On a very rainy and misty day when I have no desire to leave the house, my thoughts turn to my next camino (or I should say…caminos).
My plan for 2017 is to set off from Spain’s capital city on the Camino de Madrid which leads north west over 12 stages until it meets the Camino Frances at Sahagún. A couple of stages (about 55 km) along the CF will see me in the city of León where I will join the start of the five stage Camino del Salvador over the Picos de Europa to Oviedo. I will then take the Camino Primitivo for eleven stages when I will join once again with the CF at Melide, which will leave two further stages into Santiago, and a possible four more stages on to Finisterre and Muxia.
So, possibly four complete caminos, plus a spell on the Frances.
Camino de Madrid (330)
Camino Frances (Sahagún to Leon) (55 km)
Camino del Salvador (120 km)
Camino Primitivo (260 km)
Camino Frances (Melide to Santiago) (53 km)
Camino Finisterre / Muxia (120)
Totalling approximately 940 kms taking around 35 days
And it seems that I will have a ready-made ‘family’ on this camino. I heard today from my fellow pilgrim Eli from Australia with whom I walked eighteen days on the Camino Portuguese (2014). Eli is coincidentally planning the exact same route, and I am hoping she may be persuaded to start on the same date.
Then there is English Paul who I walked with from Cáceres to Santiago on my Camino de Mozárabe (VdlP) in 2015.
Carsten from Germany who I met last year on the Norte will join me for the first two parts of this camino.
And Marilyn from South Africa who walked the Mozárabe from Málaga last year will set off with us from Madrid (after much correspondence and an arrangement to meet in Málaga, sadly timings went awry and we missed meeting eachother by a few hours)
If only I could persuade my daughter Ella, or perhaps Dutch Peter, both of whom I walked with on my first camino along the Frances route in 2013, to join me for a few stages, I would have a full house – someone from each of my four caminos. That would be incredible.
We are all experienced caminoists, and will be happy to ‘walk our own walk’, setting off each morning in our own good time and bumping into each other along the way. But it will be good to have company in the evenings, particularly on the Caminos de Madrid and Salvador which don’t get a great deal of pilgrim traffic and could be a bit lonesome for a solo walker.
With a start date during the last week in April I have only ten weeks to study the routes and get myself camino-fit. I still have to buy new boots for this trip and I am planning on making a couple of items of clothing, but I’m glad to say that practically all my existing gear will see me through yet another camino. Ten weeks will pass in a flash.