Untold Camino Stories: The Cherry Farmer

In the midst of charging up the hill ahead of me, Dad stopped, turned around, and yelled, “Hurry up and get up here before the tractor comes.”

I looked up to my left and saw a tractor about to join us on the Camino de Santiago. I got over to the side of the trail and as the driver passed by he smiled, then slowed and stopped, directing us to look in the cart he was pulling.

I saw yellow cherries and, at his urging, took a few. I called Dad over to take some as well and the driver said, “Bolsa! Bolsa!” From I have no idea where, I remembered that bolsa means bag. He was encouraging us to fill a bag with cherries. I dug into my pack and the first bag I found was the one that was holding my journal and our Camino passports. I put a few handfuls of cherries in it. “Mas! Mas!” the man said. I put a couple more handfuls in, and thanked him. He again encouraged me to take more but I already had more than enough for me, Dad, and whomever we would meet along the way. As he pulled away his smile back to us was tinged with a little disappointment that we didn’t take any more.

In the next town, other pilgrims pulled out small bags of the same cherries to offer to me and Dad. I pulled out my own bag to show them, and we all laughed in amazement at this bit of “Camino Magic.”