By Alexander Rae
Today we set off from a small town in the autonomous community of Castilla y León called Villar de Mazarife from a family owned albergue called el refugio de Jesús. What struck me about that town, and what I’m beginning to notice in general is how friendly the people are along the Camino. These albergue owners in particular went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and welcome without knowing us at all (except for Annie who we’ve begun saying is Camino famous). Furthermore, I’ve found myself greeting other peregrinos along the way with a typical “buen camino,” but that’s turned into “buen camino, oh hello again!” As we’ve begun seeing familiar faces along the way. Another highlight of the day has been the scenery. The valley we walked through was surrounded by mountains, with some showing patches of snow. Then when coming into Hospital de Órbigo we got to walk across an awesome Romanesque bridge and be stopped halfway through by a friendly local telling us that even though we’ve missed the town’s jousting competition there’s a nice park and tennis courts if we feel like playing sports. Later, we got lost on our way to the supermercado, and a very kind older señora halfway ran to give us directions. Walking out of the supermarket back to the albergue, another older señor Made sure we know there are two routes along the Camino to the next town and letting us know which one is better. Looking forward to what the next week’s bring!