Friday, September 23, 2016

700 pilgrims leave Roncevalles for Santiago

And this was not just a rumour. Apparently on the 2/3 September weekend, 700 pilgrims set out from Saint Jean Pied de Port, overcrowding Roncevalles to the point of no food or beds, and now these pilgrims are spread along the camino.

This in from Dody in NájeraThis Albergue is full, all 90 beds, including a dog accompanying a girl with a disability. Apparently all in Najera are booked. So I guess the Camino is busy although I didn't have any problems on my way from St.Jean last week.

And from Linda in EstellaHola amigos!

This is Linda in Estella. We have been very busy here with a few nice breaks to nap! 

I am celebrating  Estella which I missed on my own Camino - a beautiful historic city. And I am loving all the pilgrims coming to stay with us.

And an update from Jeannie and Calvin in Villalcázar de Sirga:

Well Moises and Oscar both came round last night and it was good that they did empty the donation boxes because there was an avalanche of money!! They hadn't emptied it since July so there were probably several thousand euros there!! Both of us feel much better now that they have emptied the boxes. They didn't have the key for the box that you put euros in for hot water so I think they are coming back today. 
Today we went for a walk to the hermitage a few kilometers away and Oscar's father and Moises uncle were there! We wouldn't have known that except I asked to take a picture of the two men there and then when I said we were hospitaleros they put things together and said that Oscar and Moises had told them they had been talking with us yesterday. It's lovely to start fitting family connections together. 

Thanks so much for your help!

We leave Oct 1 st and they don't have anyone coming for the last two weeks. I told Moises and Oscar that I would ask you two if there was anyone who would want to come for the next two weeks.

The sunsets are fabulous, but when I showed the photos below to Oscar he shrugged and said every day in Sept is like this!

Calvin and Jeannie


Thursday, September 22, 2016

From Jeannie and Calvin at an albergue for 20

Hello from Villalcázar de Sirga
Yesterday  was supposed to be the day that the "butano" truck comes and replaces the butane tanks. We use butane to heat water for showers and to operate the stove- both of which are extremely important things when people have walked 20-40 kms a day!

So Calvin put two empty tanks on the side of the curb, as we noted that other people were doing. Two men working at repairing and beautifying the area around our building (which is at the back of the municipal hall) made sure we did what we were supposed to do. We stayed close to home for most of the morning except when we went to the Dovecote restaurant (3 blocks away) for lunch.  When we returned the butane truck still hadn't arrived. Later in the afternoon a contingency of men (two of the same ones that were very involved with Calvin and his repair job on the bicycle with the hole in the inner tube) came to check on the situation. One of the two workmen (maybe both) got word out that we were running out of butane and may need someone to take us into the next town to get butane. They were quite worried that we may run out of butane and were ready to intervene! Calvin actually thinks we are OK for right now, although the only way we will really know if we are low is if the stove or hot water stop working!

This whole thing took quite awhile to sort out because a French  pilgrim staying at the albergue  thought he could help in the translation and he got involved too. His Spanish was probably about the same level as mine and he got confused about the Spanish words for full and empty which prolonged the discussion even more. In the end it all got sorted out and everyone now knows the butane truck will come (probably) next Wednesday, and we are hoping that what we have will last for a week. We're still not sure why the truck didn't come this Wednesday as  it was supposed to but c'est la vie!

It was touching to us that the workmen got word out in the village that we might need help, and we think the villagers of Villacazar de Sirga are very fine people indeed. So we will have to get a sweet treat from the village store for the two workmen to thank them for watching out for us!! It takes a village to look after these two hospitaleros!

Photos of the albergue

And sunset at Villalcázar de Sirga

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What's it like to be a hospitalero?

What do you do each day? How many pilgrims can you expect? We are asked these and other questions often and today, Kevin McKinney forwarded a blog entry by an American who is currently volunteering at El Burgo Rañero. I'm sure you'll enjoy this "day in the life of...." by Bruno.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Already 20 Canadians volunteering in 2016

We can't believe the response from those that have been trained this spring. Already several have been posted to albergues: Bercianos del Camino, Salamanca, and Nájera. As well, Ken and Pat, and another Pat have just completed their 15 days at Grañón and Nájera. Pilgrims would have thought that Canadians were strategically placed all along the camino, and indeed they are, as Paula will be in Pieros on May 15, welcoming these pilgrims to their last stage of their camino. To see the names and placements for the other 15 hospitaleros, click here or click on the link to your right.
Thanks to all for your volunteer hours!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Part 2 of 30 more hospitaleros trained!

Tom, Mary and Daphne had a busy weekend in Victoria, with people coming from Washington, Oregon, Edmonton, Mission, Agassiz, Salt Spring Island and Victoria. Truly a mixed group and all very talented. Without exception, the pilgrims who encounter these hospitaleros will be blessed.
We began Friday night with the usual tapas and paella dinner.

And then we put people to work..........
 discussing what we need to think about when we move into a Spanish community. How can we be a part of it? How can we best contribute to the albergue?
problem solving
Soup's on!
What a great group! Ready to serve the pilgrims.

Monday, April 25, 2016

30 more hospitaleros trained to serve.....part 1

Tom, Mary and Darlene spent the weekend of April 15-17 in Toronto, training 10 more pilgrims to return to Spain or France as hospitaleros in the coming year or two. Folks came from North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ottawa, Montreal, Pennsylvania and Burlington as well as a few from Toronto. Thanks to Mike for billeting and driving around 5 of our out of towners. The opening night reception at Ingrid's house was truly amazing.
And we actually did get some work done. Lots of discussions and lots of fun as well.
The hospitalero here is having  a challenge deciding whether or not the owner of the restaurant is trying to bribe him with a free meal, or does she just want all the pilgrims to go to her place??

And already, Lizzie who has been posted at the Oficina de Acogida al Peregrino en Santiago from September 16 -30th. 
We will continue to update our posting list as people receive their positions.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Canadian hospitaleros off to serve in Spain 2016!

As Tom, Mary and Daphne prepare for more training sessions this spring, many of those trained in October in 2015 have received their placement for this year. Joan will be in El Burgo Ranero from the 15-30 April, welcoming pilgrims who have stayed with Ken and Pat in Grañón during the same time period. Others on the Camino Francés this season are Dave, Angela, Tania, Darlene, Linda, Calvin and Jeannie. Angela will also be in Salamanca from 1-15 July, following on the heels of David who will be there on 1-15 June. For the full list with dates, please see the list to the right, or click here.
Please remember to let me know when you get a posting and we'll put your name on the list. It's very exciting to know that there are so many Canadians willing to serve other pilgrims each year.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Victoria training confirmed

We can now confirm hospitalero training in April the weekend of the 22nd-24th. If you are interested in giving back to the camino, please consider joining us for the weekend. We promise lots of fun, good food, and helpful information regarding serving as a hospitalero on the camino in either Spain or France. Please click here or click on the link to your right.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Training offered in Toronto

For those interested in returning to Spain (or France) to serve as a hospitalero/a, we offer a few courses each year. In 2016, we have confirmed training in Toronto from April 15-17. The registration form can be found on the link to the right of this page. We also plan to offer training in Victoria in February and Fredericton in April, but the dates have not yet been set. As soon as the dates are confirmed, registration forms will be found on this page.
We guarantee that the weekend will be full of fun, learning and a reinforcement of all those things you learned and felt on the camino.