Around 7 kilometres outside of the town of Astorga is La Casa de los Dioses, the Home of the Gods. It is not a hotel, an albergue or anything fancy, but quite the opposite. It is a small piece of property owned by David Vidal (link to google maps). This was the most interesting donativo (donation only) that I have encountered on the Camino Frances. This building is the definition of simplicity and he was offering drinks and fruit while not asking for money. Each morning, he travels the short distance to Astorga, buys what he needs and gives what he has to pilgrims that pass. He is what the Camino should be about, keeping it simple and giving what we have to help our fellow pilgrims. Money doesn’t mean much to David. I admire that.
On passing his humble abode in 2012, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it but there were many people stopping to ask him why he was doing this. Something must have hit him to give up a working life and to live on the Camino. He said to me that he believes that it is all about sharing. That’s a strong reason, no doubt! Last year, 2015, David had moved his building slightly and had started to build a garden to grow. He loves to talk, and is really happy to have pilgrims stop by for a while. The below video shows you La Casa de los Dioses and David talks for a while. Don’t forget to take a few pictures when you pass as the Camino will miss him if or when he goes.
David truly embodies the spirit of the Camino, when Pablo and Belen reluctantly found themselves having to move on from the magnificent albergue they had created at Villares de Orbigo, David was extremely helpful to Christine from Belgium who has taken over there.
David is a gentleman. I was unaware that he helped the new owners of the albergue in Villares, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.
So sad to hear that David is leaving. House of the Gods was absolutely one of the highlights of my camino and I wish I could have spent more time there. The road was tough in June/July 2015, brutally hot, and David provided an oasis, not just in terms of the food and drink, but also his welcoming presence and encouragement. He will be missed
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree. There aren’t many ‘David’s out there. While he will be missed, it’s a great challenge for someone to step up and fill his boots, if that can be done!? He has always said that the Casa belongs to the Camino and to its people and not to him. That said, I’d love to know what he chooses to do in the next chapter of his life. I’d like to thank him and I’m sure others would like to do the same.