I got up really late this morning. I had coughed less during the night, but am still sick and my abdomen hurts from the coughing. I made the decision not to walk the 27km, so I went to find a taxi or bus to catch a ride to the next staging point. The first pilgrim I met in the street was a lady from Canada. I asked her how she was and she said that the only pilgrims left in town were "the sick, the lame, and the lazy". She said that she was among the lame - she had hurt her ankle and was taking the bus to Terradillos de los Templarios (where I was heading). She showed me where to buy tickets for the bus, so I did. Afterwards, I contemplated her statement and wondered if I really fit in the sick category or the lazy category. As the day progressed, I realized it was best that I did not walk and that there was a plan.
I arrived at the albergue in time to have some lunch and take a siesta for some added rest. About 4 o'clock, I received a message that some of the Aggie group did not have places to stay in this town and would have to go on another 3km. Albergues are starting to fill up fast as more and more people begin the Camino at various points. While I was talking with the group, Didier (the French guy in the wheelchair) is going down the road yelling "Santiago!" and when he sees us sitting outside he yells "Gig'em Aggies!" He did not yet have a place to stay for the night and asked the lady at the desk for help. There are only two albergues in this town and they were both full. She told him that he was going to have to go an additional 3km to the next town. The lady at the desk admitted that she had one space in a bunk bed available, but no bottom bunks and so he could not stay. I had booked a single private room for tonight because of my cough, so I asked if we could move the mattress from the bunk bed to my room and place him in there. She said yes, but that decision was up to me as I had reserved and paid for the single room. She went back and forth with me for a while, not sure that I was serious. When I insisted, she began to cry. She said that there are good people on the Camino. Later I asked her what I owed for the extra bed and she said, "nothing, that God would provide." All throughout the evening, she went out of her way to help us and she would often walk by drying her eyes and dabbing her tears.
The same lady from Canada that had helped me earlier in the day helped me talk to Didier (she speaks French). I found out that Didier wanted to quit earlier in the pilgrimage, but the A&M students had been an encouragement to him to continue with their attitude and energy. I shared with him that he was an inspiration to us as well. He asked if I was the group's priest. I just laughed and explained that I am a missionary in Spain and that I had graduated from the same university - Texas A&M. He was good with that. He is French Catholic. I hope to talk more with him as our relationship grows and we have more Canadians around to help translate. I really want to ask him more about his faith and go deeper in that conversation.
Guess that a day of rest can be fruitful as well. Maybe I was not in the lazy category?