Monday, September 28, 2009
Angels of the Camino
8 hours 20 minutes-28 km
Today we walked through endless cornfields for the first 5 hours, then we started our ascent of 3 long gentle hills. The climb up and down was not steep but the trail strewn with loose rock made it a miserable 3 hours of climbing with very little shade and a hot sunny afternoon.
When we got to the top of the last hill, a long slog, our feet screaming from all the loose rock; we met one of the wonderful Angels of the Camino.
David lives 15 km away but comes to that desolate spot where Pilgrims are ready to drop and he sets up his little stand of fresh fruit, homemade cake, juices, tea and coffee. He offers it all free to passing Pilgrims.
He tells me it is out of love for the Pilgrims and the Camino. He says he himself was a Pilgrim and knew the pain and exhaustion, so he wants to give something back to the Camino that means so much to him.
He is truly a Camino Angel for what he does, and there are many more like him.
There was Felicia who until she died at 100, sat in front of her little house and gave to passing Pilgrims the only thing she had. Water, figs from a tree in her garden, and love. Since her death, her daughter, now an old woman herself, has taken her place and greets Pilgrims each day with water, figs and love.
Then there is Marcelino who sets up a stand with fruits and cookies for Pilgrims. He also has a van and drives some of the road stretches of the Camino to help Pilgrims in need.
We also met Robert from England who walked the Camino and wanted to give something back. Each year he comes in his camper and sets up along side a lonely stretch of the Camino and offers English tea and cookies and first aid and foot care to passing Pilgrims.
These and others like them are truly "Angels of the Camino" and ask nothing in return for their love and kindness. They have a small donation box on their stand, but treat all the same, whether they give or not.
I know there are many more like them. And I know that I am very grateful to those that I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with.
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