Day ten we decided that Ally would bus forward to the next stop and wait for me. I got a late start, leaving about 8 am, which also changes all the familiar faces one travels with. I walked through the outskirts of Santo Domingo del la Calzada in an overcast and cool morning. The pace I was making heated me up rather quickly and I had to take a stop and strip a layer off.
Ally was travelling from Santo Domingo to Belorado with a bunch of other pilgrims. She got to Belorado very early and had to wait for me to walk. I made some good time though, I thought, covering the 22 km in just over 5 hours. I passed through a few villages along the way, meeting up with some familiar faces from before, like the little lady from Switzerland who has nearly walked 1900kms already towards Santiago.
When I finally got to Belorado, Ally was waiting with another pilgrim from Brazil who’s wife was along the trail also. We checked in to the albergue as soon as we could so that we could drop the packs off and get cleaned up before finding something to eat. This albergue had a restaurant, common areas for cooking and laundry and a pool out back. The yard also had a fenced in area for chickens, rabbits and peacocks.
The village of Belorado had a few alberques, two main churches, and an assortment of shops. Afternoon siesta hits around 1 or 2 and everything shuts down except the bars, making it hard to get any snacks or supplies. The Aussie family we had been travelling with on and off since day one, had purchased some meats, cheeses, olives, bread and wine and had a lunch in the town square. It was nice to visit again.
After much discussion and weighing the pros and cons of skipping ahead, I decided to bus with Ally the next day to Burgos and have a rest day, hoping her feet will heal enough to walk out of Burgos the following day.
The Camino is a strange beast. There are many difficult parts that have nothing at all to do with the hills, cobble or pavement. There is a mental strain that happens also, and you can physically see it take hold of people. In the middle parts it seems people get unmotivated and the physical toll begins to become too much. We have not given up, just have to be creative with the amount of days we have left if we want to be able to make it to Santiago.