Here in Carrion they’ve welcomed pilgrims for a thousand years, and they are proud of it.The pilgrims’ blessing, a tradition after Mass in many villages, is particularly moving. Last night the priest asked each of us where we are from. There were more than a hundred pilgrims so it took a while, just for that. The nuns, a group of four or five, also made a small liturgy, and presented each of us with a paper star, to remind us that we don’t walk alone, and then every pilgrim received an individual blessing.
I don’t really know how to describe the significance of this, other than to say it was thoroughly encouraging and uplifting to be told by both the priest and the nuns that we are welcome here, that they are glad we are walking, and that they pray we complete the walk and return to our homes safely. For a moment I forgot my sore feet, my grumbling tummy, and my anxiety we had missed dinner. (Food, always important to me, is even more so these days). We’d been to a concert earlier, then the Mass, and by now it was 9pm, and the Pensione kitchen closes at 9:30
Of course, my worries were groundless. They knew where many of the pilgrims were. The meal was the most delicious yet. Garlic soup, followed by rabbit stew, and then a type of Creme caramel.
Today has been a day of not doing much at all. I’ve taken a brief wander around town, had a nap, and chatted with other pilgrims.
During my wander I noticed the queue for the bus to the next town. It was long and it was all pilgrims. The Meseta bite has become a king hit for many.
However, matters on the blister front appear to be improving. I discovered a purpose designed band-aide at the Pilgrim shop that is paper thin. I’m sure they’ll help, along with new socks, and a linament highly recommended by some Danish walkers we met.
Blistology is the thing around here. It’s the study of all things related to blisters. Most pilgrims are experts.
Tomorrow we go that way, only another 401 kilometres to Santiago de Compestela.