A Hard Task Master

I’m going walking… yes you all know!

But before next years walking, I have this years to get fit for.  In just over four weeks we’re walking the Camino Baztan from Bayonne to Pamplona and then in October we’re walking the Rota Vicentina in Portugal.  My son decided I needed to start training and he nominated himself as my personal trainer!

There is a circuit around our house, just over 4km long.  It has ups and downs and the terrain is very camino-esque.  My personal best around this circuit is just over 47 minutes… but that was in March,  when I was much fitter and it was a lot cooler.  However, my trainer told me I had to beat this today… and he came with me to set the pace!

As he sauntered up the hill, I huffed and puffed my way up, but in the end he did get me home in record time 46.40 minutes… and then made me swim!


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A Walk in the Park

Ok so not so much a walk in the park… more ‘A walk in the countryside‘ but that doesn’t sound quite so catchy for my title.

A few weeks ago I went awandering with my camino buddies on the Camino Vezeley.  We’d planned to meet and go walking once a month… the plan was to also keep walking inbetween these monthly trips… the other two have done this, but sady I have to hold my hand up and say that I didn’t!

It’s high summer in south west France and I have so many wedding and party gigs that I find I’m either too exhausted, too hot, too busy or on my way out to the next gig… all of which is just an excuse of course!  I’ve not done any walking and that’s the bottom line… and the Baztan camino is fast approaching so I will have to change this pretty soon.

We met in the car park by the church in Douzillac and headed off up the road where our map told us we would join the camino.  30 minutes later we were indeed following arrows and chatting and talking about our time on the Frances and where we would go next.   The arrows seem to point in the wrong direction but we followed them nonetheless and eventually entered a village.  As we tried to find our bearings mentally, Jaqui called out “ladies… we’re back where we started” and sure enough at the top of the hill was the church car park.


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Pilgrim Goodie Bag

I have a friend house-sitting at the moment… and also ensuring that our cats don’t feel neglected and unloved 🙂  She and her husband are a rather glitzy pair… lots of travel for work, lots of posh nights out and they are simply rather fabulous and glamorous. So before they came to visit I gave them a little task, to please find me a few toiletries that a weary pilgrim could sneak into her rucksack and not notice the extra weight.

Well… what can I say!  They didn’t disappoint! I think I have enough to last me for ten caminos!

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Les Monts du Cantal

We’ve got a few days off from work and singing and weddings and accounts… so we’ve headed east into the Cantal region of France.  A department in Auverne, this area is perfect for walking, cycling, swimming, rafting and a whole host of outdoor activities.  We thought it might be a tad cooler too but we were wrong there!

So we arrived on Sunday afternoon and took a stroll into the historic village of Salers.  This is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France… and it is indeed very beau but we’ve not found out yet why there was a need for a fortified village here 1000 years ago… but there are traces of Templars?

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Wot… no training?

I guess most of you know I sing in a couple of bands; we mainly sing at weddings and corporate events across France.  One band is a Rock/Pop guitar band and the other is a Vintage/Retro singing trio.

This year we’ve had a dreadful season with three close family funerals, one wedding rained off mid ceremony due to horrendous storms, and yesterday we had to cancel as I’d been taken into hospital.

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The White Walk

I have 8 weeks to get myself in shape and ready for the Via.  That’s long enough, indeed I have planned it this way.  So I started in earnest.  Walking everyday.

For the first week I have walked a circuit around our house that we call the white walk.  It’s a beautiful walk, regardless of the weather or the time of day.  It has a little road walking, but on the whole it’s on a stone track, a white chemin and through a forest… and it has an up and a down and some flat… perfect camino training!

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I suppose I ought to start training?

It’s May and, after a bit of a cold start, spring has finally arrived in the Dordogne.  I have 18 weeks left before I start my next adventure so today felt like a good day to start some training. To be honest it’s been a while since I did any walking at all .. And I have new boots to break in… So we’re starting small and working up to our longer trips.

The first time I walked the Camino Francis I had an interesting training regime;  I found a great way to start the day was to walk to the Boulangerie in the next village.  It’s only a 5 km round trip, it’s very pretty, it’s on a quiet lane and I get to buy warm fresh bread from one of the best bakers for miles… What’s not to like?

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