Tag Archives: camino de santiago

Camino Continued…


In my last post I started to think about how important it is to me to be in decent physical and mental shape when I tackle the Camino next year. I think that part of the excitement, motivation and ensuing spirituality is the time that I will spend preparing to make my final choices in regards to dates, equipment, how long I want to be on the Camino and how far I want to go, each day as well as overall.

To me, the minutiae are what will truly enhance the entire experience. I have read accounts where folks have found this aspect of walking the Camino to be tedious and almost unworthy of consideration. For me, however, I need to do the planning so I can gain and maintain the focus I will need to make this a reality.

Here are some of the issues surrounding equipment: As of right now I am going to go with what I know works for me.

1) Footwear-Boots-Vasque St.EliasGTX/sandals

2) Backpack-Right now-Osprey Kestrel 48

3) Socks-Merino wool/shorts/t-shirts/rain gear

4) First aid supplies???

5) Sleeping Bag orLiner???

Some food for thought:

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

– W. Clement Stone

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.”

– Wayne Dyer


The Physical And Mental Aspects Of The Camino

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”
-Ursula K. Leguin
People walk the Camino for many reasons. Some choose to do it just for the challenge of walking 500 miles in the course of 30-35 days. Others make the journey for more spiritual or personal reasons. The death of a loved one, defeating a deadly disease or hoping that one in remission doesn’t return.
Others, however, are searching for something. It can be a turning point in their lives. A change in jobs or careers. Or as it will be in my case, retirement. What am I going to do when I retire? I’ll only be 55 so the prospect of doing nothing doesn’t seem that appealing.
So why am I writing this? Most of the videos I have seen and books I have read claim that walking the Camino itself is the spiritual journey. I am looking at this from a slightly different point of view.
I hold a strong belief that the mental and physical preparation prior to the actual walk is what will maximize the overall spiritual nature of the walk itself. Stories I have read describe people who just make the decision to walk the Camino with no physical preparation. They describe the agonizing first miles that are filled with blisters, pulled muscles and pain.
In some cases, this may indeed enhance the quality of their walk. They may see this suffering as part of their journey. The hope that I have is that by being physically fit at the start of my journey, it will then keep the mental lows to a minimum. One of the things that I have found throughout my life is that it usually isn’t the body that fails us first, it’s our lack of mental preparedness.  But, as they say on the AT, “Hike your own hike.” I would think that the same applies here.
Anyone have any thoughts?
Happy Hiking!!!

Ankle Update & More On The Camino


It’s now been seven months since I fractured my ankle. Obviously with a great deal of hard work with the PT and doing those same exercises at home along with riding my stationary bike, I have made a great deal of progress.

Thankfully, the progress has been both mental and physical. For months I worried that I might not be able to hike again. It hurt twenty-four seven and I wasn’t seeing any kind of progress. Of course, my PT has been telling me it would take time but I didn’t want to hear it. But now it has been a little over half of a year and that’s ok! Now that I am able to ride the stationary bike just about every day, my thoughts have now turned to think more seriously about doing the Camino Frances.

Since I am now looking at a date in 2020, I have been looking at the equipment I will be bringing. As of right now, I will carry everything on my back and not rely on a service to transport my stuff from one albergue to another. Although many folks do this, I feel more comfortable carrying my own gear.

I will be using the same pack I used this summer, the Osprey Kestrel 48. From reading reviews and watching videos, folks are saying that a 48 liter pack might be too big, but I’d rather have the extra room just in case!

As of today (and it may change), I really want to do the Camino in a pair of Vasque St. Elias GTX boots. They are heavier than most boots but I have never had a blister wearing them and this has been on roads, groomed trails and trails with heavy roots on them. The Vasque’s, of course, will be coupled with Merino Wool socks. Also, I am not a favorite of trail runners so one way or another I will be wearing boots.

In regards to sleeping arrangements, I won’t have to bring a tent. Along the entire route, they have albergue’s, where pilgrims can spend the night. And although the albergue’s have beds, I will carry a sleeping bag liner in the event that sheets are dirty or have bed bugs. Let’s hope not!

More on the Camino in the next post.

Happy Hiking!!!


Getting Ready For The Camino Frances

Icamino like setting goals for myself. Especially when it comes to hiking. In 2017 I managed to log in 349.32 miles for the year. I like to think that is respectable but I know better, hordes of hikers get out there and hike many, many more miles. In 2018, I crushed it with a whopping 117.85 miles thanks to my fractured ankle and surgery.

So what is the plan for this year? Yes, now that we are midway through January and even though we just had snow and it was 3 degrees just 3 days ago, today we are expecting 1-2 inches of rain and it is over 50 degrees. Why not start planning for the spring/summer hiking season? What have I got to lose? With all of the rain that we are supposed to get today, I might get out this weekend!

From now until I get out of school on June 26, it is 153 days. My summer break will amount to a number of days between 65-70, depending on when we return to school. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll say between now and the end of August we’ll have at least 218 days of possible hiking.

Since spring and summer in this part of the country (northeast) is prime, I’m going to aim high and set a goal of 650 miles from today until 8/31/19. I am hoping that I can eclipse that, but for right now, that is the goal.

This hiking will also help in my quest to be in decent shape for the Camino Frances after I retire. Crossing the Pyrenees Mountains is one of the first major hurdles of the Camino and I want to be ready for it.

For the Camino Frances, this is how it all begins. It’s not that far away.