Category Archives: Camino de Santiago

“And what is your reason for walking the Camino?”

“And what is your reason for walking the Camino?”, asked the man in the Santiago Pilgrims Office.

“I would just like a stamp in my credential to show the date I arrived in Santiago, please.”, I answered.

“But senora, what is your reason? Was it religious or spiritual?”, he persisted.

“Spiritual, but I won’t be getting a compostela”. “Porque no?”, he questioned.

I told the young man I couldn’t have a compostela because I didn’t walk the entire last 100 kilometers. “I hurt my back. It’s okay now, but I wasn’t able to walk yesterday.

Please, may I just have the stamp in my credential? “This man tried to give me a compostela anyway, bless his heart.

He eventually stamped my credential, and as I turned to go, there stood Rebecca, grinning ear to ear, compostela in hand.

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. No compostela, but a marvelous Camino. I can’t complain. It was a joy to walk to Santiago with Rebecca

En Garde

What a wonderful Camino it was!

Camino Laundry. 

We travel light on the Camino. It’s what you do when you carry your possessions on your back.
Each day, after walking for hours, the first thing a pilgrim does is find a shower and then wash the day’s sweaty clothing.  Some prefer to find a beer, but that could result in them neglecting a few basic needs.

We typically wash our clothes in cold water, often in a stone sink, then hang them to dry on a communal clothesline. I have had the odd item disappear on a breezy day or at the hands of another pilgrim who fancied something of mine, but never has a bra gone missing…

For centuries there have been communal, spring-fed laundries on the Iberian peninsula and we have seen many of them in recent days. Today we found our first warm water laundry!

We are spending the night in the spa town of Caldas de Reis. It is here that the women of way-back-when would gather around a covered laundry “room” to gossip and wash their clothes in wonderful 100 degree water. Imagine how nice that must have been on a cold winter’s day.

I wanted to experience this ancient ritual and took my dirty clothing to that giant tub. Unfortunately, laundry isn’t allowed on the weekend.