Apologies for sloppy blogging. Since my last post I have visited Rome and Alicante and am currently packing for Oslo, where I will attend a book launch, have a huge traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner with friends and show new peregrina S around town in less than a day. No pressure there, then. As for walking, there has been precious little of it, but I am hoping I will get a good few days out after my next deadline is sorted.
However, with autumn and now winter descending on us with dark nights and cold weather, a peregrina needs to actively take steps to avoid a full-blown attack of the dreaded PCB, which will only make the dark season darker. So I am planning our March camino already!
When I say plan, I mean plan. When I go on my own I don’t mind taking each day as it comes – I have everything I need in my pack and there are usually beds in the municipal albergues, so I just go with the flow. Walking in twos is a different matter, and walking before Easter means a lot of eating and sleeping places are closed. My best course of action is to decide on dates, then get plane tickets (done), book ALSA bus to Astorga (done), book first and couple of last nights (done), and then count the remaining days, calculate an average and then have a look at the guidebook to find out what is doable, pleasant and interesting.
Doable is about 20k a day, give or take, and with only two weeks we don’t really need rest days.
Pleasant is stopping over at Acebo to really enjoy the walk down towards Molinaseca …
and booking a four star Parador in Villafranca to start the next day on the Donkey Killer …
and also making the walk to O Cebreiro a short and leisurely one (12k).
Interesting is stopping over at Ponferrada and finally getting to see the castle properly, and also trusting the Hoka supersoled shoes and not bypassing the tarmac stretches in a taxi, but trying to walk every single step. (I am neither tourist or purist but feel I am missing out when I have to bypass the tarmac to save my poor PF-ridden feet.)
I am booking some favourites, some new places, some between stages and some in bustling city centres. Our shortest day will be 12k, our longest 26k – no, I won’t be stopping in Salceda and have to do 30k on the last day this time! – and we will have a whole day in Santiago before leaving late afternoon the next day.
So far this seems to keep the PCB at bay, and another ray of camino light in the autumnal gloom was a letter with certain donation goodies from a certain peregrino just back from the Portugues … that patch is going on my pack as soon as I can decide which one!