5. To Larrasoana - With Alfred November 2, 2011 Alfred walks across the floor with the poise of a dancer, a gymnast to his trampoline. At the end of the first day of the Camino we share the same small cubicle, along with two others, in Roncesvalles. He’s Brighton born but grew up in Scotland which he claims as his native place. He was to become my first companion on the Camino. We had just been to Mass in the monastery chapel where I participated as a member of the congregation with the other pilgrims. Before holy communion one of the celebrating priests announced that communion is only for Catholics but that others could come for a blessing. My immediate reaction was to ask myself what it must be like for a non-catholic to be told this. I got my answer from Alfred back in our cubicle where he was pacing. When I asked “how are you?” he blurted out his hurt and anger at the exclusion he had just experienced which he saw as an exercise of power on the part of the Church.
December 3, 2011 Had a great sleep. After breakfast I headed to the bus station for the trip to Muxia, half hoping that Becky & Mark might turn up. Their plan is to go to Finistera and maybe connect with Brend...but what do you know they turn up for the bus to Muxia becasue the other trip would be too long. They assure me that they would not invade my solitude but I'm really glad to be with them, not wanting too much solitude after the emotion and excitement of yesterday. We had a beautiful day together and Muxia did not disappoint - the church on the edge of the sea, the waves. Wonderful. When I got back there was a note on my door from Aelfred who had hoped to see me before he moved on. "I can't or shan't forget those early days of the Camino and our time of walking..." he wrote. It was memorable for me too. December 4, 2011 Santiago Cathedral 8.45 a.m. "Even as you Father are in me and I am in you, so let them be in us