Random Thoughts and Updates

It has been a while since I updated this blog, so here a list of developments here in Santiago, the Camino, Europe and my own life 😉

Read on to discover what this photo means 😉

Santiago (and basically also the rest of Spain)

We are now firmly on our way out of our sixth wave (Omicron) and all numbers are going steadily down: cases, hospitalizations and deaths. This wave has really shown us that, whilst vaccination doesn’t prevent illness and transmission 100%, it protects to a huge degree from serial illness and death, especially when combined with face mask wearing and being careful when socializing.

Speaking of which, our vaccination rate here in Spain is extremely good and Galicia is, together with Asturias, leading that list. We have already started to vaccinate the 5-11 years old here and many of us, me included, have already received their booster shot.

Speaking of face masks, they still have to be worn here at all times indoors (except when actually eating and/or drinking) and outdoors when you can’t make sure that you can keep a minimum distance of at least 1,5m from people that are not in your same household aka strangers and especially in large groups.


The Camino is more and more opening up after the ‘winter break’ and pilgrim numbers are increasing steadily, comparable to 2019 but lower than we would expect normally for a Holy Year. You can follow the daily numbers here: https://oficinadelperegrino.com/ and the monthly and yearly numbers here https://catedral.df-server.info/est/index.html

How numbers will be developing this year, only God and Santiago know! We might either have a crazily busy year or a quiet-ish one like last year. It all depends how the pandemic develops, the war between Russia and Ukraine and if the Pope really comes to Santiago in August, too many factors to be sure about anything.


Three things to bear in mind: capacity in some albergues is still reduced, blankets are mostly a thing of the past (too expensive to wash after each pilgrim) and more and more albergues require proof of vaccination before welcoming you. Some, but not all, communal meals have returned and some kitchens have opened again, but Camino life is still very different from BC (Before Covid) times.

Travel Thoughts

As things are ever changing, here the link to the official Spanish travel website: https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/ If you plan a Camino, or travel to Spain in general, please check it out regularly. As I wrote earlier, our Covid stats are all moving in the right direction and things looking up on that front (if no new variant comes along!) but we have another problem here in Europe, the war between Ukraine and Russia.

This war is ‘only’ 8days old at the time of writing, but costed already thousands of lives. Nobody knows how the situation will develop and if the war will spread further or not, so PLEASE keep an eye on your own countries travel advisory website, register your travel with them (if possible) and plan enough money in your budget for unforeseen expenses like an earlier flight home. We all here hope and pray that this war will be soon over, please join us in this prayer for peace.

Now to the personal stuff


I am in treatment, both with medication and seeing a psychiatrist (never thought I would need on of these one day!) and doing much better. Not good yet, but better. The panic attacks are very rare now, the anxiety is manageable, but I am still depressed and have low energy levels. On a positive note, I recently managed to pull myself together and spend a long weekend in the south of Spain. It really helped to re-charge my batteries!

Neighbourhood Pantry & Neighbours

Before I went on my short break, I gave the necessary supplies for my absence to M. of whom I think as the patriarch of the families for distribution as they are all related. And it seems to have worked well. I might need to do something similar from mid-April onwards (more about that below). If you want to read up on what the Neighbourhood Pantry is and how it works, here a link to an old-ish blog post that contains a link to an even older one – reverse history so to speak https://egeria.house/santiago-day-neighborhood-pantry-fundraiser/

And some good news! We have a little newborn in one of the family, her name translates to ‘traveler or wanderer’ btw 😉 And there was a little ‘coincidence’ for this family. Just days before I had received a donation of a gas heater which they could make good use of now with a newborn in the home. Sadly, they didn’t tell me earlier that they needed a heater, I would have found them one! But now all good and cozy for this little family.

Roundabout Room

The gas heater is a good example how my roundabout room works: A few days previous I got offered a sizeable material donation of clothes, shoes, glasses and yes, the gas heater. As I don’t drive I asked a friend, that does drive, if she could pick it up for me. And in one hour the goodies were in the house. As the heater was missing the tube and gas regulator, she brought me these, that she didn’t need anymore, the next day when she also brought me my fruit and vegetable box from: https://www.facebook.com/aHortadaAvoa Muchas Gracias, Cristina!


And more good news, I found an allotment less then 5 minutes walk from my place where I will plant fruit and vegetables for and hopefully with my neighbours. All going well it will stop raining tomorrow and I get started weeding (see photo above ;-). I am already pre-growing plants like tomatoes and peppers in the house.


Yes, I have to move again, but thank God only in the same house, to the third floor. The reason being that I am only a subtenant in this flat. It was originally meant to be my ‘winter flat’ for 6 months in 2019/2020, but we all know what happened, so 2,5 years later I am still here. But the original tenants come back mid-April and need their flat back. Thankfully there is an empty flat (without a balcony, sigh) on the third floor that I can rent. And apparently the rent is even a bit cheaper, always welcome! That is why I wrote earlier that I might need to restructure the neighbourhood pantry system a bit, three flights of stairs are a lot with full food boxes every day!

Plans for this Year

All of the above, and helping pilgrims wherever and however I can 😉

So, I think that’s all thank you for reading until the end!


So here the promised updates ;-) I keep it short ;-)

Christmas Cheer

Like last year (yes, my little neighborhood pantry is now in operation since over a year), I would love to give my neighbors here in Santiago a little extra cheer for Christmas. Typical Christmas sweets like polverones, turron and the like plus some toys for their children and grandchildren additionally to the food and other basic household items I am already providing. Also, like last year, I would like be able to give them a small amount of cash (difficult topic, I know!) to buy gifts for each other.

Roundabout Room

Despite the Omicron situation and taking ALL the necessary precautions I have decided to open up the flat a bit more. I am now taking in in-kind donations of shoes, clothing, cutlery, crockery and small appliances. People can come to this room to pick up what they need and leave what they don’t need anymore but what could be serviceable to others. This is very much an emerging project in its infant steps, so please wish me luck! But so far it has gone exceedingly well!

Personal Update

As some of you know, I am in treatment for depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Apart of taking my meds and seeing my talk therapist starting January helping others really helps me. I am getting better by the day and feeling really positive about my future and my future work here in Santiago.

Donation Links

If you want to support this project, here are some handy links:


https://egeria.house (near the top of right side bar)

For other ways to donate, please send me an email or leave a comment.

No matter how big or small your donation, it makes a REAL difference for ‘my families’.

Many Muchas Gracias, SY

PS Here some photos of the ‘Roundabout Room’ from today: