Day 11: Santo Domingo to Belorado

Mileage: 13.9

Highlights

Once again, we were the last people to leave our hostel in the morning. This time it was particularly shocking because there were 200 others in our hostel. Still, we took our time getting organized and eating breakfast before heading out. Some people like to hike a few miles to the next closest village before eating and having coffee. We tried that once and we were very grumpy and tired. We need coffee first thing before we walk.

The last few miles into Belorado were hard because it was long and flat alongside a highway. The town itself was amazing- one of my favorites so far. The streets and buildings were so charming and quintessential of an old Spanish village. We checked into our fabulous hostel, equipped with a complete washroom to do laundry, kitchen, and outdoor pool! Mom and I hand washed our clothes (my mom wanted the experience lol) and hung them to dry in the sun. We grabbed our usual post-hike beer in the main plaza at a cute cafe. We sat in the sun and people-watched, our favorite post-hike activity. In order to hold us over until dinner time at 7:30pm (cutting it close to bedtime after a long day of walking in the sun), mom and I shared a tortilla, which is a Spanish potato omelette that looks like quiche without the crust.

At our hostel, we had the pilgrim dinner, which is usually 3 courses and a ton of food and bottomless wine. It usually costs €10, which is a major deal for the amount of food you get. We sat with a Canadian woman, her 14 year old son and a cute Spanish couple. The Canadian mother had developed tendinitis in her knees since hiking and had several nasty blisters on her feet that made it difficult for her to walk, even without her hiking boots on. I was really encouraging her not to hike and to rest and take care of her injuries (even though I know it'd be extremely hard for me to do that if I was in her position).

I think it's pretty awesome her and her son are hiking together- but then I remember how awesome it is that I'm hiking with my amazing mom! While we're on the subject- my mom is incredible. I never doubted her, but she has exceeded all my expectations of how she'd do hiking, sleeping in hostels, and traveling in general. She's so positive and gets genuinely excited about even the smallest special moments in our day. I'm SO lucky to share this incredible adventure with her. 

A Trace of Grace

Notes from a trekking mama

Just like our own Patton Park "plaza" in Hamilton, MA, the plazas of Spain encourage people to gather. From the thousands of people on the Pamplona plaza to the more subdued Belorado plaza, families gather- the grandparents and the grandchildren, young mothers with toddlers, older couples who just come to sit and watch. It is a familiar site that makes me smile.

 

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