Appreciation of Life

I love the hospitality of the country villagers. Last night’s dinner was wonderful and our hospitalera could not do enough for us. She catered to everyone’s diets and made sure we were warm and cosy. She is an absolute delight. 

Colleen is on the mend now after 4 days of illness. We are now in Zamora and we have spent the afternoon exploring the winding hilly streets, the cathedral, the little market and cafes. We went to the castle, and wandered along the rivers’ edge. Roman ruins are everywhere. 

Street art (trompe l’oeil)

We came across a group of women dressed in traditional costume dancing and singing in the square. No idea why but it was lovely. 

We are staying in the municipal albergue tonight, so no bells and whistles but it’s comfortable enough. When we got back from our walk, we found we have another person in our dorm, assuming it is a female as everything was neatly laid out in little organised piles on the bed, but to our delight, it is the handsome Brazilian guy from last night. He has been entertaining us with his hilarious stories of his time on the Camino. Haven’t laughed so much in ages! I’m surrounded by funny people-Colleen who makes me laugh every day, Brendan the Scottish/Australian and now the tall and handsome Brazilian whose name I still don’t know.  I was expecting Zamora to be a lot bigger and we were disappointed to find that the frescos and paintings in the cathedral have been restored to the point of actually looking new.

We will start walking again tomorrow. We miss it, but there is no way Colleen could have walked over the last few days. She has been really ill. We will reach  the turn off in a few days. There is a choice to go north to join the Frances Camino at Astorga or to take the Sanabrese route over towards Portugal and up to Santiago. We are doing the latter, even though it looks more challenging than the Frances mountains. We expect to be very cold. Such extremes on this Camino!

I have found myself watching the Spanish people in their daily life. It fascinates me. The streets are immaculately clean and the women seem to be so house proud. We watched a couple of women this morning, sweeping the footpath outside their houses. They dusted and washed the windows  and polished the baulustrades till they shone in the sunlight. The same men that were in the bar last night, were there again this morning. Their life is so simple! 

The other thing I have observed is the size of their houses. They look nothing from outside -just a wall, door and windows, but as you enter, you see immediately how clean they are. They go right back and are actually huge inside, often with a courtyard. The floors are usually tiles and lino (no carpet), religious icons are everywhere, lots of doilies and photos adorn the shelves, and the furniture is really simple. Washing gets hung on a line along the outside of the street for all to see, and the women seem to spend the whole day cleaning. Although there is often the presence of police cars in the town square, there is the feeling that there is no crime here. It seems so safe. The children are so well behaved and there seems to be a real community feel.

4 Replies to “Appreciation of Life”

  1. Shucks! Your stories will make us want to jump into boats, and head for Spain of the South. Another collection of some precious photos, woven into a good story. Why not ask the Brazilian how he likes to be addressed? Keep it simple, and laugh a lot. Great to see Colleen on the mend. Buen Camino.

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