CF Day 7 – Santo Domingo to Belorado

We had decided to start early this morning, but ended up having a long and very nice chat with the man at reception, who was very impressed that we had so little luggage and carried it ourselves – the common room downstairs was already full of suitcases to be shipped to the next stage. After a quick coffee across the street we finally got on our way, and it was going to be another hot one. Not that we were complaining, not really, but we could feel the first week in our legs.

It was all pretty enough until we hit the road. The long, un-winding road, with a dusty track next to it. No shade, nothing but straight and sunny road.

Towards the end of the day we made a pit stop at a restaurant on the other side of the busy road, while most pilgrims walked straight by. We both just needed shade, hydration and rest. None of us were really hungry as it was too hot to eat. There were only 5 kms left to Belorado, where we had a room waiting and we had called to let them know we would be late-ish, so we could allow ourselves a good and cooling rest.

This is the fountain outside the restaurant – I did ask the barman nicely if he would fill my bottle with cold water since it was so scorching hot outside, but his boss gruffly sent me outside to the tap. I was baffled but did as I was told, but because of the baffledness or heat or a bit of both I ended up filling only my own bottle, not the Scouse Spouse’s! We then got on our way to power on before we lost the will to walk (or wilted, which ever came first).

It was sooo hot! I had a hat on, my sun protective shirt, a scarf draped across my face, and went to have a drink. That’s when we realised how little water we had, and how far 5 kms can be when you are thirsty and tired and hot! At one point we stopped in the tiny shade of a little tree and I almost started panicking – there seemed to be no end to the straight and dusty trail, we could hardly see any buildings, and it was hard to tell how far we had got. This is where we perfected the technique of dripping a few drops of precious cold water in each others’ neck to maximise cooling down with a minimum of waste.

As we got closer to Belorado, there was a new, large albergue right by the trail, with fluttering flags and happy pilgrims sitting in the shade with cold drinks. Having been panicky about the water situation, the obvious thing would be to join them, but I refused – if I stopped there, I would not get going again. Possibly ever. The sign outside said 800 m to Belorado so we stumbled on bravely. At least now we knew the end of the walk was near!

The bit of red wall on the left of this pic I think is where we stayed. Lovely and airy and cool, with a great room and even a clothes line on the small balcony. We didn’t take many more photos that day. Just fell into the place, checked in, then sat down outside under the parasols with a huge, cold, bubbly drink and pilgrim watched and reanimated.

We managed one more photo: This is the table where we had a lovely pilgrim meal with pork cheeks and pasta and Bailey’s for dessert. Heaven!

What we learned that day was to drink more water when it was available, take more water in our 1 litre rollable bags, wet our hats and scarves and buffs whenever possible, and stop in the shade when we could. Dehydration is not a joke and it can happen to anyone, even you!

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