Here’s what I posted on the Camino forum (linky on the side of the main page) one Friday evening:
I’m sitting here on a Friday night, watching TV and wishing I was sitting in a brown bar in Northern Spain with tired legs, full tummy and what’s left of a bottle of vino medicino, sharing it with my pilgrim friends old and new. The weight I lost in Galicia has found its way back to me and I’ve mislaid the plans for a more active lifestyle somewhere under all my deadlines. If I’m not there, I can’t seem to keep the momentum going. I’m sure there are many others out there who feel the same way after their walk, or who are anxious to go and feel they haven’t got enough training miles in. Or maybe motivating yourself is just … not happening.
So I was thinking: What if we got together, here on the forum, and started walking … let’s say the *sigh* Brierley stages from St Jean this summer? Let’s pretend, while walking briskly or slowly around in our different countries and neighbourhoods, on treadmills or outside, that we are indeed on our way from one Spanish town to another! I intend to start the same way I did in 2012, by walking to Orisson on the first day. 8 kms. Easy enough, and I’ll walk it flat instead of uphill to be gentler on my knees. Then the next day 19 kms to get to a virtual Roncesvalles. Oh, and let’s stop in Pamplona and not just walk through it! Let’s walk with a pack and take our rain gear, because when you walk a camino you can’t just not go because it’s raining. It’s great for gear testing too – have you got the right shoes, do you know how to deal with blisters, does that T-shirt smell if you wash and wear it every day for a week? – and of course there will be resting days as and when you want them. Walk one stage every day, one stage a week, whatever suits you.
I know it sounds weird, but for me it is much easier to get stuff done with some peer pressure and some measurable goals and this plan has both. I might even read up on some of the places I ‘stop’! Obviously you are allowed to stop at watering holes along the way, and I’ll probably cook some black lentil soup at one point. Or take a bocadillo (with tomato) for lunch – and remember that s/he who walks far is allowed emergency chocolate
I was thinking of starting in June to get some sun to walk in.
Anyone want to join me?
… and some people actually did! Now I wanted to do this every day because work was thin on the ground, but then of course it picked up and I fell behind. Never mind, it is still June, the Camino is going nowhere and I have to do some training for Hadrian’s Wall later this year. So – today I am off to ‘Zariquiegui’! I walked straight past it in real life, but tonight I am ‘stopping’ there and intend to check out some albergues and sights there via google – might come in handy for when I actually do go back to the Frances at some point!
I will also take this opportunity to test out one of my many many pairs of walking socks, my new half-zip merino top and some unmentionables (which might very well get a mention if they work or fail spectacularly). I’m off then!