Day 10. Grañon to Belorado. 15.7km. (After three 30k days in a row, this was a much needed short day.)
After 10 days on the Camino, here’s what an average day looks like.
- 6:00 – Wake up to the sound of 20+ alarms quietly going off throughout the dormitory and the rest of the albergue stirring awake.
- 6:30-7:00 – Finish packing and head out. (Unless the albergue has free breakfast, you stay for free breakfast.)
- 7:00-1:00 – Walking. Most pilgrims stop intermittently along the trail in the small towns dotting the way for a coffee, pastry, snack, or a moment to rest their legs and feet. Depending on the distance planned to travel for the day, we arrive to the next town between 11-2. (When it’s more of a 30k day, it’s closer to 2.)
- 2:00 – Find Food! Eat! Read: Gorge yourself until you shouldn’t eat anymore. As most of Spain is on siesta (officially from about 1-4, but in reality closer to 7) most restaurants and shops are closed. Causing hungry pilgrims to eat whatever remaining food they purchased the previous day, or pillage the tapas menu from the few open bars.
- 3:00-5:00 – Rest, sleep, and/or move as little as possible. Sometimes this means enjoying the unreasonably inexpensive (bottles of) wine and other times it means staring at the bottom of the bunk or ceiling above you. Either way, we try to limit our step count.
- 5:00 – Find a market for the next day’s supplies. Generally only a couple pieces of fruit or baguette, but sometimes can be as much as meats and cheeses depending on the trek.
- 6:00-7:00 – Eat again. Either at the albergue for a community dinner or at a restaurant serving the menu de piligrino. For pilgrims, their menu is generally the best option it’s fare includes 3-4 courses, a bottle of wine, and plenty of bread all for around 10€.
- 8:00-10:00 – Hangout in the albergue and enjoy one another’s company as you share stories from the day and trade information about life.
- 10:00 – Lights out. Most albergues have a curfew requiring all guests to return inside so the doors can be locked and a minimum of 8 hours of sleep can be enjoyed.
Hospitality. From volunteers working in donitovos, to merchants opening their shops, the Camino is a place of hospitality. Pilgrims carry what they need lacking only the supplies for food and bread. So each place offers its own style of hospitality, and last night was no exception.
In Grañon, we stayed in a parochial operated albergue whose distinct variety of hospitality was apparent from the moment you walked in the door. Volunteers greeted you at the door and welcomed you with open arms offering a place to stay and explaining the details for the community meal and prayer. Being Sunday, most markets, restaurants, and bakeries were closed so ingredients and supplies were gathered by the towns parishioners and made for dinner with the help of the volunteers and pilgrims. Each person had a hand in either the making or clean-up so we all have a level of responsibility in the meal. Laughter passed the time as hearts joined for the communion-all nationalities welcomed and all races rejoiced.
Following meal we were taken to the choir loft of the 14 century church for prayer, where we were invited to share our own unique prayer, reflection, or song. In languages from around the world, we spoke from the heart with voices proclaiming the wisdom from our walk. Each voice was honored and heard as we passed a candle and allowed each person their own sacred space.
From mat to mat we laid next to one another. The simplicity of the place warmly embraced each person as we were all called to be equal in God’s and our eyes.
As a family of pilgrims we walk. Step by step, beginning from the same place and headed to the same destination we walk as individuals connected to the rhythmic pace of the Camino. Our faces recognize one another as we call one another by name. Not one of us is alone, we are all seen by the eyes of God, the eyes of the people walking this one Earth on our shared journey of life.