May 24, 2011, Santo Domingo to Tosantos

Left hotel at 07:00 to meet Monique and stopped with her at cafe then ATM. Walked to Granon, then on to Redecilla, Viloria and Villamayhor where said goodbye to Monique, only to see her again when catching email at Belorado. Would learn later that Rocky was in Belorado at the same time, but didn’t see her as I passed through town. Quick walk to Tosantos in blazing sun to see albergue there just as I left it in 2008. Laundry, shower, and journal writing. Very tired after cervesa and olives at local bar. Looking for good place to lay down, but sun is hot and yard is rough.

Had a nice few Spanish moment with hospitalero here, who was eating lunch when I arrived. Told him this was my second camino, that I was a Methodist priest and that I had returned in order to revisit the albergue.

Just finished cooking in the albergue while singing Taize songs with the hospitalero. Very fun, but everyone though we were totally weird. Dinner as  a group with many languages (all fast). Chapel afterward and hospitalero asked me to do a benediction.

May 23, 2011 Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Text from Luke saying he would meet me in Santo Domingo because he needs $s. Had warm croissant for breakfast and went to look for shoe repair for my boot soles to see if that might help my toe blister. Should buy sewing kit to thread my toe blister to help it dry out. Will have a very quiet day.

Met Renee at cafe near cathedral and had a talk, but her “high ‘I'” introvert meant she had little to share in return. A little frustrated that it was hard to draw her out. One thing I determined was that I would adjust to spend a little more time in solitude myself. Renee has clearly benefitted from more time alone.

My boots are an obstacle now, with wear on the outboard portion of each foot. This is pushing especially the toes of my right foot into the boot, causing the large blister. I had bought these boots in Burgos in 2008 and they already had 500 miles not hem. I will shop for new boots in Burgos again this year.

Over the last 24 hours have been thinking about drop-in program Sheila described at St. Boniface church in SF. People come to church from 06:30, have opportunity just to hang out. Mass at noon, then church closes for the day. They have 2 staffers during this time and 2 volunteers each day M-F. The idea of having the FH at our church used in this way is appealing. Could have nursing staff and case managers and visits from human service agencies for services. Perhaps mats on the floor for day rest for people?

Sitting in bar at Santo Domingo waiting for Luke I met Ann of South Africa. She showed pictures, told of her children and grandchildren and described her branch of Christnity start by Rudolph Steiner. Focus is on mysteries that have been suppressed by the church over the centuries, especially Holy Grail, etc. She also shared story of working with Winne Mandela in preparation of house for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. She was wearing apron, serving Winnie at Soweto the day he came home after his release from prison. She noted how white woman was serving a black family. Also told story of her struggling farm and desire for God to help in midst of her lawsuit.

There is a lot to be learned from just sitting by the side of the road and hearing stories of pilgrims.

Wen to get some vaseline, came back and who should be there but Monique. Returned to the cafe/bar and had long conversation with her. Then got credentials and toured the church ,museum, and tower. Got phone call from Luke that he was in town at the albergue so arranged rendezvous at 20:00 with him, the girls, and Monique and others. Long dinner at restaurant on main drag and recited history of Israel with Gal and Lila. Monique was sleeping in their room at the albergue, so I deposited them all at the door of the albergue at 22:00 then off to Parador for a quiet night with Rocky.