2014 Camino Francés

Day 11: Santo Domingo to Belorado

June 30, 2014

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” –Dennis Waitley

Date: 2014 June 30
Route:
 Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado
Distance: 22.7 km (14 mi)
Departure: 0615
Albergue: Cuatro Cantones
Note: Cuatro Cantones albergue in Belorado had a swimming pool inside a glass hothouse structure.

Packing in the Hallway of the Albergue

As usual, my morning began around 5:30AM with wrapping up my belongings in my Tyvek sheet and quietly carrying them out of the dormitory into the hall where I could pack without disturbing the pilgrims still sleeping.

Albergue Coffee Machine

Often there was no coffee to be had so early in the day but on day 11, there was at least a coffee machine in the albergue kitchen.

My next step was replacing the pole tips that had worn through with new ones purchased the day before in a sports shop in town. I was surprised they had lasted only 11 days. Then again, I had walked around 150 miles.

Deserted narrow stone street

Pre-dawn streets of Santo Domingo

Finally, I headed out into the quiet and empty streets of Santo Domingo. As you have read in my other posts, I love being up early and having the streets and paths to myself.

Chorizo Sandwich for Breakfast

Breakfast often consisted of a banana but on Day 11, I had a leftover chorizo sandwich. Yes, that is all Chorizo and bread. Nothing else in there.

Bridge leaving Santo Domingo

The road leading out of Santo Domingo.

This arroyo had the look of a desert to it.

The sunrise was pretty over the fields.

The sunrise was pretty over the fields.

Fields in morning light

The fields glowed beneath the rays of the rising sun.

I ran into my friend Kyeong, whom I'd been seeing on and off since night one at Orisson.

I ran into my friend Kyeong, whom I’d been seeing on and off along the Way since night one at Orisson.

Camino de Santiago | Highway

This was one of the mornings when the Camino seemed to stretch into eternity…

On the Camino, the simplest things often made me ecstatic. At the time, I was so pleased with myself for coming up with this, lol.

On the Camino, the simplest things often made me ecstatic. At the time, I was so pleased with myself for coming up with this, lol.

Graffiti on a concrete wall

I was endlessly fascinated with Camino graffiti, which, although unfortunate in terms of the vandalism, often inspired me or made me think. “TO THE END – TO THE TRUTH”. What did that mean to whomever had written it? Was the truth really at the end? Or was it in the journey itself? And whose truth anyway? There was plenty of time in a day on the Camino to have these kinds of conversations with oneself.

Geranium in a Wall

I ran into my friend Ana and we ate second breakfast of Spanish tortilla and café con leche on the main street of this little town.

Camino de Santiago | Pond

Ana and I walked together until we came across our friends, April and _____, a Venezuelan father and daughter walking the Camino. They were here by this pond, which was swarming with swallows, which were presumably preying on the insects or maybe even the frogs in this pond.

The caption I included when I originally posted this video to Facebook was, “Most interesting sights/sounds from today. A pond full of croaking frogs with swallows flying all around.”

Camino de Santiago | Through the Fields

IMG_1349

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I think this was where it first occurred to me to take pictures of signs when entering towns so as to keep everything straight later.

I think this was where it first occurred to me to take pictures of signs when entering towns so as to keep everything straight later.

Viloria

For example, the only reason I know this is Viloria is because I took the picture of the sign upon entering this town!

Road through hilly fields

The sun was relentless the afternoon of Day 11. There was no shade to be had.

Pilgrim Ana on the Camino

Ran into Ana again. Rather, she caught back up to me.

Pretty village

Camino de Santiago | Water Van

We saw a pilgrim ahead talking to the driver of this van and wondered what was going on….

It turned out that it was someone from Belorado albergue handing out ice cold water to the pilgrims! We were SO happy and grateful.

It turned out that it was someone from Belorado albergue handing out ice cold water to the pilgrims! We were SO happy and grateful.

Tomato on bread roll

I squished a tomato into a roll for my lunch.

Shade on the Camino de Santiago

When we finally found shade, we took advantage of it! You can barely make out Ana sitting in the tiny shade of the bush with our backpacks. Again, we were grateful to have it.

Albergue Cuatro Cantones

At last we arrived in Belorado and somehow decided on Albergue Cuatro Cantones for the night. At least, that’s where I stayed. I can’t remember whether Ana ended up there or somewhere else that night. It was a pretty little albergue with a nice garden and a swimming pool. I payed a little extra for a bed upstairs in a room with only 3 other people, one of them who was my friend, Kyeong. Other friends of mine were there; the Spanish couple I met on Day _, Bernardo Clemente from Italy, April and her father. Most nights on the Camino were like mini-reunions.

 

Apparently I was not the only one tired from the heat and the walk.

After relaxing, I took a turn around town and snapped this photo of a pilgrim resting in the central plaza. A few weeks after I returned from the Camino, I posted this photo in a Facebook group and another member wrote, “Hey, that’s my dad!”

Belorado Decrepit Buildings

I know not everyone is a fan of the decrepit but I find such beauty in things that are old and falling apart. This was in the same block as the albergue.

Belorado pilgrim mural

The infamous Belorado Camino de Santiago wall mural.

————-

To see the post from Day 12,
stay tuned. 😉
To see the post from Day 10,
click the photo below:
camino de santiago fields and sky

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