50 days or so to go..

I have a little under 2 months before I throw my backpack back on again. My postponed Camino starts on the 4th of September, after I leave Dublin on the 3rd. Not long to go.

I haven’t done particularly much since I took the decision to postpone, as you can tell from my low number of posts. My shoes have changed and boy, do they feel right! A new marmot light jacket has given me reason to ditch my poncho that I have worn over the two previous years. My toe has healed up and I don’t think it will cause me any problems in September. Hopefully.

I have bought a fitbit flex also on a whim to motivate me to walk more. Before May, I would generally be clocking in around 7kms per day. Wearing a fitbit and having people to compete against has motivated me to hit 10kms most weekdays, and 15-20kms on weekends. I love it and the social aspect to it. It also measures how much you are sleeping and has a silent alarm so there is no chance of me sleeping in late in albergues! 

What else? Oh..the World Cup! As I type, Germany have just beaten Argentina and claimed the top prize. I have dived head first into this year’s World Cup and have watched pretty much every game. The group games were a joy to watch. It was very hard to pick a favourite from those early games but as the rounds progressed, the matches got more and more cagey. But the best team won in the end, it is fair to say. Plus I won €120 in a competition in my company! No complaints from here anyway.

I will write again before I go but I just wish the days would count themselves down a little quicker :)

Packing list 2014 – it has probably not changed

I pretty much have had the same pack since 2012 when I walked from Leon to Sarria but over the last few years I have made a few changes. Anyway, this list (link below) is where I am at the moment. The advantage of arriving early in St Jean (compared to arriving late in Leon and Logrono) is I can buy a few supplies. 

Packing List 2014

Feel free to offer critique, either in the comments or on the spreadsheet.


Another late addition to the kit…

Another late addition to the kit...

I just hope I’m not too late buying these.
My current trail shoe (the amazing Columbia Peakfreak Enduro) won’t be joining me in September. The reason for this is the shoe is too tight and I need a little more width. They are the best pair of trail shoes I have bought in a while and will continue to wear them out but they aren’t suitable for walking more than 20k. My toes will thank me!
I ventured back to Great Outdoors (my favourite store in Dublin!) and got some great advice. This pair, Jack Wolfskin Mountain Attack shoe, felt great when I tested it in the store. I was told it is totally waterproof, breathable and there is plenty of room around the toes. The assistant owns a pair so that was enough for me.
Now I just need to break them in, and I hope three months is enough time. If not, I will go back to my previous pair and hope my toes are fine!

Preparation..a slight change..and the Camino Portuguese

So one of the downsides of postponing any trip is it gives you leeway to change or rejig what you are packing. Well, I’ve just gone and bought a rain jacket to add to my pack. So, out with the poncho and in with the rain jacket. The debate over rain gear on the camino (I’m not going to even start linking to these articles!) has been going on for years and for the last few years, I have swore by my poncho. This time I’m going to ditch it. I reckon the Marmot Precip is a good buy. It is breathable, lightweight and is pretty waterproof. All I need to do is give it a test run. I promise to leave my rest of my list as it is!! (although I said that before I bought the Precip!). I am the worst when it comes to gadgets however, so don’t be surprised if I bring more than my iPhone and charger.

I’ve started to get in some kms over the last week. I try and get in 10km during the weekend and maybe 5km each working day. Not running. I don’t think I’ll ever run..not sure why? I hope to do a long distance walk (maybe 2) before I go..there are a few trails along the west coast I want to take in.

I have also been quietly reading up on the Camino Portuguese for the future. One of my blog followers has just completed her Camino from Lisbon to Santiago and she gave some great tips that I will take note of. I don’t think I will start in Lisbon though, but Porto. You can read the blog here from day one. Another follower, Natasha Murtagh has started from Porto with her father and are both making their way to Santiago. You can read their story on natashamurtagh.wordpress.com. Natasha and her father have previously walked the French Way a number of years ago (I think it was 2011?) and wrote a very successful book called “Buen Camino!”.

Friends on the Camino

I have two friends from Limerick and Tipperary walking the Camino now. Both started in Burgos in the middle of May and as I type they are in Fonfria. They hope to be in Santiago by the 8th of June to celebrate Pentecost Sunday. Plenty of time. They have had tough times with stormy weather and rain but all in all they have enjoyed their Camino and are walking close on 25km on average per day. They did have some difficulties with finding accomodation from Hontanas to Sahagun as quite a few were booking rooms ahead due to the bad weather. I can’t understand that myself. There is plenty of beds to go around and hearing people stress and getting involved in a “bed race” creates stress for other people. It is far from enjoyable. (Here’s a tip: leave John Brierley’s book at home and forget about the “suggested” end stages).





Anyway, before they went I met both for a practice walk and I passed on a keyring that I bought in Leon last May. I asked for the keyring to be placed by the Cruz de Ferro when they pass. I have left other keyrings there in the past. And they did so, see the picture above.

May becomes September…

Just thought I’d update you all on my plans for next week’s Camino.

I’m postponing it unfortunately. I’ve pushed it back until the start of September which takes me past the busy period in Spain. My toe, while getting better, is not 100% and I don’t want to leave anything to chance if I go. While I am disappointed, it leaves me with 3 months to dot the “i”‘s and cross the “t”s. Plus I can start planning my trip to the Camino Portuguese in May 15. Hopefully, I can bring one or two folks along with me then.