Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician

Short stories, Travel and Health Information

Camino Stories: One Good Turn

This is the happy sequel to my Camino story about the Pole in the Rain that I published a couple of weeks ago.

Leaving the albergue in Portomarin early that May morning we made good time to Gonzar where we stopped for a drink and snack – and for me to change my sweat-soaked shirt.

Refreshed by the food, drink (and change of shirt!) we walked on briskly. But at a fork in the path where surprisingly there was no yellow arrow to guide us, we started heading along one of the tracks and had progressed some distance along it when we were hailed by a man on the other track, clapping and calling to attract our attention. When we stopped, he quickly came after us to bring us back to the correct path. As he came closer, Shivantha turned to me incredulously and said, “Is this who I think it is?” – and by the strangest of coincidences it turned out to be Jasek, the Polish pilgrim Shivantha had helped exactly a month previously in Utterga.

We might not have recognised Jasek if not for the unusual little wooden cross (a Tau Cross, I realised) that he wore around his neck. The man looked well and clean-shaven, and was walking back home having completed his pilgrimage to Santiago. How lucky we were to run into this old acquaintance once more to guide us onto the correct path!

Now it was my turn to use one of the very few Polish phrases I knew and say, “Dziekuje bardzo” (“Thank you very much”). Although our Polish was as limited as Jasek’s English, smiles, warm handshakes and hugs conveyed our happiness at meeting each other again – and the fortuitous way in which, on the Camino as well as in Life, we can be there to help each other in a time of need. 

As we were constantly finding out on this journey, Nothing Ever Happens by Chance on the Camino!

One comment on “Camino Stories: One Good Turn

  1. Russ Eanes
    August 22, 2020

    Nice Camino story. So typical.

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2020 by in camino de santiago, Pilgrimage, spirituality, Travel Topics and tagged , .
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