If you visit Malaga, you’ll notice the little bunches of white flowers that are sold in the streets. They are biznagas and they are a symbol of the city. Biznagas are handmade, using jasmine and the stalk of a nerdo, a kind of thistle that is collected in late spring. The jasmine flowers are inserted onto the umbels of the nerdo when they are still closed. In the evening, the flowers open up, releasing their characteristic fragrance. The word biznaga comes from the Arabic and means “a gift of God”.
I have spent the past three days at “La Biznaga” – an albergue in the tiny village of Valtuille – owned by Susan and Rocío, who were truly gifts from God to me.
Susan and Rocío have dreams of creating a sanctuary here for pilgrims passing through on the Camino, which runs right past their door. They purchased the property about a year ago and have redone the bathroom and kitchen (where Rocío cooks amazing meals.)
Right now, they have two bedrooms for pilgrims, but there are plans. Big plans!
The large building attached to the main house, which once was used for hanging and drying tobacco, will become a comfortable dormitory with bunk beds, two bathrooms, showers and a warm heating unit in the center.
Against the back wall will be a big window, looking out over their gardens and towards the mountains.
And they imagine a pool of clear, cold water under a tree, for weary travelers to soak their tired feet.
They have been the most gracious and generous hosts imaginable. I’ve been fed delicious meals, kept warm and dry and been able to rest as much as I like. Tomorrow they have offered to drive me to Treacastela, so that I may continue my Camino (slowly.) I am feeling much better and have hopes that I may yet reach Santiago this trip.
And at some point, I’d like to come back to La Biznaga. ❤️