Last year on June 29, I wrote that we were training for another 500-mile trek (El Camino del Norte) IF we met certain criteria by July 7. The main concern last year was whether I’d recovered enough from my skiing accident 5 months earlier to endure the long, and sometimes grueling, daily hikes in Spain. My physical ability wasn’t the reason that we ultimately decided to postpone our Camino last year. As it had been since March 2020, COVID was the ultimate concern.
- What if Spain “closed down” while we were there?
- What if we couldn’t see my Basque family?
- What if lodging and restaurants were suddenly closed?
The criteria this year (same as last):
- We are able to hike for 4-5 hours (12-15 miles) a day by the first week of July
- Our good health continues
- COVID is under control in Spain
- Spain allows Americans into their country
- We are able to make our travel plans without breaking the bank
- Our potential schedule meshes with my Basque cousins’ schedules
- We can find people to stay at our house and take care of the pups for 6 weeks
We’ve decided that all criteria WILL be met! I’m a bit nervous about my ability to hike for 4-5 hours a day, but I’m sure that I’ll get there by July. And so, as our skiing friend Bill says: Here we go again!
It’s been 5 years since our last Camino. Since then, we moved from Manhattan Beach, CA (sea level) to Park City UT (7300-ft. altitude), where it snows throughout the spring (and sometimes into the summer). We have 2 Labrador Retrievers, Sterling and Willow, who require daily hikes no matter how tired we are. Our training will be tougher and more consistent, but we will be better able to handle the hills on the Camino. At least that’s the plan!
I am encouraged by my lifelong friend Grace, who just completed her 6th Camino!
- Camino Frances, which starts in St. Jean Pied-du-Port in France, crosses the Pyrenees, and continues westward across Spain
- Camino Portuguese, starting in Lisbon, Portugal
- Via Francigena, in Italy, from Aosta to Rome
- Camino del Norte, from the border city of Irun, along the northern coast of Spain
- Le Puy Camino in France
- Via de la Plata (longest Camino), from Sevilla
Thank you for following along during our training, and our anticipated journey. Encouragement and tips appreciated!
Lisa & Mike