Thursday, December 01, 2005

books and training and planning

Books Im Reading:
Cole & Davis "Walking The Camino" Guide Book - seems to have great detail on the route. Not sure if it will be current enough for help with accommodation but will take it with me and pass on if it gets too heavy to carry. Would be nice to be able to have some history and facts on the places I walk past/through

Jack Hitt, "Off The Road" - a lighthearted look at one man's journey. Parts of it made me a little uncomfortable...... there was a fair bit of cynicism and one upmanship amongst the group he walked with and I hope I dont experience too much of that. I think Im hoping for more positive relationships.

"Pray for me in Santiago" - one couple's journey. Have put it down for a bit and will come back to it.

Confraternity of St James Guide Book for Camino Frances and Finesterre. The ones I am taking with me on the walk as they are updated annually and have all the distances and alburgues listed.

My Fitness Levels Now:

Pretty poor actually. I can walk for a few hours without any trouble but not sure how I will go with 6-7 hours a day. I have done a 2-3 hour walk every weekend lately plus netball on Tues nights and walking to work. Now that I have moved back to Kirrawee I cant do that walk anymore so need to find a new way to sneak more excercise into my week.

To get my thighs and knees a better chance I want to do some weight work and presses etc. I need to get that started so its not all talk. Its time like this I wish i was more committed to long term schedules.

This is what amazes me about my decision to do this walk...... I have always dealt with the fact that I am more of a sprinter than a stayer..... meaning that I can get jobs done well if its quick but I tend to loose interest if I need to stay motivated over a longer period of time. THis applies to hobbies, bike rides, kayaking, weight loss, jobs etc. Now I commit myself to a walk that will take at least 30 days to complete and I can't think of any other activity that is so solitary, repetitious and requiring commitment.

Maybe its time for me to learn. Its strange, but there is no doubt at my ability to complete the journey and considering that this is based on no precedent its a pretty big thing to believe in.


I am trying really hard to not have any expectations of this trip. really hard. I feel like im at a giant round about and there are dozens of exits and I could do down any of these roads. Some road point backwards and don't represent new challenges, other veer off in directions that I have never been before and I didnt even realise that that road existed.

I read a great passage in a Richard Bach book that descibed our future as a road map. All of the possible road and alternative routes already exist, like all the roads in the world are already there, but you don't experience that road until you actually travel down it - then it becomes part of your experience. I really liked his imagery. It halped to think of these roads as opportunities rather than "right" and "wrong" choices.

I am definately at a point where i can make some amazing discoveries and I am really excited about that.... even if they are all internal discoveries.

The most common prediction is that Ill come back with a spaniard and that will make everyhing great but i really dont have that expectation. Prob the one I cant let go of easily is my desire to realize what purpose the next part of my life will have.... will i work for money or work for others, or will i find a way to do both? will i use different skills to the ones ive used in the past or rediscover a past career direction? can i find a talent in me that i can turn into a business - something ive always wanted to do? Will I meet people who will inspire me to try new things and take some risks with my life?

Im happy to hold on to those thoughts as long as I dont feel disappointed if i come home as clueless as i am now.

the other advantage of being able to stay in spain after the walk is that i will have some space and time to digest what i have seen and experienced. i suspect it could be a journey that stirs things up a bit and that is a great incentive. The main reason for deciding to do this trip now is that i am bored with life as it is. When people ask me what ive been up to i draw a blank.... there is nothing interesting to share because even i am bored with it - why would i bore someone else with the finer details???

OK, the planning is coming along. The travel insurance is purchased, i have a short list for the flights, after my birthday tomorrow I am allowed to shop for the gear that i still need. ive picked out the books, jacket, pants and socks that i want. Its all pretty pricey but at leats its all light weight, quick drying stuff that will be easier to carry.

The pack is bought and I love it. I doubt i will feel the same after carrying it for so long but its also v light which will help. My hat, sleeping bag and some clothes have already started milling around in the wardrobe in nervous anticipation. When the rest of their travel buddies have been bought we can all start going on walks together to see that they all get along and that they dont cause me any trouble.

THe camera investigations are coming along - I have my heart set on a pricey model and think i need to reassess my needs and budget. i might be able to save a little duty free as well.

ok, thats all for now - will upadte when i have some more bits finalised :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

where do i begin?

In May 2006 I am walking 800km from St Jean Pied de Port, over the Pyrenees, across Northern Spain and into Santiago de Compostela.

The Journey will take approx 30 days if I walk 20km per day. It will take longer if I stop to smell a few roses, which I hope to do.

I have delayed starting this written journey as I can't yet explain why I am doing this and I figured that that was the best place to start. I think I ll have to come back to that another time.

I have been reading a lot of information on various websites that have helped a great deal with my planning, but it was one thing that I read today that helped me to get started. In a forum on a thread covered people's most amazing experiences on the Road. Reading them brought tears to me eyes - Im not sure why - perhaps I understood what they were saying and missed the contact with kind strangers and a simpler pace of life. One persons experience struck me as a good place to start this blog:

"The Camino is a gift. Why do so many from every country, people and tongue walk the Road? You have been chosen to do this. You did not choose the Road, the Road chose you. The Camino does not end in Santiago, it begins there. "

I am so excited about this adventure and I am sure that it will be a really amazing highlight in my life. I really can't wait to get started.

At this stage I am busy preparing my pack and shoes and other practical items. With that mostly under control, I now really want to start on my physical preparation and read more about the towns that I will visit and some of the history.


Monday, September 05, 2005

what a month

september is shaping up to be quite a month for me......
It seems that the early mid life crisis that i detected deep within me earlier in the year has leached its way to the surface and it is slowly oozing out of my pores..... slowly and incessantly.

Firstly, my boredom with work has hit an all time low so I have been looking for more exciting ways to spend my time. No other occupation has leapt out at me so that was put on hold.

Then I watched an episode of Enough Rope last week and was amazed by the young woman who was talking about her past few years with the various cancers that keep cropping up and how she had treatment for one cancer wile she was still pregnant with her little boy. I was so touched by her wish to see him grow up and what kind of man he will be..... and you could see that the chances for that were pretty slim.

Then I used some down time to flick through some old diaries that I had picked up from my mums (now that she is clearing out her storage, all these little treasures are surfacing). As I went through some old travel diaries I was reinfected with the joy of the unknown and how wonderful it is to be on the road.

All these things stewed somewhere in my subconscious until I had a light bulb moment - a corner was turned and the answer was laid out in front of me.....I have been wanting to do the Camino walk in Spain for years and always put it off til I was older..... well, sadly I am now older but have found myself in a situation where I have no debts, no dependents and no real responsibilities tying me to my home. NOW is the best time to get this trip under way.SO, after quietly freaking out I realised that this is possible..... I have bounced the idea of a bunch of people in the last few days and so far only one negative response and about 10 "go for it" responses.

So, the plan is to pack up the job (either at the end of the year or just before leaving), find someone to take over my rent while im away, start exercising and saving and then head off in April/May next year.

The walk itself is about 900km (like Sydney to Melbourne) and will take about 30 days. Im planning on allowing about 6 weeks so I can stop and play if I find towns that look cute. It wont cost much as it's a pilgrimage and pilgrims are treated with respect and receive cheap and simple accommodation and food for the duration.Ive never understood why ANYONE would go on a long walk, and I guess I still don't, but there is a part of me that knows that I have to do this and soon.

.... off to plan my 06 adventure :-)