The knee isn’t any better. In fact it’s worse and I’m not able to put much weight on that leg. So we decide that John walks to Sarria while I take a cab. We eat breakfast at the hotel. The owner, Moses’ dad, is on duty in the morning. It’s a buffet breakfast and he brings us our coffee. After breakfast he helps us arrange a pick up and drop, with a taxi driver who’s having coffee at the hotel restaurant, to come by at 11am to pick me up. John heads out on his own.
Some videos of the beautiful path to Sarria, with John’s comments!
Sarria is a biggish town, filled with pilgrims. It’s the starting place for many who do the minimum distance of 100km required to get a Compostela certificate.
The taxi ride was 20min long. The wonderful lady who brought me to Sarria, insisted on carrying the heavy backpack to the pension across the river. About 20 minutes after I reach, John reaches too. He takes a quick bath and we head to the Pharmacy. It’s Saturday and most commercial establishments close by 1.30pm, to open again only on Monday. The pharmacist suggests a stronger balm, naproxen and rest. From there we head to the supermercado to pick up some snacks and fruit. We see a pizza place on the way and decide to pick up our lunch from there.
We enter the pizza store and place an order for a medium sized vegetable pizza, in broken Spanish. The gentleman taking our order, suggests some options for vegetables and then suddenly switches to Hindi! Flabbergasted, I ask him to repeat and he replies again in Hindi, are you from India or Pakistan? Then starts a long conversation in Hindi and he shares how he and his family moved to Europe from Pakistan five years ago and he had worked in Ukraine and France and now Sarria. His wife and two kids live here too and they are one of only two Pakistani families in Sarria. Most Indians and Pakistanis he says, go to Barcelona for work.
He piles our pizza with lots of cheese and vegetables. Suggests we get some fries too and a drink. We comply. Then when it’s time to pay, he refuses to take any money! He says we made his day by talking to him in Hindi. John insisted on some payment and this time he refuses saying he can’t take money from his sister!! We’re all overcome emotionally and thanking him profusely we leave!
We head to the room to eat and take a nap. In the evening we head to the laundromat, eat a variety of churros from a roadside stand and then head to the supermarket to pick up some colouring pens and pencils, a colouring book and some chocolate. We go back to the pizzeria and ask for him, Tanveer Tahir Hussain. He’s happy to see us and when we hand him the bag, he’s flustered and refuses it. Then I tell him that the gifts are for my brother’s children and he accepts them! Meeting him warmed our hearts so much!!! We are all people living ordinary lives and we do so with love and brotherhood! Politics just ruins everything, for everybody! We’ll never forget the generosity and love of our brother Tanveer!
The St John the Baptist festivities in the town start early in the evening, kicked off with a street drumming group. The music and dancing continue early into the morning!
Today’s meeting with Tanveer really warmed the cockles of our heart! How easy world peace would be to achieve if we got rid of politicians!