In September 2015 I went for a walk from Astorga to Santiago, as I do sometimes in September. On my own, as I do sometimes. But somehow I felt I couldn’t quite find my feet, which is unusual. Not until I got to Sarria and met brand new, slightly unprepared and very enthusiastic peregrina A, aka Lady P, and met her for breakfast and started walking with her the next day. On our way this first day we also met B, aka Not The Danish Lady, who had walked from St Jean and found it hard to adjust to the post-Sarria atmosphere. We three walked together from there, and they went on to Finisterra without me … (remind me to always book tickets I can change from now on). We stayed in touch, as you do, and then one day there I was, chatting with B online, reminiscing and stoking up the PCB … and then almost before we knew it we had decided that the Inglés would be a nice, short PCB relief walk, and less than an hour later we had set the dates and booked the flights!
Next I took it upon myself to book accommodation, as municipal albergues are small and let’s face it, others would need the cheap bunk beds more than we did and also arrive long before us. Bookable twin rooms would be good, then we could take our time knowing we had a bed, and also not have to carry towels and sleeping bags. I even called a few places and booked in Spanish! Soon we both had our guidebooks, agreed on the stages and accommodation, had our packing lists synchronised-ish, and all I had to do was ship my Pacerpoles ahead to the hotel in Ferrol and wait for departure day.
And train. I had been sitting still working rather a lot since my last walk in March, and needed to break in my new Hoka Challengers (men’s, which are narrower and happily also cheaper). So I tried to get a good few long walks under my belt in the last weeks, 10-15 kms at least 4 times a week, and tried out new and old stuff: Hokas and Terra Fis, tights and socks, skirts and new merino dresses, headgear and even glasses. Finally I felt I had the packing list, pack weight and general kit sorted, put on my evening outfit, packed my bag and went to Liverpool the day before to spend some quality time with Scouse Spouse before the early dash to the airport.
I still managed to make one change though. I went past Cotswolds and … no, just kidding, I never go past Cotswolds, of course I went in! … and ended up with a brand new stretchy, lightweight, waterproof Rab jacket which was not pink! It was also not cheap, but it was a surprisingly good fit and I decided the Camino wanted it, so who was I to deny it this wonderful thing? So back at the hotel I dug the wind jacket and goretex rain jacket out for Scouse Spouse to take home again and gave the new Rab pride of place in the top lid pocket. I was ready.