Q&A 2

Can I say once again how much I appreciate all the lively comments and feedback I am receiving. Thank you so much. I am trying to pick up any specific questions that are asked and respond from time to time. If I have missed your question, please ask again and I will do my best to answer.

Q
I saw your outfit on the FB page. You have your water bottle rigged near or on your backpack strap (on your left side -just above your heart). I couldn’t see it clearly so wondering if you could at some stage get someone to take a close up of the rig out.

I am wondering how you have attached it there and whether you pull it out to drink or whether there is a water tube to it.
I just got home from a month holiday in USA and while there bought a few things in their REI shop but when I asked about a tube to a bottle I got a blank look .

A
I talked about my hydration system in this interesting forum thread – about fifteenth comment. I just turn my head and drink from the bite valve. So easy to stay hydrated. I bought a second bottle/holder this year to carry my spare water, so I have one on each chest strap. I guess it acts as a counter-balance to the weight on your back. The holders have webbing straps on the back that the shoulder straps thread through, but they need to be adjusted to your comfort. I fixed one of mine with a very fine cable tie. It’s a good idea to try them out on a trek before you leave home so you know how to comfortably fix them.

Q
Can I ask how old you are? And how do you manage to walk such long distances over such hilly terrain… Do you train, are you naturally fit, have you had a job that requires you to be fit… what is your secret? I am 58 and training to walk in Portugal later in the year…

A
I’m 62, and was feeling rather unfit when I started this Camino, although I had been doing lots of long training walks in the mountains. My work has only ever required me to sit in a chair! I hadn’t done any long distance hiking before my first Camino, but I did train hard. You do build up a certain amount of stamina and resilience and self-knowledge over a few caminos. Most stages could be broken down to shorter distances. I worked out a schedule of stages, and have stuck to it so far, although I will not be rigid about it. The Camino Portuguese is not so challenging from an elevation point of view, although it is by no means flat. Get some boots/shoes with really good cushioning, and listen to your body. You will be fine. Have you read my posts on the CP? See the link in the bar under the header photo.
Bom Caminho!

Q
Thank you. I’d love your opinion on what stretch of the Camino to do… I’m flying to Bilbao – May 24th and need to be in Barcelona on June 1st. I’m trying to decide which Camino to do. Norte from Bilbao to Santander and fly from Santander to Barcelona, or do I take the bus to San Sebastian and walk back to Bilbao… or do I do the Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port for few days. I’m a Camino Newbie looking to get a taste of the journey. I haven’t been training to the level needed I think (i.e. I reg walk about 8km-12km over the course of a day) so the idea of walking 22-30km with elevation gain seems a stretch. Your opinion on a suggested 5-7day route would be greatly appreciated

A
That is a really difficult question. I couldn’t recommend walking out of Bilbao – so much paved surface walking. Maybe you could bus along to Pobeña and start there. I don’t know how busy it is at the moment, but I think the Camino Frances is the best place to start for an inexperienced Camino newbie. I wouldn’t want to walk the CF again now, but it was definitely the right Camino for me to start on. You could bus to Roncesvalles, or to Pamplona. You will get a selection of knowledgeable responses if you pose your question on the Camino forum…https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/

Q
Your beach trek today (day 11) sounded a little tricky Maggie. Was the exit marked with arrows or shells? It sounds like something I would totally miss as well, and that concerns me.
A
I hadn’t really looked at my guide properly (as usual!). Forewarned is forearmed. Just look out for the first exit with buildings – there is a bar, but not positive you can see it from the beach. There is also a large arrow pointing the way, but I just wasn’t looking for it. It is around half way along the very long beach, probably after around 1.5 – 2 km’s of walking on the sand.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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5 Responses to Q&A 2

  1. Love the questions and answers. How kind of you to share. I don’t know how you keep so organized, but good for your readers. Thank YOU. 🙂

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  2. robbcrampton says:

    Really loving your blog and looking forward to walking in your footsteps in September. Keep up the good work. Well done for every step you take!
    I have a Q for you: Do you speak any Spanish?
    I’ve done the Camino Norte before, from Asturias to SdeC, and struggled in a few places with my very (very!) basic Spanish. How is it from Bilbao onwards?
    Thanks & Buen Camino 🙂

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  3. Henk Slabbekoorn says:

    Interesting question about your age. As I have been reading your blogs on a large scale (you have a kind way of writing and publish really beautiful pictures!!), well, I knew the answer. My age is 74, I am male and I just arrived home from walking the camino portuguese in April. Am I a trained person? No, I just walk my dog for say 8 km a day. That’s it. And before I left for the camino (my first one) I walked two times a distance of a little above 20 km with a backpack loaded with bottles of water. If one can manage that, one should be able to walk a camino–I figured. Of course there is more to it. But if you really want to do it and are not afraid of getting wet and other unpleasant things–just walk on. Ah, and start in Lisboa. It gives a very good feeling to have done the whole thing! Glad to give any information if someone wants it.

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  4. Cheri says:

    Thank you Maggie for your wonderfully informative posts. I asked several questions of you last year before walking the CF. Your info was spot on. We purchased the hydration bottles with the bite valves. They were absolutely one of the best things we bought. You have given me the Camino bug. I will walk the Camino Portuguese this summer with my hubby. We shall see if it goes as well as CF last summer with friend. Thank you again for your posts.

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  5. Edina says:

    🙂

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