There’s a small, quite 22-bed Refugio in Belorado. It’s run by a Swiss couple that once walked the Camino, and now they spend their days providing a sanctuary for others. The Refugio is completely trust-driven. People pay what they wish at the end of their stay and that has sustained the place for years. They have a large kitchen that anyone can use as long you leave it as you find it. And the large dining area downstairs where everyone hangs out is really their living room. Such generous souls.
I decide to hike up the hill behind the place with two others, one Japanese girl who looked like she might like some company, and a 20-year-old Canadian boy walking with his dad. As we make our way up the steep hill, the sun is starting to set and the birds are making their way home. The Canadian boy doesn’t really understand why someone would choose to live in a cave. He’s just coming along to see the storks since there’s a huge nest up on a church bell tower that you can see from the top. I try telling him about the hermits that once lived in these caves. “You mean outcasts from society,” he inquires. “No, no, they voluntarily sought for secluded places; they’re seekers of the ultimate Truth.” I can see that it could be a lot for an average teenager to grasp.
View from the top is amazing. The sunset covers the town in a rose-colored tint, which matches the peaceful energy of this entire town. I can see how the Swiss couple ended up here. One can easily spend a lifetime in a place like this. The energy is more tranquil than anywhere else I’ve been – even the Himalayas.
(From the Camino Journals May 10)