Teamwalking the Camino

We spent an extraordinary night last week in Carrion de los Condes, a pretty riverside village where we bunked in a convent run by a team of feisty older nuns who herded us to our beds like sheep, even though one of them couldn’t have been more than four feet tall.

In the evening, we had dinner with our French-speaking friends. It was certainly a highlight of our time together – lots of laughter, Daniel’s toasting and delicious food. Danielle brought his wife Jeanette to tears with his inability to pronounce “Oruho,” a Spanish brandy.

After dinner, we scooted across the street where another order of nuns – Dominicans this time and much younger in this case – offer a nightly benediction for pilgrims passing through. One sat on the steps of the altar playing a guitar and three others join her in singing a Spanish blessing as the priest laid his hands on our heads one by one.

We also met up with a fellow Californian, Nick, and an Italian priest named Giorgio who we’ve walked with a few times, so the evening was certainly a nice boost.

The next day, we had a flat, long stretch of about 18 km with no towns. Luckily, it was overcast and cool, making it an easy walk. At one point, we walked for a bit with a team of French people helping a man in a wheelchair do the Camino. From what we could surmise, there’s a big group and they take turns in teams of three scuttling him along the route. Often they sing as they walk.

Daniel and Jeanette made a point of walking with them for at least half an hour and singing songs with them the whole way. Apologies for the shaky video. The experience in person was moving to say the least.