First blog post

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Only 21 days before I leave.

I have been going through my checklist today to ensure that I have everything I need for my Camino. The big day is the 19th August.

I weighed everything today and was delighted to see that my pack weight was 6kg including water.

The heaviest item was my pack at 886 grams. I’ve included needles (prethreaded for blister popping), all my medication, (curcumin tablets for inflammation-arthritis, triple boron for rebuilding damaged cartilage, blister prevention tape, asthma medication) etc, etc as Yul Bryner said in the King and I.

Im also taking 3 shirts, 3 pairs of socks, lightweight plastic raincoat  (my $2 special from the surplus shop) pair of long trousers, soap, underarm deodorant.

im not taking a razor as it’s not necessary at my age to shave every day. Will shave at the end.

Anyway I now have everything I need and am nervously awaiting the big day. My wife has just st given me some tablets for diarrhoea which is possibly a good idea.

I have Permethrin arriving in 3 days and I’ll soak my pack and silk liner in that, to foil the little bed buggers that I have read so much about.

As I’m retired I’ve been able to do quite a bit of training but I’ll start doing longer treks from tomorrow. I wonder if everyone says that as they approach the big day.

i was able to get cheap flights to Athens and will spend a day sightseeing before flying to Biarritz to meet my eldest daughter for a couple of days to get over my jet lag. Then a day in St Jean de Pied de Port and I’m off tramping.

Most of the stuff I’ve bought has been over the net and I’ve saved a huge amount by doing so. For example

  • Merrill shoes only $100 not $240
  • backpack $65 not $130
  • silk liner $38 not $120
  • head light $12 not $40

As you can see from the photo I’ve put everything in plastic bags as I don’t want the items to get wet.

Well that’s it from me so I’ll do another blog a little closer to the big day.





Grey Gypsy goes travelling

Some years ago I saw a film called “The Way” starring Martin Sheen.

It was movie about a trek that takes about 40 days walking 770 Km across Spain. The trek is called “The Camino de Santiago – The French Way”. For some reason this really caught my attention and I decided that I would complete this trek before I became too old to do so. At that point I was a young thing, only 65 years old. Time has raced past and I turned 70 this year.

So what were the things that held me back. Well they were the same reasons as every person has when contemplating what seems to be a huge task.

  1. The task was too big and was very difficult to quantify. Which reminds me of an old joke. How do you eat an Elephant. Answer. One bite at a time. Obviously you have to chunk it.
  2. How could I afford it. My daughter surprised me one day about 4 months ago when she sent me a message on Messenger (Facebook). She told me that she would provide me with the money to do the trip as she wanted me to start living my dreams.
  3. I’m too old and unfit. I decided that I would work with a young colleague of mine with whom we have a business repairing iPhones and MacBooks. I told him that as part of my contribution to the business I would give out brochures advertising the business. My goal was to start off walking 10 km per day, 5 days a week and increasing the walk every week until I leave for the Camino in 11 weeks. I want to be walking 20 Km a day by then.
  4. What do I wear.  Because you are walking so far every day (up to 25Km) what you put in your backpack is very important. In actual fact its what you don’t put in that is even more important.
  5. Where do I stay. There are a multitude of books and articles about the Camino of which I have bought a number. There are also numerous blogs to the extent that if you try and read them all your head starts to spin with all the information.
  6. How do I get there. As I was using money from my daughter I felt that it wasn’t my own so I had a responsibility to ensure that getting to the Camino had to be as economical as possible.

Rather than make this one huge blog, Ill break these items down for my future blogs and go through how to plan for an adventure which at first sight seems almost insurmountable.

What I have learnt up to this point is if you break things down into small bits and tackle each one individually then anything is possible.

I will be posting a blog daily so if you are interested then i would be delighted if you would follow me. If you think others may find this of interest then please share it with them.