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A Diamond Found

April 12, 2013, Day 13, Santo Domingo to Viloria de la Rioja (15 km)

Today was a shorter day as I left Santo Domingo late in the day.  It was a pretty straight path roads through towns passing through Granon and Redecilla del Camino                             prior to arriving in Viloria de la Rioja.

Inner Journey

It took everything in me not to take a cab to the airport and go home.  I was finished.  Done. Complete and unforgiving.  At about midnight, when I was doing my best to sleep in the ¨luxurious¨bed at the Parador de Santo Domingo, something made me wake up and I felt me ear and realized that one of my diamond earrings was missing.  I lost it.  Instead of the earring, there was this HUGE whole in my earlove.  It just pushed it´s way out.  I felt betrayed by The Camino and punished.  It was late and I turned on the light and looked everywhere.  I tried to call Garrett but he didn´t answer.  I later found out he left his phone in Austin, TX.  I felt alone and I couldn´t handle it.  It wasn´t simply the value of the diamond and that it was a very special gift that had tremendous meaning, it was a connection to something important that I couldn´t name.  I stayed up all night looking for it.  In the morning I asked the maintenance crew if they could search the drain. They explained there was no trap that if it fell off in the shower it was lost.  Very reluctantly I began walking in tears for most of the 15 km to Viloria de la Rioja.  I finally came to the village of Viloria and there was not much there.  There were no stores.  There was an Albergue so I went in.  Immediately, I was hit with an incredible feeling of love and peace.  The Albergue smelled so good.  Incense were burning and soft chanting music played in the backgound.  It was cold outside but there were to wood burning stoves lit inside.  There was a library and small store inside.  In the libary were all of the books written by Paulo Cuelho, the author of The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist.   Two books that were transformative to me so many years ago.  I found out that Paulo was the Padrino or Godfather of this small Albergue. A brazilian man greated me with a hug and said, ÿou go take a shower and choose a bed.  When you are warm and refreshed we will then sign you in.  We will share a common supper at 7:00.¨ I knew I would be ok somehow.  Love conquers all.

I finally heard back from Garrett and he said the most amazing thing.  He said, ¨The diamond can be replaced.  Maybe The Camino gave it to someone who needed it more than you and it changed their life¨.  I realized that he is my rock…my diamond and he can´t be lost.

Bueno Camino!




  1. carla obrien

    April 25, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    Wow what beautiful synchronicites! Your vivid descriptions to me are such a mirror of your incredible awarenesses that have become so much more acute on this journey. And the shift of perspective on the diamond, what else do we all hold onto with conclusion when in fact it could be something totally different and perfect. What good do we all not see everyday?

    Thank you Ali for your courage and your wisdom! Bravo!

  2. Robert and Delphine

    April 27, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Dear Alison,
    Again we have enjoyed your lively commentary and your interesting experiences, and most of all your courageous and adventurous spirit. Your pictures are most interesting because I love small ancient villages where venerable old beams hold her houses made by ancient carpenters not modern contractors. They reminded of the medieval villages, some a thousand years old, in France. I also saw few advertisements in your pictures. Your villages stand simple, attractive, and inviting, and were not a billboard for Coca Cola and
    other junk food. I also like the way you make friends along the way. I imagine that your Spansh is improving. Your experience must be broadening you in every way. Continue
    your trip, and absorb every delight that you see, Your are making me want to go to France soon and see some of my friends there. Keep well and vigorous. With much love,

  3. Robert and Delphine

    April 28, 2013 - 1:27 am

    DEAR dulcinea: I must be jinxed ! I keep writing you comments and an email and they don’t seem to be going through. Then I re-write some of my words of wisdom and LOVE and I feel silly repeating myself. I’m going to have to learn texting, tweeting and facebooking (is this a real verb now) so that I can communicate like everyone else is doing. But first I have to learn how to email.

    I was so sorry to hear of the loss of the earring, but happy that you discovered what is really important. I loved seeing your photos with people in them. I especially loved the one with you at the table with others. Did you know that your face is lit up like a ray of sunshine? I will try to email you again tomorrow. Besos y brazos.
    Mama. Buen camino

  4. Alie McLean

    April 28, 2013 - 9:12 am

    I love all your posts. Thank you for all of your loving support. It makes such a difference. I have so much more to write and share with you but sometimes there is no internet and sometimes it is too cold to type. Much love, Alison

  5. Robin Himovitz

    May 7, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing your open heart in these adventurous, powerful and confirming journeys!
    Brazos y Besos!

  6. Robin

    May 7, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    Beautiful walk and beautiful you!
    Thank you for sharing your open heart in your adventurous, powerful and confirming journeys!
    Brazos y Besos!

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