great equalizer. At some point our Senior aged pilgrim joined them. He left home at age 10 and worked construction sites, sleeping in the streets. He ate and was off before the other two. He is going all the way to Santiago from Lourdes. He proudly showed Phil and I his pack with the many patches.

Today we will sweep the church and tower museum. I think the chicken and noodles tonight. Supposed to start raining tonight and rain all night.
 
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It is 4:30. Phil cleaned the church alone while I watched the store. We will do the tower another day. My upper back was cramping so bad I had to call him back so I could lie flat a bit. He's off to get me some tonic water which helps at home with cramps (albeit usually mixed with gin). I also drank a little pickle juice (yuck) which also helps. I take a diuretic medication for high BP so wondering if I am just not getting enough salt ans potassium to replace what is washing out. I will also eat a banana.

We have 4 pilgrims now. They hail from Romania, Spain, Japan, and France. The French pilgrim was here last year and had a heart attack after he left. A farmer took him to the local clinic and he was transferred to Zaragoza and had a Stent placed. He's back here to start again toward Santiago. Our pilgrin from Japan also has had some difficulties in the Pyrenees. His pack is way too heavy and he ended up needing help from the Guardia Civil. He had a couple of rest days in Jaca and he told me he got rid of some stuff, but probably not enough. He speaks English, but with a thick accent so it is difficult for him to communicate his needs to the Spanish. I tried to reserve him a bed at Artieda as they would not take a reservation by phone and booking.com showed they were full. I sent an email as directed and I hope that works.

Chicken noodle soup for supper tonight. Phil is happy that there is one bowl left for him tomorrow.
 
Four pilgrims gone by 730. Makato's reservation came through overnight and he dumped another kilo of stuff from his pack. I forwarded the email to him. Cleaning and then maybe to exchange the empty gas bottle, get bread, etc. So glad we rented the car.

Its raining lightly and supposed to rain all day. We'll see how many we get today. I always think people start on the weekend so today may be lighter as fewer people will start Somport, Canfranc E, or Jaca during the week. I expect more Saturday through Wednesday.
 
I really enjoy your stories, thank you for writing each day. It is so totally different from being a hospitalera at Roncesvalles. Of course we also do our utmost to be helpful to the pilgrims, but with the huge amounts of people (and tourigrino's with their roller cases ...) we are not able to have long conversations with them. I am considering now doing a HosVol course and go to a donativo albergue next year.
 
I really enjoy your stories, thank you for writing each day. It is so totally different from being a hospitalera at Roncesvalles. Of course we also do our utmost to be helpful to the pilgrims, but with the huge amounts of people (and tourigrino's with their roller cases ...) we are not able to have long conversations with them. I am considering now doing a HosVol course and go to a donativo albergue next year.
Yes, the more pilgrims the more you are really just looking after their basic physical needs. I know HosVol and/or FICS would welcome your assistance. We don't allow bag transport so that is one thing less to deal with. Those pilgrims stay at the Casa Rural in Arres. Many are curious about the albergue, but not willing to give up their comforts...
 
I have chicken leftover since the group was small last night and of course because I am frugal, I saved the bones, skin, etc in a separate container to make another pot of stock. I am thinking rosemary, garlic, lemon chicken tonight tossed with pasta?

The deviled eggs have been a hit so I may stay on that stretch with a green salad and Phil does not mind at all.
 
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Clearing out some books before my move to the new office in a few weeks.
Tourigrinos are up there, too?
Grf.
Yes, there is a Casa Rural here. Maryluz the owner keeps the albergue key in the winter, when it is open, but not staffed by volunteers. She also runs the bar and has a robust aspagus business. While she gets mostly regular tourists, she also gets pilgrims. Correos will transfer bags on the route, but only Mon-Fri and it is by special arrangement. I tried to arrange to have a Phil's pack transferred last year when we were walking this Camino, but it was a total fail. I feel like you need to have an account with them first. It took all afternoon and into the evening and I had to call several times.. Ultimately they "closed" without sending a confirmation. They sent one after we had set off the next morning, but I had made other arrangements by then. I ended up having his bag transported by taxi to Artieda instead. I called and cancelled the Correos pickup and they said they would charge me anyway. We won't probably try to use them again, even if one of us gets injured. Phil is stronger this year and has lost weight so hoping it won't be necessary.
 
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The latest news...Ruesta is closed/full again tomorrow. They called over to Maryluz's place and Pilar, her daughter, came to tell the albergue. Most pilgrims go there in the next stage. Artieda is only 18 km and Undes de Lerde is about 40 km. Not many choices. It is causing quite a stir!

We have 7 pilgrims the last one got in just as the heavens opened for a pouring rain! 1 Swiss, 4 Spanish, 1 Dutch/Spanish, 1 French. We are having salad w/ deviled eggs, lemon-garlic chicken linguine with fresh asparagus tossed in the noodles, pastry from the bakery for dessert.
 
These daily updates are just fabulous, we're all getting a behind-the-scenes look into the life of a hospitalera/o team! I'm hanging on every detail, especially the menu each night (today's offerings are making my mouth water, and I have to say that deviled eggs sound like the PERFECT addition to a meal while on the Camino!)
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I have chicken leftover since the group was small last night and of course because I am frugal, I saved the bones, skin, etc in a separate container to make another pot of stock. I am thinking rosemary, garlic, lemon chicken tonight tossed with pasta?

The deviled eggs have been a hit so I may stay on that stretch with a green salad and Phil does not mind at all.
Omg. The way you describe your meals and meal planning make me want to eat meat again. You are both such caring people. I said it once and I’ll say it again. Those pilgrims are so so lucky to choose your albergue. ❤️
 
Pilgrims gone. A lively bunch. Some walking 40+ km to Undes de Lerde today. Others only to Artieda. All said they felt "at home" if only for a night. Beautiful day although full sun. Not too hot.

Considering Chilli Frito Pie for supper although will see who arrives. Hard to find chilli powder here, but I did find some burrito mix which has Chilli powder in it. I did find fritos and less expensive brand corn chips at Mercadona. Phil is lobbying for beef vegetable soup again.

We have to go to Jaca today. Low on essentials like TP, trash bags, yogurt, bananas. I also want to get one or two small sharp knives. As is the case in most albergues the knives are dull as a hand axe.

I mentioned the flies last year. They are really bad again this year. We keep the doors shut and try to get pilgrims to do the same. I don't like to use fly spray, but usually do give the albergue a good spray once pilgrims are gone. I keep a fly swatter in each room. One pilgrim suggested I issue one to each pilgrim at registration!
 
Note to self...shopping on Saturday at Mercadona isn't a good idea. Yes, it was packed! Phil hates to be rushed and I was zipping around grabbing items while he was trying to navigate the cart around all the other carts and people. We did get most things and made a stop at the Asia Mercado for the knife, a tablet of paper, and some sheet protectors for the various language translation sheets for the church visits.

Back at the albergue we were just finishing a tuna sandwich lunch when our first pilgrims arrived. Three pilgrims from Japan going "backwards". They all had credentials that were combined Kamuno Kodo/Camino de Santiago. The man had stayed here 11 years ago, before there was a bar. Not too sure about the two women as they were needing things translated by their companion. We will find out more later after they have rested and settled in. For now they are on the way to the bar for food and refreshment. This makes 4 pilgrims from Japan for us.

Phil is taking a quick nap and I will try to grab one after him to give my back a bit if respite Every afternoon about 2 is when the muscle spasms kick in. I took my ibuprofen and added Tylenol, but it has not kicked in yet. I will drink a tonic and see if that helps.
 
We ended up with 9. 3 from Japan, 1 German, 5 French. It appears the lead Japanese pilgrim is a guide. He guides in Japan on the Kumano Kodo and one other pilgrimage and is trying his hand at bringing Japanese pilgrims in the Camino. He and his clients are on a 2 month Camino. They started in Paris, jumped down to SJPDP, did the Portuguese, and are now on their way to Lourdes. He comes on the Camino each year. 9 times since 2012 so is thinking he can make it part of his work

I called Ruesta and made a reservation for the German pilgrim. The French are mostly going there, but 1 will go to Artieda. The Japanese will go to Jaca and the the Monesteries at San Juan de la Pena the next day by taxi.

Supper was taco salad (lettuce, tomatoes, corn, cheese,, with crushed corn chips on top) with spicy ranch dressing. (I mixed ranch with salsa since none available premade.) Then we had chilli frito pie. Chilli with crushed corn chips and cheese on top. Everyone took seconds. No one had eaten it before and they loved it. Fresh cherries for dessert.
A little chilli for Phil and I tomorrow, but otherwise, they licked the plates clean!

Breakfast at 6 for the Japanese, then a group at 7 and one at 7:30. This works for me since I can do breakfast in the kitchen instead of carting everything into the dining room. More cozy and easier to talk 1:1 with pilgrims, remind them about getting water or taking a piece of fruit...
 
Breakfast was a flurry with all pilgrims gone by 7:30. They were quite generous last night with donations. We will need another trip to the bank on Monday, I think.

Winding down our stay, I am thinking about the final menus. I found some actual ham bones at the Mercadona so probably a version of bean soup tonight with potatoes, carrots, spinach, along with some kind of salad. I put some chicken out to thaw this morning in the fridge for tomorrow so may have the rotelli again and I have pork, so pork , apples, and onions in wine again one night. Will see if our Replacement Ray wants me to make him a big pot of beef vegetable soup before we leave for his first night alone.

Must get to cleaning!
 
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