Not long now..

Four days from now and I will be in France waiting to “go over the top” and start the first stage of the Camino. My first day is on Thursday from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles which is approx 26km over a section of the Pyrenees. I’m ready for it and to be honest, I’ve been counting down since I returned from Spain last May. The question remains how will I keep you all updated? I don’t think I will post much here, not until I return home. I hope to hand-write notes and blog then. I have an instagram account ( which will be used quite a bit. And if I can think of any other way to capture a piece of the Camino and bring it home, I will. I am also meeting some great people from the Camino forum; those who are starting on or around the same time as me. A few vinos will be had on the night before.

So if you don’t hear from me in the meantime, drop over to my instagram account and have a look at some of my photos. Buen Camino peregrinos! Hasta luego!

Something to keep an eye on in Iceland…

Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano alert to orange

At the time of writing, I have 15 days or so before I head back to Spain and the natural feeling one has is “Ah sure, it will fly in, nothing will go’ll be on the trail before you know it!” But I’m keeping my eye on this piece of news that cropped up on the radar on Monday. If you cast your mind back to 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted causing a massive ashcloud to hover over Europe for over 2 weeks. This caused the groundings of many flights and caused delays to thousands of tourists not only in Europe but in the US. I have all my fingers crossed that something like this doesn’t happen again, but hey! if it does, I just have to go with it. 

We’ll hear lots more about the Bardarbunga volcano in the near future. One thing is it flows off the tongue a little easier than it’s predecessor! :)



A Calendar Month…

I have a little under a month to go before I head off to southern France and walk what I have left of the Camino de Santiago. 28 days of waiting to be exact. What has struck me is how different I feel now to how I felt on the three previous occasions in 2011 to 2013. I have a greater deal of apprehension and excitement this time round, but I shouldn’t have, should I? I should be a veteran at this :) In 2011, my preparation and training was non existent, and I was more worried about fund-raising than actually getting to Santiago from Sarria. In 2012, I walked from Leon to Sarria without a proper pair of walking boots or socks.

This year, I have been glued to the Camino forum, have met some really great people and picked up some great tips. I hope to meet some in St Jean before I head off the next morning and over the following 2 weeks, I may bump into them on a number of occasions. I’m toying with the idea of getting a taxi down with a few others from Biarritz / Bayonne to St Jean. There is of course the option of catching a train / bus down to St Jean for cheaper but it does take longer.

But after I leave St Jean, I have no idea what will happen. I have spoken to lots who are stopping in Orisson which is hostel situated 8km after St Jean. It splits the first stage in two. I’m going to plow on ahead. Unfortunately, it has only 30 beds or something, and reservations are taken very quickly. I hope to reach Belorado by the 15th of September. I have chosen Belorado as a stopping point as there is a direct bus you can catch that goes direct to Bilbao. I have the option of walking ahead and getting a taxi to Burgos but depends on how the feet are. From there I can get a train to Bilbao.

And what about when I return? What then? I have been reading up on the Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago for 2015. But another part of me is tempted to walk another stretch of the French Way. I’m a little confused and have yet to set anything in stone. But I will be back next year at some stage.

It is a public holiday here in Ireland and I have a day off from work. So today I mainly have been looking for a lost passport. My pack at this moment in time looks like this…which is a mess :)

2014-08-04 16.57.50

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.