Camino day 3

Monday September 24: (I am writing this on Wednesday as we have not had WiFi for the past two days) We began our walk at 7 am while the air was still cool and we watched the sun rise. I thought that was going to be the only nice thing I would have to say about the day because the walk was mainly along a dusty industrial highway, and we arrived in azambuja at noon and learned the hostel would not open until 3 pm. But here is where our wonderful Camino experiences began.  While we waited all sweaty and disgusting in a little square, a local woman bill had been talking to cane back and offered us showers in her house. We declined but this was just one more example of the overwhelming kindness of people we have met. The hostel is fairly new and associated with the adjacent casa de misericordia chapel. We enjoyed talking to Carlos, one of the volunteers checking people in. He told us the church focuses on acts of mercy for children and the elderly, and the hostel is one way of supporting those efforts. Our bunk mates were two women from Canada, another from Ireland and another from Italy. We all had our first real “pilgrims meal” together at a nearby restaurant: olives and bread, pitchers of wine, soup, a choice of entrees, and flan for dessert. I ordered the fish entree and received a plate piled high with salmon, white fish, shrimp and various shellfish. When we all felt we couldn’t eat more, the proprietor came around with a bottle of a cherry liqueur. A wonderful end to the day with the promise of many more. Update on Susan: she walked halfway this day — about five miles — then took the train. We are all being careful in the heat.

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