Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Monday, November 16, 2015

To Viana


Next morning, we continued on for a short day to Viana.
In Torres del Rio, we paid €1 to see the inside of the octogonal Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro, linked with the Knights Templar.  The interior was simple but pretty. The 13th century crucifix and ceiling were the highlights for me.

It was very hot walking, and I was happy to lay down in the dirt and rest. I am wearing the pajama top I nabbed at the last albergue from the free box. I slit the underarms to get air. The top protected me from the sun quite well!

Oh, it felt so good to lay down and put my feet up!
Pilgrims have made stone crosses along the Way.
We stopped for a well-deserved cervesa con limón!
 In Viana, we chose to stay at the parochial which is located in the church building. It was clean and friendly. We slept on 2 inch mats on the floor, but honestly, they were as comfortable as some of the saggy bunkbed mattresses we've had. The priest was young and very nice. We had a family-style dinner with him, and then he did a special Mass for us. Afterwards, he took us into the basement to show us the Church's treasures.

Father Cesár is sitting to the right of the guitarra.
The next morning at dawn, we were awakened by a beautiful choir singing outside our window. The song has since been taken down from the internet, but it was beautiful!  Here is the photo I took right after they woke me up:

The Auroras are a group of neighbors who come to sing at night through the streets of the city from 6:00 to 8:00 am in certain festivals of saints performing religious songs .

January 6: Aurora Reyes.
February 1: Aurora Foundation or San Felices.
March 19: Aurora San Jose.
Easter Monday: Dawn of the pilgrimage of the Virgen de Cuevas.
June: Corpus Christi Aurora.
August 15: Assumption Aurora or parish.
September 8: Dawn of the pilgrimage to the Virgen de Cuevas.
First Sunday in October: Aurora Virgen del Rosario.
November 22: Santa Cecilia Aurora.
December 3: Dawn of San Francisco Javier.
December 8: Immaculate Aurora.
December 24: Christmas Aurora.

I've written the words to the song here.

Here is a link if you'd like to download and listen to the song they sang to us. Give it a moment to get started:
Descargar este archivo ahora.
The words:

Aurora a La Virgen de Cuevas

En verano y primavera
Florecen las romarias
En verano y primavera
Bendice a los perigrinos
Que marchan a Compostela
Y sonrie a los vianeses
La que es más bella y sin par.

Sube al cielo la aurora radiante
Y en los campos hermanos de Viana
Una música suena galena
A la Virgen más bella y sin par.
Su camino se llena de pasos
Y los frutos gozosos florecen,
Las graganta de amor se enterenecen
Y los Rezos se tornan cantar.

Tiene un Niño entre sus brazos,
La Virgen de Cuevas, madre.
Tiene un Niño entre sus brazos,
Quien puriera como un hijo
Vivir siempre en su regazo
Viver siempre en su regazo
La Virgen de Cuevas, madre
Sube al cielo la aurora radiante
A la Virgen mas bella y sin par!.


Dawn of the Virgin of Cuevas

In summer and spring
The rosemary flowers
In summer and spring
It blesses the pilgrims
Who walk to Compostela
And dream of the Vianesse
who is most  beautiful and without equal.

The radiating aurora fills the sky
and in the fields, brothers of Viana,
the Galena music plays
to the most beautiful Virgin without equal.
Their Camino is filled with steps
and the joyful fruits are blooming
Great is the love all around
And the prayers have become song.

You have the Son in your arms
Virgin of Cuevas, Mother,
You have the Son in your arms,
Who is pure like the son
To always stay in her lap
To always stay in her lap
Virgin of Cuevas, Mother
The radiating aurora fills the sky
For the beautiful Virgin without equal.

Spring Group

These peregrinas are lying on their backs
under the empty rose window 
in the ruins of San Pablo Church, in Viana, 
which was damaged during the Carlist Wars. 
I think it would be very cool to lay here at night
and look up at the stars through the portal.

The walk to Viana began with a glorious sunrise!

Shelter from storms?

April is decked out!

There was road walking today
Once in the village,
we waited in the Church for the others to arrive.


Some of the art was striking!
Jenny had a nice private room in Jose's uncle's home.

Mimi had a private single room here.
What a nice rest from sharing with another pilgrim.
Catherine also got a private room.

It was nice having a kitchen!
We had a great night in Viana. 
Most stayed in Apartamento Borgia

Four of us took smaller but lovely lodgings at Jose's Tio's house.

I put Mimi and Catherine and Jenny in private rooms.
I thought they might enjoy some privacy

Joe had a tiny room with a double bed,
and I began there, but later
   I moved to the floor on some blankets in front of the bathroom. 

Before I moved to the floor,
I had a funny dream that I was walking the Camino 
and each time I would get within 2 kilometers of a town, 
someone would push my left shoulder
and I would be SWEPT into the town center. 
After about 4 or 5 of those pushes
I finally said out loud (though still dreaming) ,
 "WHY are you pushing me!?"

A voice answered out of the darkness, "because you are snoring!"

Haha! Poor Joe! 
 I bet he slept better too when I moved to the hall floor. 
Sometimes I just sleep better on the floor. 
I think I got that from all the times I slept
on the grandparents' floors as a child.

Jose at Apartamento Borgia was a Camino Angel, 
giving 3 of us who were exceptionally tired
a ride to Logrono this morning.
I am still recovering from the flu.
It really kicked my butt!

We learned Jose is a talented woodworker and I will post photos of his pieces upon my return home.

The apartments have been perfect for most of us. 
For Joe and I, this has been a huge change
from staying in a Pilgrim Albergue 
on a bunk bed in a room with 12 to 60 other pilgrims 
and sharing a sometimes cold water and often dirty shower. 

To have a clean bed that no other pilgrim has slept in 
and my mochila waiting at the end of the day 
makes me feel the pain of those pilgrims
carrying their houses on their backs, 
unsure of the night's lodging. 
I wonder if I'll be ready to travel that way again end of June after all this luxury?

My walkers have been great,
for the most part.
This is my first year leading a group
and there are moments I feel totally unprepared.

Most, however, seem to be having a wonderful time 
 We lose two today, Yuki and Carmen. 
We will miss them and their bright, energetic personalities.

Autumn Group

Tonight our little group is sleeping in a lovely apartment in Viana. 
This ancient walled village has a special feeling.
Our host, Jose,
met us at the Cathedral.

He then walked us to his apartment building,
Apartamentos Borgia,
which from the outside,
is quite nondescript.

The apartment inside,
is lovely.

There is a washing machine in the apartment!
 The washing machine was great
 except for the fact it wouldn't spin
or maybe we just couldn't figure it out. 
We hung clothes out on the line 
but the sky threatened rain and so the racks 
were soon brought inside.

 Soon, everyone was grinning and giggling 
after attending Mass and cooking dinner ... 
and enjoying the wine generously provided by Linda.


Linda always smiles

It was a fun night.
Jose left us a huge store of food,
including bread, rolls, pastries, 
jams, butter,
juice, coffee, teas,
and other goodies for our breakfast.
I really love this place!

Walking Alone

The walk started out drizzly and the rain continued on and off all day. It actually made for beautiful walking.

If you are leaving Los Arcos before breakfast, you can find both a tienda and a bar open in the village about 1.5 hours away, Sansol and Torres del Rio also has bars.  

I was stopped in my tracks by a rainbow going all the way across the sky and literally framing Sansol. Unfortunately this was the one day I had packed my camera into my mochilla and my iPhone couldn't get the entire bow in the photo nor could it capture the bright vivid colors. But it really was something to see and I probably spent ten minutes just soaking in the beauty

I left the Camino and walked the road after Torres del Rio. The trail was just too full of pilgrims and I preferred the quiet of the road. 

The paths were fragrant with herbs and wildflowers.  
Wild roses, honeysuckle, fennel, onions, garlic, 
poppies, mustard, lavender, hoarhound,
 and many more.  

This is the second time I have slept at the parochial in Viana. The first was magical and today is coming in close. The parochial Albergue is around the left side of the church. It opens at noon.

It is donativo but since they feed you a healthy dinner and breakfast, please be generous. I paid 12,50 last night for a bed and breakfast. I figure it is worth that or at least 10 euros even though I will sleep on the floor. The mats are comfortable, sometimes better than a bed. And there is heat and hot showers.

I was met at the door by a sweet hospitalero who asked how I was doing. When I told him I was cold, he promptly led me to the kitchen and poured me a steaming cup of homemade sopa ajo (garlic soup). Oh My Gosh!  It was perfect!

He then showed me what's for dinner... Calamares!  Wow!

Once again, I'm happy and enjoying an ensalada mixta for lunch at Hotel Palacio de Pujadas. They have a Plato del Dia for 4 euros. 

A 'tourista-grino' asked if i knew what they were serving?  I told her 'for 4 euros, take a chance!'


My sleeping pad, slim but amazingly comfortable.

La cocina 

Spring/Summer Group

It was an easy trek to Viana today.
We left Los Arcos about 7.30 and arrived in Viana by 12:30. 

Paul and I took the road route from Torres del Rio. We figure we made it about half an hour before the others and for me, the walk is much easier. 

Once most of us were in Viana we found a wonderful place for dinner. They closed at 3 so at 2 pm we got a table at Casa Armendariz. It was one of the best meals I have had on the Camino!

Jack started with mixed salad. Paul, Chantal, and Pat all began with Canonelli with Tuna. I had Cauliflower and Potatoes in Garlic sauce!

For second course, Jack and Paul had Stewed Veal. By the time I got around to taking a photo it looked like this. 

Luckily, he had taken his own photo. 

I had grilled Pork Cheeks. 

Chantal and Pat had a big plate of Fried Sole!

We all shared bites and agreed the food here was great 
compared to other meals on the Camino. 

I can't wait to come back next year and eat here again!

Everyone except me left for 8 o'clock Mass. 

Tomorrow. . . Logrono and tapas!

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