Over the weekend Tim and I attended the Film Festival near San Diego. We went especially to see a 90 minute documentary movie about walking the Camino. In case you are not familiar with this “walk”, the most popular route entails walking 500 miles across Northern Spain.
On average it takes around 35 days to complete the journey.
Call me crazy, but for the past several weeks I have been researching, reading and considering doing just that!
So far, besides seeing this well done documentary, I have watched the movie The Way, starring Martin Sheen, started reading Shirley MacLaine’s book The Camino and spent hours online reading postings and following blogs of others that have already made this journey.
I’ve also spoken with four different people who have already complete this amazing trek. To a person they felt it was a life changing experience and encouraged me to take the leap forward.
Yesterday I purchased the book Camino de Santiago, written by John Brierley, which gets into more of the nitty-gritty such as detailed maps, where to stay and eat along the way and packing recommendations (take very little sums it up).
My biggest challenge will be getting in good enough shape to be able to walk over the Pyrenees Mountains carrying a backpack.
Amazingly Tim is on board with this idea. His biggest concerns are having enough to eat and where he will sleep. He is such a trooper! He is also in much better condition than me, younger, and has long strong runners legs.
At this point I’m not sure if the odds are higher that he will end up carrying my backpack, me or both
Things we need to figure out include:
1. What to take with us – we have recommended lists to use as a starting point, but actually narrowing it down, buying the backpacks, correct hiking shoes/boots and breaking them in, choosing proper clothing, rain gear and which electronics to take are all big questions.
2. When to go – we are looking at 2014, but the time of the year is up for grabs. I don’t particularly want to walk in the rain, but during the summer we may have to contend with the trail being more crowded, sleeping facilities being sold-out, or the weather being too hot. Right now leaning toward June or September-October.
3. Where to stay – there are pilgrim hostels all along the way (Albergues). They are quite reasonably priced, but the idea of sharing a large room filled with bunk beds and 20 other snoring, sweaty hikers may not get me the sleep I need. Also sharing communal bathroom facilities where the hot water can get used up early does not hit high on my fun list. One of my projects ahead will be to find alternate accommodations that would provide some privacy, quiet and cleanliness. They don’t have to be fancy.
4. How to get in shape – this will be huge. The hard ugly truth is that I can easily stand to loose 30 lbs, my balance is still effected by all the radiation treatments I had to my brain, and I have not exercised for far too long. I am starting out slow by taking some local walks, trying to build up a head of steam.
If you have already done this hike, think I am crazy for considering this, have words of wisdom, or just want to share a good laugh, please leave me a message in the comment section below. I’m going to need all the encouragement I can get for this one!
I’m also curious what your vote is – should I do it?