“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)
Albergue: Cuatro Cantones
Note: Cuatro Cantones albergue in Belorado had a swimming pool inside a glass hothouse structure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This arroyo had the look of a desert to it.
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.
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.
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.”
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!”
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.
|To see the post from Day 12,
stay tuned. 😉
|To see the post from Day 10,
click the photo below: