Day 12, Granon to VillaFranca


Since I ended off a little earlier yesterday I’ll start with dinner last night… As I said before, we booked into a hospitalero which was run by volunteers and housed in the upper floors of the old church…. Yesterday’s last pic shows the courtyard and the upper floors… Yes, after a long day of trekking on pebbley paths, we climbed up 3 stories of dark ancient stone steps to check in… No passport nor credential required… Just sign your name, country and where you started your pilgrimage, leave a voluntary donation and you were given a mat to sleep on, toilet and shower(1:30) home cooked dinner and self serve breakfast!  Actually quite amazing!  In the end, there were about 60 people staying there (capacity) and everyone played a role in meal prep, set-up and clean up… Amazing coordination I must say!   

   After dinner we were invited to attend a short reflection time being held in the choir loft in the church.  The local priest was there and said a blessing for us all.  He then brought a large candle forward ( the rest of the loft had been lit with tea lights) and explained that 7,000 pilgrims per year go through this facility, and they have all been invited to participate in this ritual… As he handed the candle to the first person he asked them to say a prayer or blessing or memory of their Camino… It could be in song or a poem, and of course in their own language.  It was a very touching moment for us all.  Once this was finished, he explained that they did not give out stamps for credentials, but they shared a personal greeting or hug with each other, that this be stamped on theirs hearts and carried with them throughout the Camino…

For all those of you wondering about what has happened to poor Dan, here’s the news.  When we left him in Azofra, he managed to get a bus to Burgos… Low and behold, with he and 2 older American were adopted by a medical student “Sara” who followed them to the clinic in Burgos, helped them with the forms and stayed with them until all there questions were answered…a true angel of mercy.  Tonight the three of them are taking Sara to dinner as a thank you… All in all, Dan will take his antibiotics and aspirin and with 4 days rest may be able to rejoin the walking…I’m looking forward to seeing him on Wednesday…

Back to my day… We hit the road at 8 ish to overcast skies.  We had a number of small towns to go through before Belorado, and we plowed through the first 15 k to get there.  Exhausted from the first heat, we had a great meal, know kicked off our shoes for 30 min, and enjoyed the relaxation. 

 Then on the road again… We had a number of villages to get through before Villafranca… Again pushing through and half crippled ( I think I may have a bit of tendinitis) we finally arrived at our Albergue… Which is attached to a lovely hotel… Turns out the owner has walked the Camino 5 times and wanted to provide a refuge for peregrinos… Sandra, suffering from an oak chair being dropped on her foot last night was a wee bit behind… I couldn’t face bunk beds, nor did I want to be up close a personal with anyone, so I booked us into a double room (such luxury!!!… No bath though) for €30…. Is have paid anything for a good nights sleep tonight!!! 

   Once in, we did our usual ritual of shower, wash clothes, hang on line, come into room for a lie down and self administered foot massage, then off to our Peregrinos meal… Exciting life I lead!!! Until tomorrow! Look at the sign a few k before our destination… Very exciting!!! 

  

Categories: Uncategorized

6 comments

  1. What an adventure! Thanks for the great pictures. Can’t imagine doing that walkout let alone 5 times !

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  2. I am so enjoying following your trip and looking at the wonderful pictures. Despite Dan’s feet problems, it sounds like you are both thoroughly enjoying yourselves. Keep up the good work.

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  3. I really hope Dan gets well enough to join you! You look amazing! I know this is a tough go but you really are glowing! Blessings, Karen

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  4. Atta girl Pat! Day after day and mile after mile. I can not fathom doing what you are doing so I am throughly enjoying this blog. I hope Dan’s feet heal enough to put in more miles, but from what I’m reading here, it’s also about the journey regardless of the vehicle.

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