The Secret Garden
Spain (Camino to Santiago)
The back of our Lada Niva 4×4 was filled with the contents of James’ herb garden, which luckily was in pots! Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Tarragon, Fennel and a few more, along with lanterns and candle holders, painted tiles, pieces of oak from old wine barrels which had some words painted on them hoping to inspire the passing pilgrims. A couple of woven table cloths to cover the top of the rusty well, and a watering can. The location was the sight of an anciant Roman village, now all that there is is a dry well and two benches. Suddenly it was a little herb garden!
Every morning we brewed fresh coffee and water for tea that were left along with a little teapot and cups for the ceramony! We left a mound of oranges and lots of granola bars along with a few handy backpacking supplies like cloves of garlic, chillies and shallots! Every morning after leaving the fresh supplies James and I would light the candles and wind up the musical duck pond and dissapear quickly to give the pilgrims a very surreal experience in the middle of a lonely track!
For two months we left these little offerings for pilgrims. The idea of the donativo or donation system that we always used was so that anybody could afford to have something to eat and drink it didn’t matter if they had no money, people could leave what they could afford and what they felt happy leaving in the donativo box. This system worked really well for us and things seem to all level out in the end and everybody seemed to be happier including us! It was hard to believe what a huge difference this little idea made to people’s day, perhaps even their Camino.