Moving, Easter Cheer and Updates

I have decided to refer from now on to my new flat as the ‘penthouse’ as that sounds more positive than third or top floor flat ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s obviously not a real penthouse, but I plan to make it ‘my space’. I still need to get some bits and pieces to achieve that but I am sure I will seen think of it as my home.

Yes, I am now living at the very top ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here a random list of updates how things are going in my life and in Santiago/Spain/the Camino in general:


One side effect of the move upstairs was that I had to move my little neighbourhood pantry to the ground floor. I will be forever grateful to my landlord for allowing me to do this! And another big Thank You to Lea and Dan from Canada that helped me get all downstairs and to re-construct the shelves.I am also very happy that the pantry is now a full ‘choice pantry’ from where people can simply take what they need. How it works now is like this:

Doorbell rings, I grab the things I have for them in the fridge and go down and open the door. We chat for a little bit whilst the neighbour fills her or his bag. I take the ‘fridge things’ that weren’t required back up.

Also sorting out my twice weekly deliveries has become much easier. The only things I need to carry upstairs now are those that go in fridge or freezer compartment. The rest gets directly, yes, with first in, first out, in mind, into the shelves.

And one more thing, I don’t know exactly why, but since this is in place, people are far more conscious what they need and when. Perhaps seeing what is available for the week and knowing that they are not the only ones that need the pantry helps with that.

Sorry about the bad image quality! This is how the ground floor looks like now (no worries, nobody lives in the ground floor flat, it’s used as storage area.

Easter Cheer

Easter is very much still a religious festival here in Spain, with solemn processions and services. I am very glad about that! But I also thought that in these difficult times everybody deserves a bit of ‘extra Easter Cheer’, especially the kids! So, thanks to some extra donations, I was able to get some chocolate goodies and, for the 3 month old baby girl, a nice plush toy, found some of my baskets, filled them and prepared this box for the families:


Moving is always stressful, but this move was even more stressful as I had to try two remember which tea towel belonged to which household ๐Ÿ˜‰ Remember, I was only the subtenant in the ‘balcony flat’ and it was basically fully equipped with all that was needed. Add to that my own stuff like books, plants etc. you imagine that it was pretty crowded! But poco a poco, little by little, I made progress. My neighbours came every afternoon for three days to help me to carry stuff up and Sister Alicia from the Camino Compagnons helped me on Thursday to get the last of my things upstairs. And then the unpacking and finding the right place for everything started…


Whilst the flat has no outdoor space like a balcony or a terrace, it’s growing quickly on me! I have a large kitchen with plenty of windows (and window sills for the plants) that has gorgeous views over the city. From here I can even see the clock tower or Berenguela of the cathedral with its ‘pilgrim lantern’ that is lit at night in the Holy Years to guide pilgrims to the cathedral. As the kitchen has also enough space, and the best views, I decided to use it also as my workspace for writing etc.

Ok, not the best photo I have ever taken, but the Pilgrim Lantern is the light on the left tower of the Cathedral.

The hallway is long and spacious and has two storage areas, one I am using for more plants (there is a surprise ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and on the other end are some build in shelves that I plan to use as a storage area for in kind donations like clothes, shoes and the like for my neighbours.

The blue fairy lights from the balcony work indoors as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

And there is also a small living room that I plan to use both as reading room for me and as ‘absolute emergency accommodation’ for pilgrims in need. Plus my own, big bedroom and a nicely spacious bathroom.


Over 37.000 pilgrims have arrived so far this year here in Santiago and got registered by the Pilgrim’s Office. That are the record numbers we had expected, pre-pandemic, for a Holy Year. Like in other Holy Years, a lot of these record numbers were created by large, religious groups mainly from Spain itself, but also from Portugal and Italy. And pilgrims that walk/bike solo alone or in small Camino families, are mostly from continental Europe. Oversea pilgrims have returned to the Camino, but not, yet, in the numbers we had in previous years. A lot of things have changed on the Camino but another aspect to consider when planning your Camino are budget and:


Like pretty much everywhere else, prices have gone up considerably here in Spain, here a few examples from my own experience and at the end two links to more information. The first article is from before the war in Ukraine started, the second after it started. It’s easy to see how this war is already affecting all of us โ€ฆ

When I moved into the house the orange ‘bombona’ containing gas used for cooking and heating costed around 13,00 Euros, now it’s 19,70.

Last year I could buy 1 litre of full fat UHT milk for 60 cents, now the same milk costs 75 cents.

And, compared to the same month last year, my own electricity bill has nearly doubled.

But perhaps the best example to show how the war in Ukraine affects us all is the price of sunflower oil.

Before the war 1 litre was around 1,20 Euros, now it’s 3,20 Euros. Sunflower oil is used by low income families that can’t afford the more expensive olive oil and also for frying by a number of restaurants and the like.

Here some more examples:

All this now filters down, slowly and steadily, on the Camino. Accommodation and food prices have already risen as have prices for pilgrim’s menus and the like in some places. First the increased costs (masks, extra cleaning material, hand sanitizer) due to the pandemic and now increased costs of energy and produce leave most business owners no other choice than to increase their prices too.

So, in summary, if you want to walk/bike a Camino this year you need to budget for higher costs and accept that there will be a lot of pilgrims with you on the way.


Because of the move and getting the flat ready for the sisters plus decluttering my own belongings I have to confess that the allotment got sadly neglected and some, but not all thankfully, of the weeds have grown back.

So from now on, the garden will be on the top of my to-do list, meaning gardening on rain-free days and writing on rainy days. And yes, I had already help to coming so far! If you are in Santiago and fancy some weeding or simply hanging out in the garden, just contact me!

I think that’s all from me for now. If you have any questions or remarks, please leave them in the comments.

Muchas gracias und hugs from Santiago,


2 thoughts on “Moving, Easter Cheer and Updates”

  1. SY,

    Thanks for the update on your move & how your pantry is doing. It’s really good that there were many hands to help you move since there is no lift in those buildings. The world is not in a good place right now… just as Covid is getting under control, we now have war in the Ukraine and suffering continues in another form. This is a good time to walk the Camino and disengage from the news cycle. Getting updates from you remind me that kindness still exists in this world and people still believe that we are our brother’s keeper.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Joey. Yes, there is no lift, which will keep me fit ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, yes, sadly it seems the whole world is bleeding … And, the final yes, there ARE still good people in the world and I have a lot of help with donations for the pantry, both locally (in kind donations) and from the worldwide pilgrim community.

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