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Walking the Camino - Prep.

Walking the Camino - Prep.

I'm in the final stages of preparation for walking the Portugal route of the Camino de Santiago. I leave on Sunday evening for Porto, spend a couple of days getting myself organized and start the walk from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compestela in Spain on my 72'nd birthday, March 24.

Daughter Diana did the walk from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago a couple of years ago, about 753 kilometres. As a surprise, I met her at the end of her walk on the outskirts of Santiago and walked the last kilometre with her to the Cathedral. It was a very moving experience and we had talked about the two of us doing a portion of the walk together. Unfortunately her teaching schedule only allows her to do it in summer and I've been concerned about tramping through the heat of a Spanish summer so we have not yet found a way to make it work. When a very good friend of V's told us that she and a couple of her friends were planning on doing the Portuguese route, I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to give it a try with people I knew in case I ran into problems, in the cool of spring and on a much shorter route- about 275K.

 Santiago de Compestela sunset

Santiago de Compestela sunset

I only made the decision a couple of weeks ago and so have been scrambling to organize flights and itinerary. Fortunately our friend Hilarie who organized the trek has made arrangements that, compared to Diana's, while not luxurious, are infinitely more comfortable. Diana started walking at 5:30 every morning since she was staying in hostels and so had to get to her next destination early enough to be sure of a bed, while she carried all of her clothes and possessions in her backpack.

We, on the other hand, have reservations at B&B's each night and our luggage is transported between each night's lodging, so all we need to do is carry the day's supplies and walk the approx 20k to our next bed. Not over-the-top tough but still 15 days in a row, cross country.

Looking forward to the next couple of weeks but with some trepidation. For the last couple of weeks I've been walking 3 times a week between 10 and 15K each time but I haven't yet gone 20K and I haven't tried to walk on consecutive days. I'm a little worried that I'll run my batteries down on my practice walks and wont have enough in the tank for the actual task. Diana takes the position that I'm not pushing myself hard enough and not building capacity. I'll test our respective theories when I launch off next week and I'll try and post daily and report on progress.

Porto - pre-Camino

Porto - pre-Camino

New Orleans - Mardi Gras

New Orleans - Mardi Gras