Free Socks and South African Ladies

When the WiFi don’t cooperate

I had every intention to post every day. I am learning that that is not always possible. On Friday night, the WiFi did not work so well. It was a surprise because the place I stayed at was quite nice. Nonetheless, I had a good evening resting my feet that are getting better each day. So today, Saturday (and tomorrow is my day of rest) I do two posts in one.

Friday, a day of meeting people

The sunrise on Friday morning was magnificent. I paused a few times to turn back and admire the sight. Well, I guess I did not look forward to the steep hill that was waiting. Yet, little did I know that I would meet quite a few “old friends” on the journey today.

First I met the two French Ladies (the doctor and nurse) whom I met the week before. I greeted them with a delightful, “Bonjour!!” We had a very nice chat catching up on what has happened the past few days. They asked how my blisters were doing and even offered some advice and the kind of cream I need to buy for my feet.

At the top of the hill I met the folks from Hamilton, Ontario, and Jessica, the Swiss girl, who was walking with another German girl. Then I met some new Canadian friends who were from Invermere.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day (almost the whole trip) was meeting two ladies from South Africa, the home country. They went to school together many years ago and have decided to walk the Camino, even though one lives in Durban and the other in Jeffrey’s Bay. We walked together for  about 1/3 of the way. It was nice to chat and hear their story. Oh, and I was “Dominee Dewald van die Vrystaat.”

Saturday, a day of meeting more people

It feels strange to say, but today’s walk was short – only 19 km, a whole 6 km shorter than Friday. Today was also more scenic and a few less towns along the road.

The day started with bidding farewell to the Irish couple, Pat and Bob, at breakfast. They are both retired and Pat is quite involved with their local Catholic Parish. She helps with the First Communion Classes.

Just as I  left my lodging in Frómista I met a fellow Calgarian. We shared the Way for the next 3 km.

When I reached Villalcazar de Sirga I met Amy, the lady from the States with whom I walked the very first day I started the Camino. It was great to catch up with her again.

And tonight I had dinner and good conversation for two hours (which is hour and a half longer than normal) with a person from New Zealand and the States.

Free socks

Before I forget, I was trying to buy some stamps in Carrión. In Spanish, I would ask people where  I could buy stamps.  They would reply and I had no clue what they were saying. I went into this other small touristy store and bought some stuff and asked the lady where I can buy some stamps. She had some international stamps.

So, we started to speak in Spanish. She spoke quite slowly, she understood that not all pilgrims are fluent in Spanish. She noticed I had the Film Camera with me and asked about it. She herself had a few film cameras, both standard and medium format ones, and a few Canon Digital Cameras. One which I had too. She asked how I was doing and I mentioned the blisters that are now healing. Long story short, after my purchase, which included stamps, she gave me a pair of socks for free.

Sometimes we find generosity in least expected places.

I can’t offer you free socks, but here are a a few pictures from the past two days.

This blog entry was originally written on September 30, 2017. The pictures have been updates as well as the reflection. Enjoy.


  1. Some wide open spaces today. I think you have been fortunate in that the weather, for the most part, has been good for you. Another couple of especially beautiful basilicas. Sometimes we hear that it is not the destination but the journey. You have obviously met some very interesting people on your journey.

  2. Nellie Kellett

    Ja Dominee Dewald van die Vrystaat, ek is baie bly dat die sandale klink of dit glad nie so ‘n slegte idee was nie !! Maak nogal half sin!
    Keep up the good spirit !! God Bless and lots of love from the two old folks from Kimberley !!!

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