How was 2022 at Casa Maralotx?
Where to start…? 2022 has
Where to start…? 2022 has been different, unexpected, but – as nearly always at the Camino – wonderful. We end this season feeling excited, tired, thankful and so many more things that we just can’t describe with words.
They say the Camino has beaten every record in this year 2022. From Cirauqui we believe that must have been in its last bit, the last 100km, because at least here in Navarra it was not the case.
The year started quite nice: Correos, the Spanish mail service, had chosen a photo with Cirauqui in it for one of the images in their yearly Camino calendar. We totally get it because, as we always say, Cirauqui is really picturesque: the view as pilgrims approach from Mañeru is beautiful, especially in Spring.
On our side we started the year with renovation works: after more than 15 years, Casa Maralotx needed a little update. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work: a new, energy-efficient, warm water and heating system, a water decalcifier, brand new bathrooms, paint in different rooms and common areas, new floor in two of the dormitories, privacy blinds between bunks, relocation of the coffee machine and a new little fridge for the pilgrims, renovation of some of the kitchen machines, different decoration new touches, taking off one full bunk in one dorm for more space and privacy, etc…
Finally the start of the season came and it did so with snow at the end of March and early April, which provided really nice views in Cirauqui and shocked some pilgrims:
In 2022 we’ve been lucky enough to get to meet some wonderful pilgrims. One of these was Beebe Bahrami, author of the Moon guide to the Camino de Santiago, who we had been keeping email contact with for ages but had never personally met. If you don’t know it, the Moon Guide is definitely our favourite book guide in English: it’s not a standard guide, but goes the extra mile, giving information you won’t find in any other guides. The day Beebe stayed with us we had also Carmen, Paloma’s sister, spending a few days with us, and the three of them plus another group of three American pilgrims had a really fun evening and dinner:
Another pilgrim who we finally managed to meet in person this year after years of email exchange was Rocky Brown Nieblas from Pilgrim Paths, an American travel agency especializing in the Camino de Santiago.
In June we had Ashley and her mother Terry staying with us: Ashley is a vital, energetic and fun pilgrim, a beautiful soul. You can follow her in he instagram profile or in he web site (we’ve allowed ourselves to take this photo she published in her social network profiles, looking out the window of her room in Casa Maralotx, which we loved):
We also received the visit of Jen Nilsson and her friend Lizz. These were another two really inspiring pilgrims, and really fun to be around. In Jen’s case also the magic happenned – or “this place’s love spell” as Jen says – as she met who today is her couple and love, Katalin. Jen’s story inspires and expells love for life; we encourage you to visit her web site and to follow her in her social media.
It would be impossible to mention every pilgrim here, even just those who we built a more especial relationship to: Jihee and peak-bracelet from Corea, Ciril Vrab from Poland, Rick from Florida, Andrea Pope and her beautiful, colourful cards that she gave around in her Camino, etc, etc… We also remember a couple of brothers that fell off their nest just in front of Casa Maralotx and were picked up by one of our pilgrims so we called the Wildlife Protection Service, which we did and we are happy to inform that they survived and were set back free when they grew older!
Although not every thing was so positive and nice in this 2022: in July the Camino had to be closed to pilgrims for several days in Navarra due to the wild fires in different areas of the region due to the high temperatures, dry, electric storms and some other – mainly human-originated – reasons. Some villages of the Camino Frances in Navarra saw the fire really close, such as Muruzabal, Uterga, Obanos, Puente la Reina and Los Arcos. In Cirauqui we were lucky enough to see it from a certain distance, though from the albergue we could see the smoke columns, that had us quite anxious for at least a couple of days.
But we don’t want to finish this post with the sadness of fire, so here is a short video that Anthony Haden-West from Delacroix Productions, a pilgrim, friend of ours and artist improvised during his day with us and sent us. The talented musician you will see and hear in the video is Elijah. Once again thank you for this beautiful video Anthony, and we hope to see you again in 2023!
© ALBERGUE Cirauqui – Casa Maralotx (registro Turismo Navarra UAB00031)