I have three days left before I leave for Spain..Tres dias!! How time flies. I remember getting home last year and deciding I wanted to go back while treating what was left of my feet. I promised to do things this differently, but hey! I’m not one for changing..or maybe it is, I try but fail to change.. Anyway, where was I? Yes..It’s fair to say that I am prettty unorganised this time round. Hopefully I will have everything sorted shortly but as I type, everything I plan on bringing is laying on the floor in a heap waiting to be put in a tiny pack. That’s not a big deal I hear you all shouting..but you haven’t seen the mess.
I did have a small shin splints problem on Monday morning. After a short 2km walk to work, my shin on my left leg started to ache and I thought that this can’t be for real! A few quick exercises and they went away. So I am kind of concerned it doesn’t flare up again while on the trail. Time will tell.
I have also been following the weather on a daily basis. I found a great site http://www.aemet.es and it gives 7 day forecasts for each region. Impressed by it, but there is not much sun predicted. Mostly overcast with a chance of rain. Overcast I am fine with, but I have yet to experience rain on the Camino. I have prepared for it, so it may as well happen.
I would hope that I live for the moment on this trip, the “here and now”, and not worry about the next day or how full an albergue is going to be. Last time, I got caught up in things well out of my control and didn’t think about what I was doing at the time. I am also a competitive walker at home, I compete with myself! If I watch someone overtake me, it doesn’t go down well. I just need to pick up the speed and this can only lead to damage on the feet. I did it last time, I’m not going to do it again.
I don’t think this will be my final post before I go.
If it is, I can be found at my backpack trying to fit everything in!
A week to go before I head off on my return to the Camino but before then, I just want to write a bit about something that’s on my mind of late. This post might ruffle a few feathers but it’s a free world, etc etc.
I just want to back track to 2011 when I walked my first stretch from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. This was walked for a brilliant charity which means alot to me, Aware. After doing a lot of fundraising, I was eager to travel there and get on the trail. We had a guide (who has become a friend since then), we had hotels booked for us, and we had bags carried for us. I thought this was the norm and had thought Sarria was the starting point. (The Way was not released at this time). Hey, the brochures we received made us believe it was the real deal. You can imagine my surprise as I walked out with cotton-everything with a little pack and saw guys unshaven with massive backpacks and boots. It got me thinking, was that how you really walk the Camino? Was I doing it wrong?
I found out that at that stage there are two types of peregrinos. One being the folks who carry their bags from point A to point B, stay in albergues and generally attempt to get by on the littlest amount of money. And another being the folks who have everything arranged for them. I found a great disconnect as well. I tried to talk to some people as I was walking and I don’t think they were too thrilled to see me carrying a little day pack.
Fast forward one year. I returned to walk from Leon to Sarria and stayed in albergues from the off. I had a much better time, I met some fab people and immediately made plans to return again. People were more inviting generally speaking. Was this a more authentic way? I’m not sure to be honest but I had a better experience this time.
You might see in the picture below what some people think of people who walk from Sarria. These opinions are not isolated, but hey! people have time constraints and would not be fit enough to walk the who stretch. I found this humorous though.
I’ve 2 weeks left before I fly out…
Yep, 2 weeks! The time is flying by and I have less and less time to get packed, organised and on the plane. I have only managed to find my rucksack, and I have no idea what should go into a blister kit. I’m sure everything will fall into place in the end though.
But help is at hand in the form of various forums and YouTube videos.
One set of videos I have stumbled across during my daily browse on YouTube is from a chap living in Madrid who is walking two Caminos in one; The Camino del Norte and the French Way..over 1000km. Mad eh? At the time of writing he is in or around Leon, where I plan to finish up in June.
So if you are looking at something to watch that is Camino-related, I would recommend clicking the video. Luke has over 20 videos there and they are pretty enjoyable.
His channel is here: http://is.gd/WDHgNN
A little video I made today..
Here is an article about the Camino de Santiago in the Daily Mail. It has been a while since I have read anything in the papers about the way. It was published in 2011 by the way.
Folks, have a read of my friend Mike’s blog.
An artist with a great talent, as you will see from some pictures in this post.
Where it all began..
I have 40 days left and every single day that goes by, I think about May 25th. It’s almost becoming a bit distracting! I have drawn up a packing list (http://is.gd/ivLBo8) which is more or less the same as last year. A few changes however…I don’t plan on bringing as much gadgetry as last time, my iPhone will do. I don’t need a camera if I have the phone. I reckon I will get by without a guide book or reading material. I’ve thought more about getting blisters and aches and pains so I’ve added in a few things more if and when my feet turn into a war zone. Apart from that, there are no major changes.