The communal evening meal tasted delicious to me: vegetable soup, lamb with white beans, and a Basque tarte for dessert. There was also bread, wine and water, which I would quickly learn were the staples of all pilgrims’ meals. There were probably about 20 of us around one big table, and at one point we were each asked to stand up and introduce ourselves, tell everyone where we were from, and to indicate if this was our first Camino. Since there were so many French-speaking people around the table, I spoke in both English and French. Tomorrow, I knew, I would be entering Spain and would need to switch gears in terms of the language, but tonight I was enjoying practicing my limited French.
Along with the five women I’ve already mentioned, there was a trio from Quebec City, a couple from France, numerous Germans, a very jolly American priest named Father Martin who had lived the last number of years in Mexico and some Swiss. Dinner was quite a lively affair, with everyone feeling good about having Day 1 under their belts and still filled with that initial excitement of early beginnings. Father Martin in particular is quite the story teller and kept us entertained throughout the meal.
After dinner, our beds beckoned. There was just time to snap a few more photos before turning in for the night. It wasn’t even 9 o’clock yet! Such is the life of the pilgrim.