I have been back home from my Camino trip for 8 weeks now. During that time I have struggled with how to incorporate my new Camino insights, fitness levels and attitudes into my old lifestyle. I have spent over a year of my life focused on training, preparing for and walking the Camino Frances. Now I am back home restless and confused on next steps. I still feel the energy and drive without another outlet or adventure to plan for. I have just experienced 45 days of freedom as a Camino Pilgrim walking each day without the usual work, family and life demands. For 45 days I followed yellow arrows and other Camino markers through medieval villages, country and forest pathways, mountain trails and historical Spanish cities. Each day was the simple adventure of walking from Point A to Point B to new locations and experiences… Freedom to enjoy each new day just focused on me and my walking partner(s) enjoying the magic of the Camino and the endearing support of fellow pilgrims and the local communities along the way. Continue reading
In the spring of 2013 I decided that I wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago 800 km route from St Jean de Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela (the Camino Frances route) in celebration of my 60th birthday. Marta agreed to walk with me and we spent a year training, planning and dreaming about the trip and kept our focus on achieving this challenging goal. Below are some of the lessons learned on this journey. Marta and I left for France on May 16, arrived in St Jean Pied de Port on May 19, and started walking the Camino on May 20. For the 39 days that we spent on our Camino trip we walked for 35 and had 4 non-walking days: Continue reading
Today we are resting in Bugos after 12 consecutive days of walking on the Camino Trail. We have 13 stamps in our Camino Passport! This has been our journey and experience so far!
1. St Jean Pied de Port our starting point in the French Pyrenees -May 19.–0 km
2. Roncesvalles Spain -May 20–26 km
3. Zubiri –May 21–22 km
4. Pamplona –May 22 –21 km
5. Puenta La Reina–May 23–22 km
6. Estella –May 24–20 km
7. Los Arcos –May 25–23 km
8. Logrono–May 26– 29 km
9. Najera–May 27–30.1 km
10. Santo Domingo de la Calzada–May 28–21 km
11. Belorado–May 29–23 km
12. Atapuerca–May 30–30.4 km
13. Burgos–May 31–19 km
14. Rest day in Burgos–Jun 1
15. Today we finished Day 14 another 21 km walk Lovely meseta area
Buen Camino. Folks–this is it, the real adventure begins. Marta and I leave this Friday May 16 for our 800 km Camino de Santiago walking adventure. It has been 50 weeks since I started my fitness training in preparation for this challenge. The journey to train and prepare for walking the Camino has been exciting and physically hard but delivered many rewards: Continue reading
There are less than 7 weeks before Marta and I leave for our Camino de Santiago adventure. What remains are these 5 short term (2 month), final preparation activities that I thought might be fun to share with you.
1. Detailed planning of the route and sight-seeing activities. Marta and I will each plan half the trip. I have created a spreadsheet which includes:
- Preferred route each day
- Preparations for that day’s hike
- Key points of interest (historical, cultural, geographical)
- Where we will be staying
- Recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Journaling area to capture the days insights and adventures
For the next few blogs I am going to discuss how to get happy, strong and healthy feet for the Camino (Felices, sanos y fuertes pies en el Camino). It’s very important to get your feet strong, stretched and ready to walk the long distances along the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostella.
The function and anatomy of our feet is complex:
1) The feet are our connection with the Earth forming a weight bearing foundation for our body. The feet balance weight distribution and alignment with the body that lines up over them.
2) The feet and toes bear and propel body weight during movement. The feet balance the body during movement and changes in body position. The feet enable mobility, direction and balance. The toes help with balance and propulsion during movement.
I have been training and walking in the snow using trekking poles for the last few weeks to prepare for the Camino de Santiago next year. It is not formally winter yet here in Canada, but the cold and snowy conditions are definitely here, and are early. I think that winter training will prepare me for any harsh weather conditions on the Camino trail. Mental toughness and conditioning are required to deal with:
- Deep snow
- biting freezing winds
- frost bitten, cold limbs
- freezing rain or blinding snow falls,
- icy, uneven surfaces
- multiple and heavy layers of clothing