I have talked to many people regarding walking the Camino and the “stories” they have told themselves about why they “can’t do it” are generally filled with fear of the unknown.
Here is a snapshot of what a day as a Pilgrim looks like to support you to step outside of your comfort zone, start to imagine yourself on Camino and put the fear where it belongs IN THE PAST!
PREPARE FOR YOUR DAY
Get up, shower, get dressed then prepare your feet for the day, protect them with creams, bandages, dressings, tapes however you feel most comfortable (research before you go), ensure this becomes a daily ritual along with sunscreen! You will be walking ALL DAY out in the open in some stages where there is little or no shade, your feet deserve the attention and the sun is deceiving it may look overcast, however, best to protect.
BACKPACK and LUGGAGE
Keep your backpack stocked and packed with everything you might use on a daily basis: Camino Guide, Accommodation Map, sun hat, rain clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, Medical and foot care, toilet paper whatever other items you feel will be necessary. Every morning check and pack water and food for the day, doing this will support you to have a calm morning and stress-free day.
Take your baggage to be transported to the foyer before 8 am. Have your breakfast then when you are ready, start walking!
5, 6, 7 … hours on Camino are waiting for you.
You will find Yellow arrows clearly marking the way on Camino, get into the practice of paying attention to them to avoid adding extra kilometres to your day. Each of us has our own walking rhythm, set your pace and stick with it, don’t try to keep up with or slow down for others as it will make your day more difficult. To best enjoy your Camino arrange to meet friends at stops along the way or at days end.
*Many Pilgrims like to start the day early, a personal choice. In the summer the earlier the better as it is very hot around 2 – 3 pm.
Most days you will find places to stop and rest. Under the shade of a tree, cool hamlets, fountains in passing, villages and little cafes serving food and coffee, however, there are days where there is nothing for many km. It’s always good to know how far between villages to ensure you carry enough water and food in your backpack; on the long stretches, you can sit rest and revive so you can comfortably make it through your day. Crossroads Travel provides you with a guide book that clearly states the stages and what is available to you for the day ahead, you just have to look in it.
IN A STRANGE LAND
During the day you will have the chance to meet with other Pilgrims, visit beautiful villages and cities, meet with the locals in the streets at fountains and in the shops. You will find that there is space to be alone if you want and there are people around if you need. There is unspoken respect between Pilgrims as everyone has a reason for being there and for some, it is to be alone and others it is to socialise, whatever it is for you there is no need to feel alone or afraid.
ARRIVAL – REST
Finally, you will arrive at your destination!
Find your accommodation collect your luggage take a well-deserved shower and then see how you feel. You may decide to stay in your room or visit the Village. Perhaps you will want to head out for a drink and share some of the day’s stories with interesting people you have met along the Camino or with your group.
Try to take a little time to prepare for the next day look at your guide to know distances between villages so you have time to shop and pack accordingly.
Have a nice hearty dinner; many bars and restaurants serve Menu Del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s menu) a good option (10-12 € for three courses, including bread water, wine or beer). You can also find regular menu if you have specific dietary requirements or if the foodie in you wants to explore the culinary options .. you will find plenty! The locals are passionate about their food and for the most part, use fresh local produce, there are many incredible restaurants along the way and you will always have the option of a glass of regional wine to wash it down!
Crossroads Travel takes this very seriously we hand-pick superior accommodation with your own private bathroom a wonderful way to finish your day.
TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY
Whether you share the day or go alone one thing is certain the sun, clouds, wind or rain will be your companion; you never know what lies ahead, except, that you will walk with the freedom and space to JUST BE!
“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett