La Casa de los dioses/House of the Gods
I walked El Camino in the summer of 2011. Meeting David Vidal briefly at Casa de los dioses made a lasting impression. He has created a resting place for pilgrims in an empty barn just before the city of Astorga. There he offers refreshments and a relaxing spot in the shadow. The pilgrims only pay what they like to volunteer. He calls the place The House of the Goods, and he has devoted his life to help pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
In the summer of 2013 the owner of the old barn decided to sell the place. Some pilgrims started a fund-raiser on Davids Facebook-page. In January 2014 David closed both his Facebook page and his blog. The outcome of the efforts to save Davids place was uncertain until june 2014 when ‘Rick’ a Canadian reader contacted me after he had read this blog. David managed to buy his place and is till going strong. Read more here.
David is not one to promote his ego, but as I came home from my Camino I looked him up on the internet and found the article copied below on a spanish website. The original article has been removed and this is a translation to English made by Google Translate. I E the text may have some errors…
Serving the ‘gods’ pilgrims (translated by Google Translate)
E. Prieto – The David Vidal from Barcelona last summer opened a peculiar point of rest in the road between the towns of Leon de Santibanez Valdeiglesias and San Justo de la Vega
”From day one my intention was to serve the pilgrims and people to see the magic of the road there, that not everything is money,” says David Vidal Barcelona, host of one of the most peculiar of the pilgrimage route: The House of the Gods. In an abandoned farm house, located between Santibanez of Valdeiglesias and San Justo de la Vega (León), the former employer has set up a resting point for walkers, with a small stand with organic products.
After a steep climb of 500 meters, the pilgrims are suddenly in the middle of the field with poor old ship, decorated with dozens of hearts of all sizes and with a stall in front of his door full of juice, lemonade, coffee , milk, tea, fruit, nuts, cookies and cake, all available for free.
Next to the post, a bench to rest a few minutes to except the heat under the shade of a tree and a hammock for a while inviting you to lie, while birds enjoy the food waste deposited in baskets especially prepared for them.
A small oasis within ten miles of Astorga and close to the Santo Toribio Cruise surviving based on donations. ”I tell everyone that passes that do not so caught but to thank those who came yesterday and left something, and give to those that come tomorrow,” says the owner.
David not only serves the people in this lonely place since June last year, but also live there for nine months. In the middle of nowhere, without light or water, it recognizes that the first few months were hard but is satisfied with the decision made. ”It was a great experience to spend the winter here, yet full of snow and a small fire,” he adds.
After a ”bad time” in which he had drug problems, the young Catalan started in 2008 his particular pilgrimage. ”I ended up turning over the peninsula on foot virtually no resources for two months. It was a profound experience in which I saw things that always happened that helped me, ”he recalls. That experience and reading the book ‘Discover The Secret’ by Janet Attwood, who encourages his readers to find their passions, determined his future. ”I made a list of what he wanted and was headed to be somewhere where he could serve other people,” he says.
So, with 34 years and two children behind, David arrived in June last year to the small town of Santa Catalina maragata Somoza and then found the old building is now home. ”Everything was destroyed and I have started a new life with a new way of seeing things and now everything is give, give and give,” says Young, who apostille your goal is to ”serve” the pilgrims because for him ” God is in every person. ”
”In a way, I have experienced the side of hell and then you realize the difference in thinking only of yourself and think of others,” says David, who gets up every day when the sun rises so that the stall is ready for early risers and only leaves the House of the Gods to go buy supplies to Astorga.
”It’s a very quiet life and enriches you much because you no longer have needs and enjoy it, there are no internet or nothing to entertain,” says Young, who also acknowledges that ”there are days when you drop a bit the world over, but then rewards you see what you do for others ”and also” there is always someone who will lend a hand. ”
The gift of life
In his retreat by the road, the former employer has found peace with himself and others. ”For me life is a gift. I sit here and watch people passing all kinds of rye growing up ahead … those are the miracles. It’s pretty cool because it’s the same life as before, the only thing that changes is the filter through which the view, ”he says, convinced that” life does not pass, each one creates his own. ”
David explains that he is holding negotiations with the owner of the farm house where The House of the Gods to buy and prepare it as a ”pure space” for the rest of the pilgrims ”without alcohol or drugs” and also wants to work from there conservation of the Camino de Santiago through a nonprofit foundation whose creation is in the process.
All because he is convinced of the benefits of the pilgrimage route to the pass. ”The Way is a representation of life because when you do share, here everyone helps out and you find lots of different people, is an enriching experience because it awakens parts of yourself and helps you see that what happened, happened, ”he says.
The young man remarked that the most ”shocking” is that ”when you think you have a bad story you stay a week and see it is not so bad,” It encourages everyone to start her own Way of the form choose. ”For me as a pilgrim gives sleep in a five star hotel or a shelter donation, the important thing is to have the largest number of people walking,” he adds.
Those who follow his advice you will find in your home to the ‘gods’, getting everyone with a warm smile and a warm hug. ”I will continue here, I have very clear because it is a commitment I have with life. If it were me, I would, but I have an obligation to the pilgrims, ”said David.
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