Today I awoke when other pilgrims began packing their bags shortly after five. (sigh) I resolutely stayed in bed until just before six and so was off before the next-door café opened at 6:30. I had been planning to get breakfast there, but figured it was no big deal because I could pick up breakfast in the next village.
Today’s walk was passing through four small villages before reaching the town of Belorado. I made excellent time, and after three days of walking with friends most of the day I particularly enjoyed my solitude for prayer time and thinking. At each village my hopes rose that I would find food, but each seemed smaller than the last and not one had even a café or bar! There were people in these places, but no pilgrim services!
Just before 11:30 I was coming in to Belorado. (If you don’t stop at all, 23 km just zooms by!) I had also begun feeling a little sick, and I knew that was due to lack of food. I passed the first albergue going downhill, and as I did, two of “The Korean Boys”, as I think of them, called down to me. When I discovered that there was a restaurant there, I ran back up to get some lunch!
I had been intending to stay at an albergue at the other end of Belorado, but since it was only 12:30 by the time I was done eating, and the food and rest had fortified me, I decided to follow The Korean Boys 5 km further to the town of Tosantos. Here we are staying in an albergue run by the Associaton of St Francis of Assisi. It is pretty true pilgrim style. We have thin mats lying all in a row on the floor, no pillows. We will collectively make dinner at 7, and eat a communal meal at 8. After prayers, we are to go to bed being very respectful of each other’s solitude. You are not allowed to get up early here, (YES! some sleep-in time is coming!) but can get up after 6 and get breakfast before heading out. It’s quite the experience. Definitely a pilgrimage experience, not a vacation experience!
Walking-wise, besides the hunger this morning, I felt like I’ve sort of bit my stride today. My body was not very sore and the walk was fun. I even voluntarily walked the extra five kilometres, putting me at 28 for the day. But it didn’t feel like a long and taxing day! And since I found myself alone on the Camino after my lunch break, I sang loudly along my last five km. it was great!
Update before posting: no wifi last night, but a great, great experience. The kind of Camino experience you can’t really put into words: making communal supper and eating together. Prayers together. We read prayers that pilgrims before us had written, and it was such a holy moment. Amazing!
This albergue also afforded us an experience that few pilgrims get. There’s a hermitage and tiny church built into the rock face above the village. My guidebook recommends no taking the time to go off the trail to check it out because it is always locked. But pilgrims in our albergue get to go up and have a tour! Very cool!
Okay, stopped for second breakfast right now. Going to socialize instead of check Facebook 🙂

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