In a few weeks time I’ll be heading back down to St Jean Pied de Port for the third time for ten fabulous days on the Camino Frances. Last year a friend here in France suggested that maybe we do a taster week together… and another friend will also be joining us. We started with a week… but our week has grown along with out excitement and we think now we can manage 10 or 11 days walking.
I should be fitter than I am, but the truth is that life gets in the way and I’ve not really done much walking since the Via.
I should by now know what gear I like, want and need, the truth is that I’m still struggling to decide what to take!
Today I joined my friend for a nice long walk in the spring sunshine. We ended up walking 21km. It was a beautiful walk, the early spring flowers bursting out everywhere, the new green grass and bright shoots of the wheat crop, the last of the blossom turning into the new buds and leaves… fabulous!
We walked to a nearby village, following footpaths and rights of way. We stopped for a baguette with Fromage and Jambon, washed down with a very chilled glass of coke! Before turning around and walking back. And I learned a great deal!
- I got a blister!!! A huge big blister on the end of my little toe!! I am so cross with myself. I could feel the hotspot and, not only did I forget to take off my shoes and socks at our lunch break, I also didn’t stop when I knew there was a problem brewing.
- One toe is everso slightly pushing against the end of the shoe? I just don’t understand this problem. I have the same shoe size as the Altra I wore on the Via. I have another pair of Altra shoes but the Olympus rather than Lone Peak… following advice from Altra! I’ve put the insoles from both side by side and they are identical? So how come I have a sore toe, along with a bad blister? I have two weeks to resolve this!!
- I prefer walking in the Skins compression tights rather than my Craghoppers. I love Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers but I really feel the Skins are more comfortable and I do wonder if they help my legs recover faster and feel less tired? I was going to leave them behind as I do feel a little under-dressed walking in compression tights but their comfort outweighs this… I’ll just have to lose my lack of confidence and inhibitions and stride out in Skins!
- It was hot today. Not 38c like Seville but 26c in March is still hot and I suspect in a few weeks time it will be even warmer. My face and neck are rather pink, even with my sunscreen. Molly Brolly was going to stay at home but after today she’s earned her place back in my pack.
- My new rucksack feels good. I’ve got the weight down to around 6.5kg which I’m happy with. I had to exchange the pack I wore on the Via as there was a problem with the stitching. Osprey were brilliant and exchanged it without question. However, the new waistband is 16cm shorter than my last pack… even though they are the same pack!!! I asked Osprey and they agreed that the new pack waist band is an ‘athletic’ fit!!! mmm!!! They are issuing extension belts and I need to order mine.
Apart from this, all is well. We walked over 20km, over undualting countryside, with packs, in warm sun… we kept a great pace and I feel confident I’m ready. But, it seems I’m back to my same problem… shoes shoes shoes!
I dont have long now. We’re leaving on the 28th April but I go away on the 15th April so everything has to be ready in the next two weeks… and no matter for the hiccups today… I’m still soooo excited about going back to The Way!