Friday, January 30, 2009

Greetings from Sunny Spain

The rains of Spain may be staying on the plains, but I'm in the mountains where SPF45 is needed and a jacket is not :-)

I've just arrived into the Benedictine Monastery in Ronscavalle that has been here to help pilgrims for centuries. The Basque Country on both sides of the frontier between France and Spain is glorious. Rolling hills, cows and sheep grazing, small cheese and salami vendors in villages. Really nice area.

I encountered two pilgrims yesterday on the French side of the Pyrenees. The first, a Frenchman on the trail. He was heading back to his home in France. We spent some nice moments talking - my first co-pilgrim of the journey. The second was a Pole at the pilgrim house in St Jean Pied de Port, the last town before the pass. My first dormitory 'bedfellow' on the trip. The unusual situation exists in Pilgrimland, of sleeping three feet away from a married man and we're both wearing just a tee shirt and undies, and it's all very acceptable. Odd.

More soon...


Amawalker said...

la bienvenida a El Camino de Santiago Ann-e! - y buen camino!
(The monastery at Roncesvalles was founded by the order of St Augustin - not Benedict).
Hope you have blue skies all the way!

Compostelle 2008 said...


I can relate to that! I remember peeking over my book I was reading lying on my cot and watching more than one man get ready for bed in Condom, in Torres del Rio and Agès. Missed my husband a little, maybe.


Jefferson GrandsLieux said...

That's what a pilgrimage is about : living less comfortably, forgetting all the habits, not being prejudiced any more.
Working on oneself to keep the essence of the other pilgrim. That essential part : a spiritual being living a human experience.
Thinking about his soul, his mind, his feeling ; his body is just a tool to go on.
May be the sight of that pole in your dormitory made you think differently about the way the opposite sexes should live together on earth... ?

peter said...

I will be heading for St. Jean-Pied-du-Port six weeks from now to begin my own winter pilgrimage to Santiago. Not only is your blog helpful and informative, it is a delight to read. Thank you, and Buon Camino!