El Camino: Santo Domingo to Belorado

Today’s trek: Santo Domingo to Belorado

We’re sitting in a restaurant in Belorado amongst a large groups of peregrinos all talking about why they are walking the camino, how they feel, and how they are looking forward to the meal. This restaurant starts dinner service at 8pm so I may fall asleep in my food.

We had to wait for the restaurant to open so we sat outside in he sun and later walked in to wait at the bar where it seems that every septugenarian and their spouse is at a table playing cards.. for real money. We admired again how husbands and wives walked in holding hands or arm in arm. They quickly found their friends and plopped down to commence play.

We had a rather meditative day and I for one am ready to sleep. But we need to eat. We climbed the stairs or should I say we hobbled to the upper dining room.

For the record, not having elevators seems to the norm here. I secretly believe that they are adding penance to the loads pilgrims already carry. Either way, it’s not funny. Ok, it’s a little funny.

As we sat in this quaint little dining room whose main decorative theme is a variety of clocks hanging throughout, we listened to the conversations around us; French, Spanish, English. Most people talkled about their reasons for walking and or riding the Camino.

These conversations were superficial and didn’t rally broach the elephant in the room.

We are hear to find peace in ourselves. Each of us has something to pray or meditate on and for some reason we haven’t handled our issue at home. Even if our trip didn’t start out this way, all that alone time seems to draw it out of us.

Even if we thought we knew our purpose for walking or riding the path the actual doing so has taken hold of our hearts.

Each crunchy step… Each stab at the ground with trekking poles, each meditation interrupted by “Buen Camino” or cyclist’s bell reminds us that as it were, we are in fact finding a peace within us that has been buried by daily life.

As we opened the dining room door to leave a wave of chatter reminded us that we were back in the real world.

Tomorrow we start another meditation. I can’t wait.


Siempre pa’ adelante!


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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