Walking to Valdesalor – Chapter 44

Karen has breakfast in bed.


We are walking to Valdesalor on the Via de la Plata — leaving Aldea del Cano. The church is still locked even though it is Sunday morning.

The terrain is somewhat featureless.

I record the progress of a bug. “Here is a caption for your photo,” Karen said. “This is why we cannot walk 15 miles each day.”

I read chapter 44 from the Tao te Ching:

“Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success of failure: which is more destructive?”

“If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.”


“If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.”


“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.”

We see Valdesalor.

Valdesalor is a new town constructed in the 1960’s. It has a population of about 300.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”

We arrive at the albergue — the Municipal Hostel — It turns out to be a difficult situation — It is locked and the rain is coming down hard. We find a bar which is supposed to have a key. It is closed. Eventually, a woman comes to open the bar and we pay for beds and get the key. We walk back to the hostel. A minibus full of Spanish hikers has arrived. We get two beds but every other bed is full — 14 people and there is only one toilet. They are loud and it is difficult to sleep.

There have been times that I realized that there is nothing lacking — but, in the morning, I lacked sleep.

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