We were only allowed to start moving around at 07h00 so it was a very slow and relaxing start to the day. The challenge for the day was a really strong headwind. While walking I rated the adverse weather/walking conditions, number 1 being the worst:
It was a beautiful walk but because of the wind I pretty much walked non stop to Tosantos, my stop for the night. Albergue San Francisco de Asis in Tosantos is a also parish hostel. This was the sign as you walked into the albergue:
Translation: “Do not walk ahead of me, I can not follow you. Do not walk behind, I can not be your guide. Walk beside me and I'll be your friend.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them”.
It was also a perfect Camino evening. We were asked to be in the kitchen by 18h30 to help with the cooking of the evening meal. Among the pilgrims staying there that night was a group of Italians who sang while they cooked. It was quite wonderful. I uploaded a clip of the singing
The hospitalero said a three-tiered grace that Laura translated beautifully. It basically thanked God for bringing us together, for the food and for being able to walk the Camino. After a great meal we were invited to go up to the Chapel for a prayer session. The Chapel was a small room in the “attic” of the house. It had a bench built into one wall, a small alter and a stained glass window. The hospitalero got people to read the six chosen readings in six different languages. A box was then handed around with prayers written by pilgrims who had stayed there over the last 20 days - 20 days because that is the time it should take to get from Tosantos to Santiago. So, the prayer requests are read out for the duration that the pilgrims are walking. Hearing the prayers read in so many different languages was beautiful and I found it very humbling - so many people from all corners of the world, each with their own story. We, in turn, were invited to write down our prayer requests and leave them to be read out for our remaining 20 days. For me, it once again cemented the community of the Camino.
Closing prayer before we left the Chapel:
Lord, illuminate our night and give us a quiet rest. May we rise tomorrow and contemplate, with health and joy, the dawn of the new day. For Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This night was definitely a Camino highlight.
I was privileged to spend a lot of time exploring wilderness areas in southern Africa from a very young age. I got my first camera when I was 6 years old and I have been passionate about wildlife and landscape photography ever since.