The Couple in Belorado

The Couple in Belorado

I thought people might be interested in this story.

Keith and Kim both walk at a fast pace, they can´t seem to help it. This placed them in towns before most other walkers. When they arrived at Belorado, they were surprised to find an old couple already waiting in line for the refugio to open. Most refugios do not open until 1 pm.

Although the couple did have their packs with them, they looked like they hadn´t walked. You get several types of people on the Camino.

  • Walking perigrinos: People that walk the Camino carrying all of their gear
  • Cycling perigrinos: People that cycle the Camino carrying their gear (this by the way is often thought of the easy way by some, don´t believe it, I´ve seen how hard these pilgrims work to get through the hills and mud
  • Light walkers: People that walk light, sending their heavy packs forward while carrying only a small day-pack and water. Nothing wrong with this. For many there are medical reasons and for others they just want to enjoying the walking part more. But never doubt that these people do walk.
  • Tourigrinos: People that cheat the system by using buses or taxis to move from town to town snagging the cheap spots in refugios that cost 3-8 € instead of paying for a 30 € hostel. They have packs and pretend that they have walked, but you can usually spot them easily. There has been talk amongst some of the refugios of starting a black list of these people. No one likes these people, especially when you see very tired people who may have walked up to 40 km being turned away from a refugio that is full and having to walk another 3-5km (if not more) to find a bed while a tourigrino lounges in the refugio.
    Note: When I was on rest days to heal my ankle I staying in pensions and hostels. In my mind, as in many others, no walk, no refugio.

The couple looked like light walkers, but may have been tourigrinos, it was hard to tell. So, Kieth and Kim just put their packs in line behind the couples and sat down to wait.

A few minutes later the hospitalero popped out of the refugio for one thing or another and saw the old couple. He greeted them warmly and embraced them both. He then proceeded to move them into the refugio before the opening and he ushered Kieth and Kim in as well. He processed them and let them grab bed and settle in.

As it turns out this the sixteenth time that the couple had done the Camino. Sixteenth! But they were getting on now and were driving the route to relive some memories. There were hardcore walkers, and we all think that they should always have a refugio bed waiting for them. Amazing people.