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entertained by an angel

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)

But, then again, some – and perhaps I am now among them – must surely also have been entertained by angels.

When I meet Flor for the first time, arriving uninvited at her house in the company of two other cyclists, she apologises as she greets me because her hands are covered in flour. She is just whipping up a batch of gnocchi for the fifteen or twenty odd strangers in her house that day. She shows me a spot in her back yard where I can pitch my tent, asking if I need any help, before returning to the kitchen. It isn’t long before she’s back to invite me inside to eat.

Flor's house.


I spend a week all told in and around El Chalten, camping in Flor’s backyard, when I am not trekking.

I have a tendency to accumulate too much food and so, when I am packing my panniers to finally leave El Chalten, I give an unwanted potato to Flor who is next to me in the backyard playing with the kittens. Flor thanks me politely for this dubious gift and, soon after, disappears inside. When I call her to bid a final farewell she reappears bearing a lunch box containing the potato, fried with rosemary and salt, and some fresh home-made bread.

“For your journey,” she says, handing it to me.

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