When your Mind is on the Camino but your Feet aren’t..

40 days and counting…

Do you ever have a countdown to your next Camino ticking away? I bet you have. I use an application on my phone telling me the number of days I have left before I leave. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not but each morning I get a little bit giddy knowing that I’m a little closer to my return date. And when I return back to Dublin, the whole process starts again.

So what do you do to bide the time before your next Camino?

Get walking..

It is quite possible to walk the Camino with very little preparation. Provided you are in normal good health, are prepared to take your time and listen to your body, you are half way there. However, here in Ireland, we are lucky enough to have numerous walking trails and pilgrim paths on our doorstep. It is a shame not to use them. Throughout the year, there are various walking festivals in Ireland which provide perfect opportunity to get you ready for a trip to Spain. Or why not walk by yourself with your pack? You can find details of these trails on irishtrails.ie or pilgrimpath.ie. It might be the case in other countries.

Independent.ie

Are you comfortable with your Pack?

If you are considering carrying your pack on your Camino, you will need to be comfortable with it and it’s contents. Check it’s weight and if there is anything you don’t need, leave it behind. Try to walk with your pack a few times before you leave so you are sure it is the right size and all the settings are correct.

Join a Camino / Pilgrim Society

Are you talking about your experience on the Camino with a family member and they just don’t get it? Does it feel like you are talking to a brick wall? Well, by joining a Camino Society in your country, you get the chance to meet like-minded people (just like you!), share your story and give back to the Camino. Being a volunteer with Camino Society Ireland is a huge plus for me as I am able to pass on my experience to people preparing for their own Caminos and I can learn about new and exciting developments. And I don’t drive my family crazy!

YouTube / Movie

YouTube contains countless videos of peoples experiences along the different Caminos. From the very professional to videos made by pilgrims just like you and me. Watching them brings me back to the Camino and some offer helpful tips. Or you could watch a Camino related movie. The Camino Voyage springs to mind and I may give that a watch shortly.

And when you come home…

..Organise another Camino! Ah yes, the old doozie! For those of us fortunate enough to get away for another Camino, the 2nd best thing to being on the Camino is putting one together. Booking your flights and/or your first night accommodation (if needed) is a joy-inducing formula. Then there is Gronze.com, Rome2rio.com and plenty of other Camino planning tools to ensure everything goes smoothly.

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Weekend Watch #48 – Camino Portuguese with Drew Robinson

Drew Robinson is back on the Camino. Six years after he brought us the very popular “Camino de Santiago Documentary – A Journey of the Mind“, he returns to Spain via the Camino Portuguese.

This time around he would be joined by his wife and his two-year-old son. The first part of the journey takes us to Barcelos. Enjoy!

Another ramble planned for September…

And the Camino experience keeps rolling on..

I had toyed with walking the start of the Via de la Plata from Seville as a 2nd Camino this year. Maybe ten days or so. But I received a message out of the blue from a Camino buddy that I met last September. He is starting his own Camino from Lisbon in September and had his dates. So I decided to book my flights (Ryanair!) and walk the first week or so.

This is where it gets tricky. From Lisbon to Porto on the Camino Portuguese, the municipal albergues tend to be spread further apart due to the lower number of pilgrims but there are more hostels and hotels. However, I’m glad I am starting out in Lisbon as there is quite a bit to see but I won’t have the time to see it all. Brierley’s guide will come in handy too.

I’m hoping to reach Coimbra but if I don’t, there is a great bus service that will bring me to Porto. But first, I have a Camino Ingles / Celtic Camino to count down to starting in May!

Weekend Watch #46 – Camino Portuguese 1st Steps

John Roy is a peregrino from Halifax, Canada who has an active YouTube account with many helpful videos on the Camino. He has just returned from a trip on the Camino Portuguese and has started to upload the first videos of many of his time there. This first video shows his arrival in Porto and his first few days.

For more helpful videos, you should check his YouTube channel. Enjoy.

Time stops for no one…

The last few days have been tough. The death of a member of the family can put absolutely everything on hold and make you concentrate on the here and now. You put your life in perspective and answer a few questions that have been clicking around in the back of your head. Questions that I’d rather not answer. Well, until I go on Camino!

I mean the above in the least selfish way of course. When all the formalities were over, I arrived back in Dublin on Saturday after a pretty emotional mass and goodbye. I met family members I hadn’t seen in many years. We just had our own lives to live and did our own things. But what I am trying to say is we should live like today is our last. Forget the begrudgers, live your own life. If what you do doesn’t make you happy, find something else to work on! 

When I arrived home, I immediately jotted in dates for a 2nd Camino in 2019. I want to be in Spain as much as possible. Next September, I will start in Porto and walk along the coast. I probably will not reach Santiago but these things don’t bother me anymore. I have a feeling 2 Caminos each year will be the norm as long as I remain employable!! 

Buen and Healthy Camino!