Miguel Gil Lluch was born in Godella in 1964, although he then spent thirty years in Moncada, including a spell as a student at the Patronato (Colegio de San José) school there.
Miguel has travelled all over the world, to Peru, to India, in search of peace of mind, and found it largely through yoga and massage.
The yoga he practises by himself, and the beneficiaries of his yoga are the pilgrims that stay at his hostel on the Camino de Santiago in the village of Villatuertas, Navarra.
Miguel knows what pilgrims need after a hard day’s walk, having walked his first camino in 1996, and on my own Camino in the summer of 2013, I have to admit that it was one of my most memorable stays, with good food, good company and a relaxing atmosphere with nobody pushing you around or measuring the mud on your boots.
Miguel and his Brasilian partner reformed their hostel, named the Magic House, La Casa Mágica, not by them, but by their pilgrim guests, who arrived with sore, blistered feet and left floating on a cloud of well-being, thanks to Miguel’s massages and vegetarian paellas, and Simone’s charm and excellent English. They met when Simone was the grateful recipient of one of Miguel’s massages.
The three cats and large but friendly dog also make La Casa Mágica more like a home than a hotel, and the cosy patio where suppers are served with its Brasilian hammocks make for an ideal place to while away the hours before the trek to nearby Estella.
The house is what people politely call a house with ‘character’. As he does all the reforms himself, some of it looks unfinisshed, but if you sit down to do philosophical battle with Miguel, you soon discover that he is in no hurry to finish, and that he doesn’t care about time.
I won’t tell you everything Miguel told me; for one thing that was my Camino, and everyone’s Camino is unique, but I would recommend that you talk to him about his life experiences, and his experiences during massages. They might challenge the way you see the world; although then again they might not.
As far as I can make out, Villatuertas means ‘the town of the one-eyed women’. I didn’t see any during my stay there, but then maybe they only come out at night, to look at the Milky Way that leads to Santiago.