Camino de Santiago | Day 11

Belorado – Ages

17.39 | 171.95 miles

+1,797 | -1,153 feet


I walked three miles before the sun woke up. Although it was cloudy, the sunrise was beautiful. I decided to take it as a sign that today’s walk would go well – even though it’s quite long and the forecast was for rain and wind.

And it was just that. The temperature was 54 degrees with 17-mile per hour winds and rain that started by the fifth mile. Honestly, it was a miserable day. I was never warm and couldn’t feel my fingers. When I arrived at the auberge, I could barely get my passport out of my pack or get my coat unzipped.

This was at about 5 miles. I look happier here than I was.

Today was my Camino speed trial: I averaged 18:16 minute miles (excluding my stops for breakfast and lunch). Despite the rain and cold, I’m thankful: for my rain jacket; the lack of blisters despite sloshing-wet shoes for 5 hours; that this wasn’t yesterday, where we were in the open all day but had some trees to break the wind; a clothes dryer; and the stamina to make it over 17 miles and feel good at the end of the day. Currently, I’m praying my shoes are dry tomorrow.

I was also fortunate that the path out of Belorado was smooth and well-marked since I was in the dark and didn’t see another pilgrim until after the third mile. I’d expected more people to start early with the forecast.

Looking ahead in that fourth mile, I saw two pilgrims walking, causing me to think of the road to Emmaus.

Like those pilgrims, we walk our road and meet up with other pilgrims, often sharing a meal. It would have been common in ancient times to come across someone as you were traveling between towns, journey for a while together, before separating again as each goes their own way.

In the dark, I felt I was on the road by myself because I couldn’t see anyone else. But just because I couldn’t see them didn’t mean I was walking alone. This is true in life. It is easy to forget that others are walking the road with us; others are on their way, too. Likewise, it’s easy to forget that Jesus is with us. But this perception is not reality.

The Emmaus pilgrims thought that Jesus was dead, and hope was gone. Little did they know that Jesus was on the road with them and would meet them on their way – and hope was still alive.

Today was not an enjoyable walk. However, as I think back to the beautiful sunrise, I know I did not walk it alone.

Reaching Ages: This was a most welcome sight.

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesa from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them. – Luke 24:13-15 (NRSV)

Buen Camino

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3 Thoughts to “Camino de Santiago | Day 11”

  1. […] winds were mostly at our backs all day and it was at least 10 degrees warmer than on the miserable Day 11. Overall, the paths were great and the scenery beautiful. I’ve been fortunate to only have […]

  2. […] I mentioned on Day 11, when I walk in the dark in the morning, I often feel alone. But if I look back, I can probably see […]

  3. JP Kastner

    One of the great things about a thru-hike from my experience is that it is a day like you had today that you look back on most fondly. You could have made a short day of it. You could have hid in a cafe for most of the day. Instead, you endured and put in some strong miles. You are doing awesome!

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