Day 11

Belorado – Ages

27.8km/17.27 miles

I could probably count the amount of items in my pack now with just over two hands.  Between desperate attempts to reduce the weight in my pack and morning absentmindedness, my pack is now down to the most quintessential.

I no longer have a towel to dry off with after a shower.  It was forgotten hanging to dry at some albergue a couple days ago.  I now use my dirty shirt from the day.  Deodorant, conditioner, face wash, extra socks, underwear and bra, left behind.  My most precious item, my camera, lost.


Most things I was able to let go of, but this one hits hard.


Each morning pilgrims are required to leave by early morning due to most albergues shut down for cleaning during the day.  I have called the place I stayed at 2 days ago when I noticed it was missing and they confirmed that my camera is there.

I make daily calls trying to communicate with someone who speaks English to coordinate a delivery.  Each afternoon I wait for the shuttle services, there is no delivery.  I feel sad.  Even though I have my phone, I took many priceless photos of this journey with my camera.  It remains at the forefront of my mind.  Most things I was able to let go of, but this one hits hard.

Small Village of Villafranca

Small Village ahead, Villafranca

I continue on each day, in hopes of at some point I can retrieve my camera.  For now, I walk on.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Little messages along the way

I talk to someone who I now consider a friend, Emilie.  She is a young American girl from Seattle who goes to school in Boston.  We run into one another every so often.  We seem to be paving a very similar path.

If I am not making reservations with a group, I am most likely staying in the donation only albergues that fill with most of the younger people walking on the camino.  They are usually the same faces who hang with the same groups.  Emilie and I, still for the most part are solo, walking to our own beat.  We gravitate towards one another.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

Letting my feet breathe on the side of the path

I stop on the side of the path to rub my feet and let them breathe.  Something I must do now every few hours to help keep the swelling ache down.  There is this tiny lady, that I just noticed today, who carries a massive pack on her back.  Every so often I pass her.  I then need to stop on the side of the road to rest.  Eventually she catches up and I watch her steadily pass by.  She never stops, never rests or chats.  I think to myself how strong she is.  Someone who is so tiny and yet maintains her stride.


Another day is done.  They say the camino has three phases.  The first 11 days are physical, the next 11 days are mental and the last 11 are spiritual.  I have felt the physical and have seemed to numb out the consistent throb in my feet.  I, however, am now in the mental phase.  The thought of not even being half way done runs through my head.  I can’t even imagine another 20 more days of this.  Images of myself running into the arms of my loved ones play like a sappy scene from a Sarah Jessica Parker movie over and over in my mind.  I have broken down at least once and I’m sure it will happen again.


I determine that is the real reason I am here.  To feel free.


Time goes by slow, but is good.  I enjoy the moment, but still find reasons to worry.  The mental surge of an excess of void is the most liberating feeling in the world.  I determine that is the real reason I am here.  To feel free.