Will it be Cold?

A few weeks ago, when it was still very sunny and still very warm, my walking buddies suggested a last minute autumn camino. “Yeah” I said! “Count me in!”

Since then I attempted and failed the Rota Vicentina in southern Portugal and I’ve made a flying (singing) visit down to sunny Marbella in Spain; both of which are further south than SW France and Porto. I packed my rucksack today and I realised that I have no idea what the weather will be like or what I should take.

Continue reading

Shoes for Sale!

If you follow my blog you will know about my ‘holy grail’ search for the perfect walking shoe for my pasty wide feet.    I have bought so many different shoes over the last few years and spent so much money, I could honestly weep.  On the Via de la Plata, I thought I’d found my perfect shoe in the Altra Lone Peak 3.0; however it’s being replaced by the Lone Peak 3.5 and it’s maybe not the best shoe for tarmac… so watch this space!

In the meantime, as the Baztan walk approaches I’ve bought myself a new pair of Altra Olympus and decided it was time to try and sell some of the shoes I’ve bought and tried… someone could bag themselves a bargain!

Merrell Mens Vertis Ventilator Shoe

Size : EU 44 (used for 15km)

Price 25€ (new 69.95€)

When I started training back in 2014, folks told me that the best walking shoe was a Merrell.  They also told me to size up.  I always buy a mens fit as I have a EEE wide foot so I bought this shoe in an EU44.

It felt great but after 15km I knew it was too big.  My husband swears by Merrells but for me the fit just wasn’t right, so this shoe has been parked in the back of the wardrobe gather dust.


KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid

Size : EU 42.5 Wide (used for 30km)


Price : 70€ (new 140€)

I am a fan of Keen shoes. I have some Keen Newport sandals and they are  comfortable.  I was really excited to see I could purchase a Keen wide fit walking shoe in Europe… honestly in the US there is lots of choice but not here.  I ordered the size recommended on the Keen website, and the same as my Newport, but it was too small and on the downhills I could feel my toes pushing the inside of the boot.

If you want a sturdy walking shoe and you have wide feet this is a great choice.


KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid

Size : EU 44 Wide (used for 20km)


Price : 70€ (new 140€)

I tried buying this shoe in my usual walking shoe size and of course this was too big.  I think maybe the Keen men’s fit is just not right for my foot.  I love the toebox width but it’s too wide in the heel… I’m guessing women have a narrower heel?  I could feel  slipping.  I tried a few different lacing options but it wasnt working and I know the slip would create blisters with more use.  As much as I loved the Keen Wide fit, I decided that this was not going to be the shoe for me.


Altra Olympus 2.0

Size : EU44  (Used for 100km)

Price – 50€ (new 150€)


I’m a convert to Altra trail shoes.  I know they are not for everyone but I walked over 1000km on the Via de la Plata and I loved the fit.  But, I did develop some foot pain and I also felt that maybe the Lone Peak wasn’t so comfy on tarmac.  Altra recommend I try the Olympus and so I took these on a short walk this spring.  They feel great BUT they are not the same fit as the Lone Peak.  I developed in-between toe blisters (usually a sign that the shoe is too narrow) and I had a blackened toenail where my toe was hitting the inside on the downhills.

I was really disappointed with the sizing as these are not a cheap shoe.  But, I love Altra and so I have forgiven them and purchased the new Olympus 2.5 but a size up… I sincerly hope these don’t end up on this page too!

There is 100km of wear on these shoes but I did over a 1000km on the Via so there is still plenty of walking left in them.



p.s. In my non-walking world I wear a ladies UK size 8 shoe – always wide fit, EEE if possible.

Coming to Spain with me?

This is my third camino and you would think that I had my pack and it’s contents sorted by now.  Sadly experience just seems to bring more choice and more confusion and as a result I have made a number of adjustments to my pack this year.

France is a nation of walkers so it it should be easy to buy equipment… but it’s not.  I’m tall for a girl (176cm) and I have a size 41/42 foot which is very wide (3E).  I find that shoes for women stop at 41 so I buy most of my shoes online.  Wide fitting is also not a normal  option so for walking shoes I have no choice than to buy online; and I generally buy men’s.  It’s an expensive and frustrating process!

If I want long length trousers then I also need to buy online although tops and t-shirts are easily and cheaply available.   I love my adopted home; France is a beautiful, fabulous place to live but shopping for the camino isn’t so easy (or should I say I haven’t found it easy).

Anyway, here’s what I think I’m taking to Spain… it all weights 7.7kg

Continue reading