Tag Archives: france

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!!!