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One Adventure After Another!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Entertaining Angels Unaware on the Camino Santiago

Photo by Lovingkindness
As the Good Book so clearly states, we need to be careful about how we treat people. For sometimes we are visited by Angels Unaware.

Such was the case at Gite de Pélerin in Thiviers a few days ago when it was visited by a young pilgrim who calls herself "Lovingkindess."  This woman has walked from Norway and is on her way to Santiago. She walked the entire winter, alone. She posts her haunting writings and beautiful photos on the Camino Santiago forum where they are read and enjoyed by all.
Photo by Lovingkindness
Yesterday, in her own words:

Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:24 am the Gite....

Mum acquired Dad at an auction mart. They courted awhile then tangoed their way through 30 homes and 30 cars and somehow acquired a tribe of kids, six airplanes, some cats and dogs and a sidecar with Harley Davidson. And before their affections changed they sailed the south seas in a yaught . Wiith every change my mother cried. Not because she didn't like adventure or shifting house but because before she could install her collection of babies, toddlers and teenagers she had to clean. She had to scour and scrub and deflea the nest because without fail the previous occupants had forgot. And with every new abode Mum said, When you grow up and shift house like me, spring clean and mop out before parting. Think of the next poor girl, the exhausted mother or wife and gift her a gleaming present. Love thy neighbour as thy self.

Which is why I always carry a pair of gloves.

(And why my sister spent the first hours of her honeymoon as a char then succumbed to bronchitus and nearly died).

When I arrived at the Gite de Pélerin in Thiviers (a day before Sorges)I took one look, and thought, 30 minutes, that's all it'll take. I whipped out my latex gloves, stripped the beds and hung out the blankets to air. I swept the floors, removed the webs and examined the fridge and tiles. I'm Happy. Then, just as I was about to scrub some more and polish the windows as well along came a man, furious. What are you doing? Are you from the Association? No, I'm a pélerine. I left you a message. This Gite is closed. No it isn't, the door's unlocked, see, and there's a picture of it in my Guide. Look, there's a notice at Reception saying 'yettle dow' make yourself at home if the no one is there. Then he became aggressive and I got worried. He ordered me to put everything back and stop what I was doing. Which I did. Then I left.

I do not know why the Gite in Thiviers is no longer in use. There's nothing wrong with it. The next day I met 5 pélerins. They, too had met the man and were charged 15 euro a piece to sleep in a yourte.

I'm not sure what reasons this man had 
for treating this pilgrim so unkindly.
But I do know one thing.
This news will travel fast - like wildfire in fact.

And it's really too bad.
She is an exquisite Bard,
the kind you read of in ancient texts,
the traveler entertaining you with
wisdom she's gathered on her way.

He missed the pleasure of knowing her,
of having being blessed with her song,
of listening to her stories of the road
and of the many who have broken bread with her.

He missed the chance of a lifetime.

Perhaps he is not a bad man;
perhaps he was just having a bad day.
And perhaps next time, 
he'll think twice before booting 
an angel
out into the cold.

Buen Camino, Pilgrims!

Where a pilgrim sleeps when there is no Gite - 
Photo by Lovingkindness

* * *
For the record, 
I received a very kind email from this Gite-Owner 
who said Pilgrims were always welcome at her Gite:

Ellen (Rotterdam-Santiago 2003)
Domaine Le Bost
Le Bost
24800 Thiviers
Dordogne Aquitaine
Tel: +33 (0)
Mob: +33 (0)

* * * 
If you'd like to walk the Camino
but aren't quite ready to do it alone,
see my website:
for more information about
Guided Walks on the Camino Santiago 
and on other Pilgrimage Trails of Europe

1 comment:

  1. thank you so much, Annie
    Pilgrims are very welcome on Domaine le Bost

    Ultreia et Bon Camino!



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