Peregrinos and People

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The Spanish Dream Team – Sechu and Vicente

You know, if you read my post about miracles, that these two Galician gentleman helped me get over the Pyrenees and we were inseparable until Pamplona. I’ve already written much about them and I look forward to meeting their families after I arrive in Santiago. Here’s another look at my good friends.

Vicente (right) and Sechu (left) on the first day.

Vicente (left) and Sechu (right) on the first day.

My Friends – Deutschland Über Alles

As I took a break from climbing in the Pyrenees I’d see this swirl of walkers rush by me. As soon as I saw them they were gone. The next thing I see is them, two men and a woman sprawled out on the grass, resting, talking, laughing. I sit down bedside them to rest and I’m off before them and I’m the slowest guy on the mountain! They were totally unperturbed, just enjoying the day as if it was some easy stroll through the park. Soon enough they would rush past me yet again and I would find them somewhere up ahead enjoying the day.

I called them Deutschland Über Alles and they called me “El Américano” They were very “simpatico”, fun loving, great companions on the Camino. I would joke with them about the cerverza that we would have together at the end of the day. We did have quite a few cerverzas but as I got to know them I felt their love of Spain (they knew it better than I did!) and also a spiritual kinship because one night after a miraculous meeting in Pamplona one of the men took me aside and told me that he too had done his first Camino in honor of his father as I was doing. I became very emotional as I am now writing this.

After Pamplona I did not see Deutschland Über Alles but my Galician friends Sechu and Vicente did. Right now they are back home in Germany and hopefully reading this blog. Adios amigos, buen Camino and hopefully we will meet again!

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il Italiano

We met him outside of a bar (the typical European kind that also serves coffee, lest you think us all drunkards!) about 10″km south of Roncesvalles. He was resting just as another downpour of rain was about to begin.

He had a serene face, one that comes with age, and he told us that he was from Sicily and was 64 years old. Sechu and Vicente had a smoke with him and then we were on our way.

When we arrived at our albergue in Zubiri he wasn’t much later in unexpectantly joining us there. The next morning at breakfast he was sick and people (myself included) told him to stay and see a doctor.

When we arrived in Pamplona much to our surprise he was there! I lost track of him after Pamplona but I will always remember his peaceful demeanor and serene countenance.

¡Vaya con Dios!

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Elisa

As Sechu, Vicente and I walked down the wet and slippery descent 3 or 4 kilometers outside of the town of Zubiri we saw this little black and white blur wiz close to our feet and wiz by. It could have been a skunk but luckily for us it was a dog (it looked like an Australian Sheep Dog) and it continued moving fast ahead of us. Soon Elisa caught up to us and told us that Chico was the name of her dog and that they were heading to Santiago.

Chico was an impressive dog for many reasons. First, he was older, 11 years old. Also he was very, very, obedient – he would come back to Elisa and soon as she whistled for him and stay close to her if that was what she wanted him to do.

As we walked and stopped for a rest break before descending into Zubiri Elisa told us that she was from Norway and had walked all over Norway with Chico. I think that Elisa worked on a Norwegian Oil Rig and therefore was scheduled for long periods of work and vacation.  She told us the story of how she found Chico when he was a puppy in a shelter for dogs and how he had been mistreated by his first owner. She took Chico in and it took close to a year before Chico would trust her. Elisa was carrying extra dog food and water for Chico and was very well organized.

We walked with Elisa and Chico into Zubiri and then parted ways since she had to find lodgings that would allow Chico to stay with her. Luckily, we met up with them the next day in Larrosoaña and had a mini reunion with her and Deutschland Über Alles!! After an extended rest break in the town we started off again heading to Pamplona but parted ways before the town of Iroz. While having lunch at El Horno de Iroz who do we see come into the restaurant, Elisa and Chico! Since we were finishing we chatted for a while and left them to their lunch. This was the last time we saw them. Every place we stopped afterward on the Camino we’d ask for them but we never saw them again.

I’m imagining that they made it to Santiago and that Chico was enjoying a cold bowl of water in a Bar overlooking the Cathedral!!

Me and Elisa

Me and Elisa

The Gang at Larrosoaña

The Gang at Larrosoaña

Relaxing at Larrosoana

Relaxing

Sechu and Elisa

Sechu and Elisa

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