Santo Domingo – Belorado
The mornings have been much cooler now. I start the day wearing 2 long sleeved shirts with gloves and end it wearing a t-shirt. Today in particular is very gloomy and windy. The wide open fields offer no protection from beautiful mother natures cool breath. Rain is forecasted for today. I have heard stories of people walking for weeks with rain everyday during this time of year. I have been extremely lucky to have not yet had to experience bad weather yet.
As the day moves on, I notice others slowly busting out their rain gear. I too eventually pull my oversized poncho over my head and pack. I feel like a mechanical stick character with a large humpback straight out of some cirque du soleil act.
Soon enough the rain comes. This does not stop anyone from walking. Regardless of the weather, we all must continue doing what we came for. There is a part of me that feels a little bad ass walking in conditions that most would consider miserable. There is a new found excitement to not letting something such as weather hold me back from doing the things that I want to do.
Today we pass into a new region of Spain. We began in Navarra, walked through La Rioja and now entering the Castilla Y Leon region. This region is home to the Meseta, a predominately flat table or plateau region. It is sparsely populated with seemingly endless horizons.
Today on a day that started off so so with rain, turned into a bang. Not long after the rain this beautiful rainbow appeared fully in view. I relish in moments like this. The moment that made everything worth it.
I meet and talk to so many different people while walking. Faces I remember, but names barely stick. I meet a new group today, but I can not seem to find the moment that brought us together. I have seen them walking before. I admire the beautiful tall latin girl that walks with them.
They have made reservations for 4 in Belorado. One of their usual walking mates has ventured off on her own today and it is unknown to the group if she will be joining them in the next village. They mention this to me and ask if I am interested in taking her spot. I would never turn down a reservation, however, what if the girls shows up? I would be on my own again.
I take the chance and head into Belorado with them. This group is young, my age. They are funny with a hint of sarcasm. More cynical and much more like me than any other group I have walked with thus far. The group consists of a guy from Australia who already has been walking for months, another girl from america who recently lived in India and the exotic girl from Brazil who like me, has never done anything like this before.
We stay at Cuatro Cantones albergue, which is a cozy cabin like hostel. There is a bunk house with high ceilings and sturdy wooden bunks lining the room. It reminds me of a cabin I once stayed at in girl scouts; cozy, warm and child like.
We head down stairs to a full restaurant that is serving dinner off a menu. This is much more luxurious than what we have become accustomed too. In Spain, dinner on the Camino is usually a set menu with limited options, and the same at every restaurant/bar. We get excited to see things like nachos and pizza on the menu and order a shmorgishborg of traditional American eats.
We eat and drink all we can stuff ourselves with. There is talk over dinner about skipping the Meseta that is between Burgos and Leon. I have never considered skipping any portion of the Camino until now. The other american knows for sure that she does not want to do it and says how long and miserable it is. They discuss renting an apartment in Burgos for a couple of days. The idea sounds fun and spontaneous, to stay in a more trendy and newer place. However, they book a place with only 3 rooms. The decision has been made, I know I am to continue tomorrow morning.
There is never any hurt feelings on the Camino. Some groups I connect with more than others. Some people prefer the same group through out their whole experience. Some, like me, like to keep things open. The older crowds I seem to stick with more. I like to not rely on others and to not have anyone rely on me. There is a sense of non-attachment and I like that freedom.
I met a little older Mexican lady who just like me, leaves the person she has met each day to find what new is to come. She reminds me of myself. No one way of doing something.
We explore the local cathedral before heading into bed.