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Published: August 16th 2018
“It’s a dangerous business, walking out one’s front door.”
While the main character of the Hobbit was exaggerating the risk in stepping out for a walk, Frodo Baggins does have a point about the uncertainty of walking a long distance with no support at hand.
It’s time for me to go walking again. It’s the best way I know to declutter your mind, and my mind is overdue.
After much procrastination, this year I’m walking the Camino Francés again. I considered other routes but they were, to me, either too expensive, or the tracks had too many hard surfaces. I must admit the Francés is a familiar and a comfortable way to go. People suggest that I do something different; “ There are other places to walk.” I hear.
While the route is the same, the journey is always different. I will stay in different villages, meet new people, and try to battle the increasing crowds. Last year more than 300,000 pilgrims walked the Camino and most travelled the Camino Francés. Early starts and prebooked accommodation should solve that problem.
Another new development will be travelling alone. I don’t mind walking for a day or two with someone but I want the flexibility of stopping and starting when I want, staying where I want, and spending time alone when I want to. Ironically, people who travel alone tend to spend time with more people than those who travel in a group. That sounds good to me.
I’m planning to eat more communal meals, prepare my own meals at albergues, and carry some of those light, crunchy spanish bread rolls, jamon, cheese, tomatoes and olives to prepare for lunches along the way. We often did that in 2014, and sitting by the side of a path on lush green grass is a very relaxing lunchtime.
The process of writing the blog will change as well. I have learnt ( thanks Natalia) that I can write it up offline during the day and copy it to the blog when I’m online. This is probably obvious to many people, but not to me. It should save time and end the frustration of internet failures.
The plan is to fly to Paris on the 17th of September and start walking from St Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees, on the 20th. After that it’s pretty well, see how I go; no plans.
Hopefully I will be joined by my son Tim for the walk from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre and Muxia, a journey of 5 days. We’ll also have a day or two to rest in Santiago, or fly to Paris for a break there.
On the 7th of November I board a flight from Paris to return home.
Preparation is on track but you have to bear in mind that the first day is the most challenging; 25kms over the Pyrenees. It’s very steep and unforgiving and while I’m sure I could do it, I have a month to prepare to a level I’m happy with. Gear wise, it’s simply a case of pulling out the pack, fill it up, and away I go. I know what to take and what to leave so that’s a simple task.
I’ll post again from Paris on the 18th of September and try to be consistent from then on , we’ll see how I go.
Tot: 1.059s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 13; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0203s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
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