Sunday, April 24, 2011

Countdown to El Camino

We have been training fairly regularly for our third experience with El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the 1,000-year long pilgrim trail in France and Spain.  We leave in three weeks and hope to hike 300 miles, from Pamplona to Leon and a bit beyond to revisit some of our favorite places from the last time we went. If we cover the planned segment of the trail, we will have hiked the whole 500 miles, from the French side of the Pyrenees to three sections.
A big wind storm blew this tree onto the trail the day before we hiked here.
 We did the first 50 miles of Spain in 2008, as well as about 100 in France. In 2009, we covered about 200. It is such a wonderful personal challenge. Each day is different. Each segment of the trail is different.
 This year we know three other couples who will be hiking more-or-less at the same friends of mine, Maureen and David; Russ's sister Phyllis and her husband Otis; and another college friend of mine Blanche with her husband Ben and daughter Colleen. We won't hike together; our schedules and routes are not identical. But it is nice to know they will be out there when we are.
We are down to the wire and ordered our last little bits of equipment...more sock liners and a new belt. We adapted my backpack to my increasingly old back by shortening it an inch so the hip belt hits my back right where I like it to massage away the achiness, and we keep thinking of things we don't really need to carry so the packs can be lots lighter this time.
Sunday we gave a talk about the Camino and our earlier experiences there for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Discussion Group. That got us all the more motivated. We are ready! yet...Pam and James got tickets to fly down and see us off! What a great surprise.

We'll be posting regularly (we hope) to Facebook this time, instead of this blog. We'll post to the blog more occasionally when we get access to a relatively fast and convenient computer where we can upload photos.

Can't wait to get started.

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