Saturday, February 5, 2011

Team John in Shock, Ecstatic to see Team Charles

(Jackie Speaking:)  My apologies, my posts always seem to be a couple of days behind.  I must be spending too much time in the café, or maybe the bar J 

Pilgrim dinner inside the Dutch albergue at Monjardin.
From left: Erin Elaine, Dana, Lisa, Bart, Susan. Back
row: Jackie, Elissa and Greta.
Imagine Team John's surprise when Erin Elaine from Team Charles spotted us in Villamayor de Monjardin a couple of days ago!  We thought for sure they wouldn't be able to catch up with us so soon!  Alison and I had been out and about at the store to purchase a few extra shoelaces in case any of our group broke one along the way, just like she had on the first day.  That was when we heard Erin Elaine's squeal.  We ran back to get the rest of Team John and headed over to see Team Charles.  On seeing everyone, we all had a BIG round of sweaty, smelly hugs.  We headed to dinner together and then off to the café/bar for some drinks to celebrate finding each other once again. 

Even though we were shocked, I must admit that Team John was quite relieved to see Team Charles.  We had missed our good friends and the lively conversations along the way.  It also didn't take us long to realize that none of our members had been on the Camino before and while the route is fairly clearly marked, we still worried that we might get a little lost along the way.  Plus, Rock Star has been a great guide, providing us with the history and religious aspects of both the walk and the towns/cities along the way.  And, I was getting a little worried about Bart since he was the only boy in our group amongst all the ladies, although he didn't seem to mind.

Ever helpful and selfless, the Rev Brown
helps Alison with her new yarn shoelaces
while John and Dawn look on.
The relief couldn't have come at a better time.  As Rock Star mentioned in his earlier post, on Thursday we had received word that our church friend was found guilty of a serious crime and would be sentenced for potentially 30 – 40 years.  We began to understand that we weren't going to see him again sitting in our pews on Sunday mornings and that he would be missing out on all the simplicities of being free; including church dinners and other fun events.  During our celebration at the café/bar that evening, we were also able to be in serious conversation, both about the Camino - our spirituality along the way and how to move forward as a group, but also about our church friend.  We came up with new ideas for church ministry – visiting our church friend in prison and possibly setting up live video streaming of our Sunday morning service so that he, and maybe others at the prison, could still participate in our worship.

Pilgrim birthday cake for much-loved Lisa. Happy
Birthday, Lisa! Buen camino!

Our groups decided that we wanted to stay together as much as possible from now on because we missed each other too much.  We also decided, as Rock Star mentioned earlier, to slow our pace.  We wanted to make it to the end and get the whole experience of the Camino.  When it was decided we had discussed these serious matters enough, Bart livened up the night by serenading Lisa with birthday songs.  After which, we all sang happy birthday and ate make-shift birthday cake.  Don't worry, our singing didn't stop there!  Rock Star led us all in a rousing rendition of the classic 70's hit "Reunited".  Although, since some of us did not experience the 70's first-hand, due to a lack of being born yet; our familiarity with the song was mediocre at best.  Rock Star then proceeded to lead us in some more '70's hits that evening and sharing tales of platform shoes and his time in the First Church rock band many years ago.  There were a few people in the café/bar that looked at us with great enthusiasm and even joined in on occasion.  However, most of the other pilgrims did not seem to find favor with our brand of Americano Karaoke.  I'm just not quite sure they understood the community aspect of our singing.  All in all, a very difficult day, but a great one nonetheless - No surprises there, since that seems to be the Camino in a nutshell.  I do wonder if our blog is still being followed by both our pilgrims with us and our family and friends back home.  We haven't heard much in the way of comments from anyone lately?

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  1. So great to see you, Team Charles! Although John is WAY dreamier. Go Team John!

    A note to the prayer shawl group back home: worsted weight acrylic yarn works pretty well as an emergency shoelace.

  2. Team John, we're so happy to see you and were glad to walk together to Torres del Rio today! Happy, too, that we could enjoy a dinner together at the Dutch albergue in Monjardin. I'm going to find a bottle of Castillo Monjardin wine for our paella feed when we get back. Meantime, looking forward to the sights and sounds of Logroño!

  3. The Rev Brown, practicing charitable acts as evidenced in the photos above, just in time for this week's lesson. I think I see our next homework assignment...

  4. Ah... The delights of Logrono are just over the horizon, and one of my favorite Mooching spots along the Camino Frances.

    There is nothing like a table under a shady tree in the main square, a bottle of something nice,tapas, good company and an afternoon to fill before trying to find a decent Pilgrim Menu (easier said than done!) somewhere.

    The problem with walking the Camino Frances as a Pilgrim is that it begins to sound like a 30 day bar crawl to family and friends back home, but the reality is that bars are where we tend to eat and drink, because often that is all there is.

    I hope you are all going to spend an extra day in Burgos because it is well worth the time and your feet will appreciate a break!!