My second Camino: the pilgrims’ meal

I normally write my blog in the afternoon, after walking, and before dinner, so I haven’t written much before about the pilgrims’ meals on the Camino.

But now seems like a good opportunity because we had a very special pilgrims’ meal in Villavante, the night before last.

All along the Camino you can have a pilgrims’ menu for around €10 – €13. This is three courses, with wine (often lots of wine), water and bread. It’s very welcome after a long day walking.

Often you will eat with people you just met that day on the Way, or in the albergue. You start as strangers. You end as old friends.

Our night in Villavante was one such occasion. There were only about ten pilgrims in the hostel that night, so we all crowded around one table to break bread and drink wine. A couple of later arrivals were also squeezed onto the table.

Over dinner one pilgrim, Brian, who is a choreographer, suggested that we each sing a song from our home country, and he started off with a country song. Those of you who know me will know that it doesn’t take much encouragement to start me singing… And soon everyone around the table was joining in. Irish songs, French songs, Mexican songs, drinking songs (it transpires that these are pretty international).

We ordered more wine and moved into the albergue’s small garden. Our group chatted and swapped life stories, it felt like we were talking into the small hours. In reality, it was 10pm when the lady who ran the hostel told us it was time to be quiet… But that’s late on the Camino!

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