A Meeting With a Stranger.

Camino de Santiago, junio de 2008. Día 1: Orre...

Stranger: a friend you have not met before.

Yesterday I was walking along the Camino and I felt as if I were walking on air, fantasizing about living in this magical land of Galicia already and being able to help any number of people, when a long-haired stranger on a bike came to greet me. It was the owner of the Albergue Verde of Hospital de Órbigo(León) coming to make publicity for his establishment.

When I told him of my impecunious circumstances, he told me he would give me a bed and a meal in return for some help in the kitchen, the vegetable garden and whatever coins I could spare. I followed his directions and arrived at a green oasis, which exuded an air of relaxation and peace. The man Michu and his lovely wife are vegetarians, Buddhists and practice yoga. Their place is a little jewel and they themselves are two dear people. I did help as promised, but when I offered him the money he refused. When I protested, he asked me to please let him practice hospitality and wished me a good continuance of my pilgrimage(I did give him a big bear hug though!)

The Camino abounds with people like this and I am ever so glad that I decided to walk it, instead of taking the bus. I promised to make publicity for them, which I am doing at the present. The vegetarian food was delicious and plenty and was accompanied by some songs and guitar play from our host. One song was particularly inspiring, where Michu sang about a tree that talked to him and told him to practice patience! I can strongly recommend this hostel to anyone, who is in the neighbourhood.

May the Lord Buddha smile on you all. Hugs from Ralphie.


My Kingdom For A Bed!

Rose et amour....rosa y amor ....rose d'amour ...

Rose et amour….rosa y amor ….rose d’amour ..rosa de amor.. // Explore (Photo credit: photosylvia / silabox…occupée)

I´ve been having daydreams about a bed, as opposed to sleeping on the concrete with a piece of cardboard as a mattress. A bed: a white sea of softness, to swim in while dreaming that smells of roses and lavender. A tender pillow, made for hugging during the long, cold nights. Silken sheets that caress my body with a soft ´swish, swish´as I turn from side to side. A light woolen blanket, the touch of which sends me into a deep slumber, the sheep having already been counted. And then to wake up in this little corner of paradise to the divine smell of brewing coffee. Mmmm… maybe someday Ralphie!

Since I wrote this, I have only slept on the street once, thanks to all the wonderful pilgrims I have met, who help me out! I shall hold them in my heart for ever!

Leaving Barcelona…

English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Sa...

English: Santiago apostle. Palace of Raxoi, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain) Galego: Apóstolo Santiago, Pazo de Raxoi, Santiago, Galicia (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I´m leaving Barcelona, intent on starting a lucky streak, in search of my very own Shangrila. Somewhere in the mountains of Galicia, in proximity to the sea, I hope to find it. A haven of safety to call home for the rest of my days, surrounded by friendly, peace-loving people, who will accept me for who I am. Mmmm… one can but dream!

I´m a bit apprehensive, for I am traveling unknown territory now, at the end of which, hopefully, I will find my friend Freddy still there in Santiago the Compostela. And he´d bloody well better be alive or I´ll kill him! I´m tired of receiving bad news but then, he´s built like a brick shithouse and younger than I, which is still no guarantee on the streets. I hope and pray!

First stop Zaragosa, where I just have to make money to be able to continue the next leg of my trip, which would be Logroño(I never went there!) From there on, it should be easy sailing, for then I will be on the pilgrim´s route and am bound to meet fellow travellers with the same destination. I wonder how long it will take me to get there?

A Day in Gandia II…

Escultura de Calixt III a Gandia

Escultura de Calixt III a Gandia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I´m sitting on a park bench reminiscing about times gone by. In front of me on the ground are loads of broken seed-shells of what they call Pipas here. People eat them by the bagload, nibbling them one by one, after having divested them of their shells with two deft little bites. I´ve never been able to master the technique. A white dove came to peck at them. I thought to myself whether this were the Dove of Peace, sent to me by my guardian angel to bring me tranquility. I sincerely hope so. What is there for this dove to feed on though, but the broken shards of the seeds of ideas that never came to fruition. Dreams that have grown tired of their forebears being shattered time and time again. I almost feel like giving up hope this time. What does the future have in store for me now: more disappointment?

All I wanted was to earn enough with my writing to live on, which hasn´t happened yet and might never happen. Should I still keep going, just for the sake of it? It´s harder without feedback, not having the money for internet. I feel like a clown performing his silly tricks, with for an audience one lone dove. At least I just made myself smile, albeit wearily… Correction, of two doves, no… three and a sparrow! My audience is growing even as my spirit is lifting! All might still be right with the world.

A Day in Gandia…

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This should have been posted long ago, but I did not have the money nor the time.

I´m sitting in front of the Borgia church, as it is Sunday and the lottery office where I was begging earlier is closed. I made a friend yesterday, a Spaniard called Vicente, who is depressed over a broken relationship. At the end of the conversation, I did manage to put a smile on his face. I shall consider this my good deed for the day.

Across from me on a terrace is sitting a man all in black, who has a pet raven on a leash. He is feeding him little pieces of his breakfast and telling the guy who just did the windows of the establishment all about the bird, which I can overhear. Chicho is the raven´s name and the only word he says is “guapo”(=handsome) and thankfully not “nevermore”, like his illustrious forebear, who was immortalised by Edgar Allan Poe. The owner bought Chicho from a handler in Britain and they are supposed to be a protected species now. The raven is said to be very friendly in the mornings, when he lets the owner pet him and actually nuzzles him, a bit like a dog would. But after that he is more or less a pain in the ass for the rest of the day. He insists on being entertained continuously until nightfall and is very fond of collecting shiny things as a magpie is wont to. It is fun to watch the antics of this black feathered creäture, but I can not help but wonder if he would not be happier without his leash and flying free as nature intended.

I just heard a nice saying in Spanish. There were two ladies having a natter inside the bar opposite and they belong to the coir, which is now singing inside. They had lost track of time and came running, for they were late. As they went in, one said to the other: “¡La lengua nos pierde!” or in English: “Our tongue has led us astray!” I had a bit of a chuckle at finally hearing a woman admit that!

The Spell Of Grandmothering~ )O(

For decades I slept or rushed through multitudes of splendid golden sunrises, I was unresponsive to the delicate dew kissed bird music of dawn and I overlooked a million enchanted glitter-spun moon beams.
Having a Grandchild made me magickal again~