Some albergues feel like a business, or give you the impression that pelegrinos are something to be endured. Our albergue last night made you feel like family. If you read the article that was part of the post yesterday, you’ll get a flavor for this place founded around the turn of the century by Father Ernesto Bustio, a remarkable Catholic priest. The original part of the albergue is the family home where this 85 year old man was born. It has been continually expanded and improved and serves as a social center, and as an albergue with a capacity for over 100 each day.
During the evening we heard a humorous rendition of the history of the albergue from two volunteers, including one who works at the local prison. While briefing us about upcoming segments he warned us about one area where some pilgrims walk across a railroad bridge—customary, but illegal. He assured us it wasn’t a problem if we were arrested.
Not a problem for him, as he needs labor for the prison farm.
It was great meeting up with people we had met before, but had not seen recently, as well as newer acquaintances. The onsite hermitage tells the story of the spiritual journey of pilgrims in art.
Another topic, like Gernika, that rates a book, not a short blog post. The home page for the albergue also has more detail.
Jim R said, ”…Strange that all the churches you visited were locked.”
It is rather surprising since the vast majority of churches in our five week trek across France were unlocked, in towns big and small. The larger towns here seem to have specific hours for their cathedrals and churches. I suspect it is related to concerns about vandalism and theft. After all, in the US most churches are locked as a matter of course. But frankly, we feel safer here than where we normally live in Tacoma.
Our Walk Today
Our 9+ mile short day took us down beaches where I (Dennis) got my feet in the ocean for the first time, certainly not the last. To reach Santander, our destination for tonight, we took a thirty minute ferry ride to cross a bay. Short day means a semi-rest day, not a day off.