Hey there folks,
Do forgive my lack of posts and updates as of late. It’s been a very busy week for me and I’m only now adjusting to a schedule that forces me to write in my rare moments of leisure.
And what sort of schedule might this be, you ask to no one in particular (save maybe your lone cat or blow-up sex doll). One might also wonder why you’re always speaking in italics, dear reader.
Why, silly bitch! My schedule as a hospitalero in the beautiful city of Grado,
Spain People’s Republic of Asturias, of course!
I’ve been on location now for four days and will finish out the month at the brand new albergue (can’t miss it). It’s a busy ordeal, lemme tell you, with the pilgrims and the building to care for, but gods, I enjoy this stuff. Not much time to write, but somehow I manage.
You rarely have time to yourself as a hospitalero; few things, comrades, are more gratifying than this type of volunteer work. Lemme a’splain.
But let’s backtrack a bit here, eh? We’ve a few days to catch up with one another after all.
So, as you know, I suffered a good amount of pain walking San Salvador because I’m full of piss and vinegar.
Piss and vinegar are not good things to bring on Camino. Lesson learned.
In order to heal, my pal, Ashley, offered me a place to stay at her pad: Casa Licerio. Since I had time to kill afore Grado, I thought it would be a good idea.
Fuck, I love being right.
To start, Ashley, your kick-ass hospitalera and proprietor of this joint, will greet you at the door with a kind smile, a cold beverage, and a genuine interest in your well-being. When I mentioned bitching out about my leg, she had me sit and stay put for the next few days so as to not disturb myself about anything other than drinking wine and writing. She enabled my Ernest Hemingway complex – yes, that’s a good thing.
The rooms are spacious, the beds are soft, and the linens are freshly laundered. This is a pilgrim’s sexy fantasy brought to life. “You mean I can have a scalding hot shower for as long as I feel?” Shit, my nipples could cut glass I was that excited. And, best part, my own fluffy towel to use – always laundered every day – instead of my stupid, coarse pilgrim towel. Fuck that towel. Ashley’s towels are the bomb diggity.
But, no, cold beverages and fluffy towels aren’t the only thing kick ass about Ashley’s gig. Far from it! Every morning there was one of those weird Spanish metal pot thingies filled with coffee.
Fuck; I love coffee.
And it was so ubiquitous here at Casa Licerio; probably supported a small South American dictatorship with the amount I drank. And Ashley always made sure my mug was full and the coffee hot; didn’t even have to ask. She was on top of it like the USA on oil-rich countries in need of some democratic freedom.
And the location! Hell, you’re already in Samos! That’s bitchin’ unto itself, but now you’re right in the heart of it, directly across from a market with all your pilgrim needs, and a couple of late-night bars right around the corner. Want to go visit the monastery and get your kicks at the bar afterward? Fuckin’ a, you can do so because this location is Grade A, All-American prime (rib).
On my first night in Samos, I adopted a young Norwegian at the train station, and after initial pleasantries and adult beverages at Ashley’s, we went to one of these pubs and stayed out until 2AM debating politics, religion, history, and everything in between over some wine. And it was only a few hundred meters from Casa Licerio.
But I couldn’t tarry here for long as my stint in Grado was quickly approaching and I needed to vamonos over there. I bid farewell to Ashley and Casa Licerio, and a few buses and bullshit later, I arrived in the lovely little town of Grado on Camino Primitivo. The ladies who were running the joint bid me enter, trained me up proper, gave me the keys, and went off upon their own adventure. Ladies, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re slaying dragons and shit.
It’s been an absolutely busy week for me – rightfully so – because a hospitalero’s job is never over. There’s breakfast to prepare, things to clean, plants to water, and pilgrims to care for; and that’s the most important bit – caring for the pilgrims.
Putting on a smile and being genuinely excited to meet new people is no easy task, especially when you’re as socially retarded as I am, but I meet every day with a grin. This is quite the volunteer position, being a hospitalero, and each day I’m thankful to be here.
I’ll give you a better write-up on my day-to-day when I find some time (along with San Salvador…). Time is a precious commodity here.
But before I bugger off for who knows how long, let me leave you with this tidbit about being Camino Famous.
Upon my first night with my fellow hospitalero, we’re sitting there enjoying the still of the night. He chuckles at his phone, then reaches over to show me a text message he just received from a Canadian friend of his.
“I’m roommates with this Swiss American guy named Bruno.”
“Bruno? That’s the guy who writes the blog, right?”
Yup. Ashley, you were right. People I’ve never met in person or otherwise know who the hell I am and what I’m doing out here. Camino freakin’ famous. I came out here to walk and volunteer, but now I’m getting pats on the back from all corners of the globe.
Thanks, folks, for reading this blog and following along with our adventure. We’re almost there; to the ends of the earth. Back to our Heart.