Have you seen the countdown box at the side of this post? Yikes, only 10 days to go.
I seem to have been preparing for this camino forever, but I am feeling totally unprepared.
I have plotted my route, downloaded GPS tracks and investigated accommodation possibilities. An abundance of bits and bobs have been researched and purchased. New items have been made by my own fair hand. A complete day has been spent weighing gear, decanting products into small travel bottles, winding a supply of loo roll for those occasions when someone beat me to it. And many long training walks in the mountains have been taken, some happily alone and others in the company of very good friends.
But I am still feeling slightly anxious, even as an ‘old hand’ at this lark (or should that be an ‘old foot’) – it should definitely be an ‘old’ something! I think the niggle of uncertainty is arising from my decision to walk a section of non-camino between the Camino del Norte at Ribadeo and the Camino Ingles at Ferrol, seven days of truly working it out for myself, when I might have to be creative in finding accommodation and where there are no low cost albergues.
Also giving me cause for concern are ‘the boots that were meant to be’. I am discovering that perhaps they were not meant to be. This is such a disappointment. They are causing pain to my right foot at the point where I have a small ‘tailor’s bunion’ (named centuries ago when tailors sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground, and this constant rubbing led to a painful bump at the base of the little toe). This can be a hereditary condition and I have my dear old Dad to thank for the annoying bumps on my feet and also for the overgrown and sometimes uncomfortable joint at the base of my right thumb.
Both feet are affected by this issue but the left foot seems not to give me too many problems. In the past with other boots, I have felt some discomfort at some point of most long walks, but with these boots I am getting pain after around 10 kms that comes and goes thereafter, but is present more often than not. I really can’t work out why it is and keep hoping that the more I wear the boots the easier it will get, but so far this is not happening and time is running out. I will probably decide to take the previous new boots which are comfortable but without so much room in the toe box. If en route I am getting problems with my toes hitting the end of the boot on downhill stretches I will have to replace them with trail runners that I can buy in one of the larger towns I will be passing through.
I am taking a lot of tech gear this year. In addition to my normal bundle I am taking a remote keyboard to use with my iPad mini so that I don’t have to spend ages correcting all the many typos I make when using the on-screen keyboard. And I have bought a new USB hub with five outlets, so that I can share the electricity supply with others. Having taken a mifi (personal wifi) unit with me on my last two caminos, which never worked more than a handful of times, I have now purchased a secondhand iPad mini with cellular connection so that I am not totally dependant on wifi to keep my blog up to date. And I have purchased a new power bank (battery charger) that is very powerful and has a huge charging capacity, but it is also rather heavy.
Many people will scoff at me for taking so many gadgets, but they make me happy and they don’t impact on anyone else, so let them scoff – I will smile sweetly and carry on as I wish.
I had originally thought I would walk this camino in the autumn. Although I love walking in Spring, I also miss my garden which is at its beautiful best at this time of year. But then my youngest daughter announced that she and her long term partner are getting married in July and vanity took hold. At the moment I am carrying way too much weight (on my body as well as my pack) and I know that after my camino I will have dropped by around 7 kilos, which will mean I can fit into an elegant mother-of-the-bride dress. So vanity won out and here I am, ten days away from day 1.
The photos included with this post are from my recent walks.