Many people who walk one camino turn into serial pilgrims who continue on additional ones. Whether that will happen to me, I do not know, but the lure of walking another is strong. So I am happy to report that I will be leaving for Spain and Portugal on September 6 to start my second camino.
This time I will have a walking partner, a friend of Kathy's, who is a 60 year old nurse, Marge Krouse. As you may remember I turned 60 just before my camino last year and will be 61 during this year's walk. We have both been doing training walks, both individually and together. Lately we have done two ten miles walks together per week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We've been walking along the levees of Cache Creek, Cache Creek Settling Basin, Yolo Bypass, and the Ridge Cut Slough, all in the vicinity north and west of Woodland and up towards Knights Landing. Our ten mile walks generally take about three hours, which is a pretty good walking pace, especially since we walk with our loaded backpacks. Since it is mostly level, we can go faster, too. Once in Portugal and Spain, it will be slower going on the many up and downhill parts. The Sacramento Valley gets hot in the summer, so we start the walks around 7 am ending about 10 am. The training walks are important in getting ready for the day after days walks of up to 18 miles per day. Also they give us a chance to test our equipment. I have been trying to decide if I should take a new pair of shoes or use the same ones from last year (finally decided on the old ones). Initially Marge was going to use my backpack from last year, but quickly found out that the belts and straps were too long and it would not work properly. She ended up buying a new women's backpack at REI and it is working out much better.
Our final destination once again will be Santiago de Compostela, one of the traditional pilgrimage destinations since the Middle Ages. However, the route will be different than the one I took last year. We will first walk the Camino Potugues, which starts in Portugal and goes almost straight north to Santiago. We fly into Madrid, then fly on to Porto, which is where we will start walking. It is a ten or eleven day walk to Santiago, with most stages not being more than 12-14 miles so we should be able to get used to the daily walking without too many problems, hopefully. Once we reach Santiago, we are thinking of walking from there to the village of Muxia on the Atlantic coast, then down to Finisterra. Depending on the time remaining, we would also like to walk the Camino Ingles, which starts north of Santiago. That walk commences on the Bay of Biscay at either Ferrol or A Coruna, then back to Santiago.
Those are the tentative plans, but who knows exactly where or when we will be. I plan to write to this blog, every day, if possible, as I did last year. Being able to post it depends on my finding either a wi-fi signal for my Itouch or a computer connected to the internet in the towns we will be staying. I would like topost photos, too, but this is not possible with the Itouch, so I can't promise that I will be able to during the walk. I hope you will be able to follow our progress and comment on it if you would like. I intend to start the daily post on