If you have been following us here on the blog for a while, then you already know that we are serious bicyclists. You also know that Mike likes to take on a challenging trip each year. You can read about some of those past adventures here, here and here. Well, we have a big challenge ahead of us this year, and it does not involve bicycles. It involves our feet. Yes, our plane tickets have been purchased, and our hotels are reserved for our challenge: El Camino de Santiago which translates to mean the way to St. James. El Camino de Santiago is a hike across Spain.
Mike will start in France at the foot of the Pyrenees in late August and walk to Santiago, Spain, a total of 500 (ish) miles. It will take him six weeks. I am meeting him in Leone, Spain in mid-September and will walk 200 miles with him to Santiago. When we first decided to do this trip, I was all in for the entire trek. But the more I thought about it, I didn’t want to be away that long. So, I am doing a modified version.
For many, El Camino de Santiago is a religious pilgrimage. Around 300,000 people walk the trail each year. Many (most) carry everything they need for the trip in a pack on their backs and stay in hostels. Part of the plan is that you are supposed to suffer some. That’s not us. We aren’t planning to suffer any more than we need to. Hopefully, our suffering will be limited to tired feet and legs. We will be staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. We are using Camino Ways to plan our trip.
The way we are preparing for this trip is by walking. Right now I am recovering from some surgery I had last week, but when I get my strength back and the green light from my doctor, I plan to do about six miles a day. Up until now, I have been doing my exercise class three mornings a week, wallking three mornings a week, and cycling. Our longest day on the trip will be 20 miles. I have been on the search for a comfy pair of hiking boots and am becoming convinced that there is no such thing. I have been keeping Zappos busy and have four more pairs waiting in a box for me to try.
This is not our first big hike. We hiked the Inca Trail from Macchu Picchu a few years ago and have done three hiking trips in hilly England. This, however, will be the longest and most challenging.
To read more about the El Camino de Santiago, this is what Wikipedia says.
I will probably write another post or two about getting ready and what we are taking, but meanwhile, we will be walking. If you have done the trek and have any tips, please share.