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Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Miracle of the Abanico

An embarrassing beginning with a happy ending.
* * *

While in Seville 
I bought a beautiful Abanico (decorated fan) 
from a gypsy woman for only 3 euro. 

The fan was very useful, 
and many people, both tourist and local, 
were using a fan during the heat wave.

I thought I´d use it on the Via de la Plata, 
then take it home to Emma, 
my eldest granddaughter, 
with the story that 

"This is the fan Grandma carried 
when she walked across  Spain."

I used it the two days we were there,
touristing about, and it came in very handy. 

Then, disaster!

On the morning we left for Italica, 
I was getting ready to leave the hotel 
and had to use the toilet suddenly. 
I had the fan in the back pocket of my trekking pants. 

I enjoyed my lovely BM, 
then got up to flush the toilet, and saw, 
(in HORROR!!) 
that my beautiful painted fan was swimming in the toilet!!!

Using a plastic bag as a glove,
I fished it out, rinsed it off, and disposed of it,
saddened at my bad luck
and at the same time laughing at my stupidity.

I soon forgot the fan as I enjoyed the sights in Italica.

Then came the long walk to Guillena.

 As we approached the village, 
the waymarking was confusing…
 do we go RIGHT or do we go LEFT? 

It was extremely hot! 
Probably well over 100 degrees!
We were out of water and our main goal 
was finding something to drink. 
We approached the village during the siesta hours 
when EVERY single place is locked up tight 
from 2 pm until 5 pm.

Acting on a gut feeling,
I said to Joe, "Let´s go THIS way." 

It was too hot for him to argue. 
A kilometer later we reached a square 
with a fountain. 
We stumbled toward it, turned the handle,
and nothing!
It was dry!
This was the second time in as many days 
we would run out of water
on the Via de la Plata.

As we lamented our poor luck,

two local men passed by,

and seeing our dilemma,
showed us how to open a metal door on the side of the fountain,
turn a screw,
and viola!


We were dunking our heads in the lukewarm water
when I heard a singsong voice, "Perigrinos! Perigrinos!"

I looked to see where the voice was coming from
and saw a hand sticking out
from between the bars of a window
across the narrow lane. 

Walking to the window, 

the hand retreated, 
then quickly returned, 
holding a frosty 1.5 litre bottle of ICED COLD WATER!!!

A sweet female voice asked,"Quieres agua fria¨?….

"Would you like cold water?"

Would we EVER! 

We accepted with gusto, 

drinking down the entire bottle.
She then insisted on giving us another one
to carry along with us.

Blessing her, and thanking her profusely,

I dug into my mochila

and pulled out one of the St. James Chaplets
which I had made and brought along for just such occasions.

St. James Chaplet
Her eyes gleamed and with a big smile,
she told me to wait.
She left the window, 
then returned
and through the window handed me a gift.

I gasped!

In her hand was a lovely painted fan, 
absolutely identical to the one I'd ruined that morning!

I was convinced.

The Camino provides all our needs!

Emma and the fan Grandma carried across Spain.

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