Around Allemans

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!


8 thoughts on “Around Allemans

  1. The new pack looks good, but I have to say I dislike the whole ‘athletic’ fit thing – is long distance walking not athletic enough? Glad you like it though. I think if I got one I would make my own contrast colour webbing strap using the same clips.
    Just home from Astorga-Santiago last night and already I am thinking how lucky you are to be going out again soon. Enjoy your training walks, papertape your toe to avoid rubbing and take your Skins if they feel more comfortable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Pilgrim 😀 Agree about the athletic fit business!!! what nonsense 😀 but my extender is on the way… I reckon if I lose 5kg more I wont need it… so that’s incentive for the next one! I’ve stopped the training walks for a week as I want to be sure my blister is sorted… I do think it was a combination of the heat, no tapping and not stopping… I’ve also relaced the shoes. I’m going out at the weekend for a couple of hours and fingers crossed things will be fine?! what a silly girl I was!
      ps Skins are now in my pack and it weighs 5.98kg!!! wow! that’s an exciting number 😀
      pps maybe one day we’ll walk a few days together xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, sub 6 kg pack, that is exciting! I forgot to weigh our packs before as well as after, but then again I was on a mission to test out the 44L with a good bit of weight in it and we got on famously. It’s almost a pity it is too big for normal camino walks, I know I’d be tempted to bring too much. It was lovely to have room for a padded jacket though.
        And I hope we can one day too! If you can’t come to Norway, I have heard the south of France is easy on the eyes and feet too …? 😀


        • Sub 6kg didnt last! It’s not just under 8kg but that is with 1.5 litres of water. I’m settling with about 6.5kg and I think it’s unlikely to go lower… but I’m happy with that. 😀

          My extender came but it was the wrong size! So have asked for another… I hope it comes in time!

          South of France is lovely… and there are one or two camino’s to choose from too 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • I took a pack of 6.5 kgs including filter bottle with 0.5 litre of water to the Practical Pilgrim day yesterday and several ladies wanted to try it on, I think I should have bought shares in the Osprey Talon line beforehand …


    • But Maggie I have virtually the same shoe as I had on the Via!!! Altra told me to buy these to prevent the foot pain… but there are a very different fit 😦 Grrrr… why are shoes always soooo difficult! I smiled to myself as I sat on the bed after my shower with my blister kit spread out around me whilst I pop and thread the huge blister on my toe 😀 Ahhh Camino Joys 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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