Peregrina Preparations (of a different kind)

In twelve week’s time I will already be on my way to Santiago de Compostella – I’m both insanely excited and a bit anxious, and very much looking forward to it!

Preparations are going well.

I’ve been walking every day and doing at least one long distance walk (often two) each week. Soon I will start putting them together to consecutive days as stamina will be a key factor for me, I think.

I also know more or less what I’ll take with me. I’ll travel as light as I can. Many people suggest aiming for 10% of your body weight … but I’m not sure I’ll manage to go with only 5kg. That’s a big ask. But I might manage to keep it down to 6kg.

A lot of the time, however, my head feels a bit like this … there are so many unknowns, so many things to work out, and a few fears to conquer on the way too. It all takes the form of a huge tangle of questions and ponderings. Who? What? When? Where? How? … they are begging for answers and clarity.

Luckily I’m not the first ever to attempt this pilgrimage!

My friends Jolanta and Andreas (and Jolanta’s mama) have done this, and my dear friend Reija and her daughter did the Camino a few summers ago, and ever since then Reija has been pilgrimaging different routes. I love hearing about her adventures and I have a dream that one day we will do a pilgrimage together!

Another friend, Alan, (part of the #walk1000milesin2018 group) has just come back from his personal pilgrimage, and he kept a blog, Alan’s Camino which offers unique insights. Do check it out!

This morning I asked Alan (via good old fb) some of my more pressing questions

1. Toilets. Where does one go?

There are very few public toilets

(Which is what I feared)

but cafes and bars usually oblige if you ask nicely or buy something first. Albergues are far more obliging I’ve heard.

2. Accommodation. Did you always book ahead? (I expected just to turn up!)

We booked ahead most of the time. We didn’t want to, but because most people were doing it we found if we didn’t we’d get caught out! The Camino usually provided, but there was always the worry that we’d have to sleep outside, so we always booked ahead but only for the following night

In our Camino family one person did the booking as they would get discounts for so many bookings. We worked as a family and never let anyone fend for themselves, unless it was their choice.

3 WiFi and recharging devices

WiFi is available in most albergues. We only came across one that didn’t have WiFi. When the signal was poor I shared my data allowance as a personal hotspot

All albergues have plugs where you can charge phones etc, but sometimes there’s a rush for the plugs. Sometimes there were plugs next to the beds …

4. Theft

Most people on the Camino are honest.

There were more questions of course .. but it was good to get some real clarification on these, the most pressing ones.

The preparations continue …

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2 Responses to Peregrina Preparations (of a different kind)

  1. Reija says:

    I am so excited for you! And look forward to walking together!! Before my first Camino (Frances) I was so worried about sleeping and we even carried sleeping mats all across Spain just in case we might sleep on a gym floor or something. My worry was totally unnecessary. The first time we needed our mats was in Finisterra on a beach to sun bathe! Even if we walked in August and there were lots and lots of fellow pilgrims, we always found a place! And we never ever booked anything in advance. The second time around (Portugal) we walked longer day distances (30K +) and we did book ahead a few times because we knew we would arrive late and totally exhausted and did not want to worry about a bed. Here in central Europe you must plan better… and pay much more, but still it works out OK. And if it doesn’t work out, then you will have a great story to tell. On our last walk in Switzerland we met a man who had previously done his Camino from his home in Austria to Santiago. He told us about one night in France. He had slept in a church. Well, nice, clean and relatively warm. However, in the morning he found out he had been locked in. And now your second theme of bathrooms….. :)

  2. Lorna says:

    Stories to tell :)

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