Here are some pics from Paris and my journey south to Saint Jean Pied de Porte where I will start my 500 mile walk across Spain tomorrow. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Camino de Santiago, or road to Santiago check out this link http://www.theway-themovie.com/camino.php to give you a quick overview of the journey I will be trekking for the next 30+ days!
My Dad ended up selling my motorcycle for me back home so now I have some financial cushion to wander without any limits, just how I like it:) I also ended up getting a volunteer position for a family in Spain starting mid-September after I finish the walk, where I’d help on a farm with horses, cattle and livestock. I’m really excited and glad this opportunity came about so that I have some kind of blue print in regards to what my next move on the chess board will be. After this volunteering position I’ll either make my way back home, volunteer again at a backpack hostel doing some type of hospitality, most likely bartending. We’ll see but for now I need to get some rest I have to tackle 21 miles tomorrow starting at 7am. wish me luck!
Finances: $1,500 would be a good amount of money to expect to spend per person while still trying to live frugal enough to experience the true essence of the Camino. I personally spent about $1,100 (staying at the cheapest Alberguer’s and eating with a $25-35 a day budget)
– have enough money to give you security in case you need to buy an extra pair of socks, shoes, jacket, etc. The road is very unpredictable and your body really starts to breakdown at certain points where you may need to come up with some funds for blisters or whatever else you may encounter!
– Make sure you have travel insurance!!
Comfort: Remember, you are walking in various elevations and weather conditions. Pack light but universal. My bag included: 2 pairs of Nike Dri-fit shirts, 2 pairs of zip off pants, 2 pairs of hiking socks, 1 hat, 1 bandana, 2 pairs of boxer briefs,1 head light, tooth brush/tooth paste, pocket knife, first aid kit, water proof wind breaker, laptop for my blog and 80 liter back pack.
Advice for what to pack: THE ABSOLUTE BASIC NECESSITIES
-Nike Dri-fit or any other quick dry/breathable clothes is HIGHLY reccomended
-QUALITY shoes! your shoes and socks are going to make or break your experience! make sure to invest in your feet and comfort! I ended up starting with Nike free runs and had to purchase a pair of $100 hiking shoes 6 days into the Camino due to straining a ligament in my foot due to my shoes:/
– I recommend purchasing zip off pants, ones which you can start the cold mornings in and zip off from the knee and below when it starts getting hot mid-day.
– 60 to 80 liter Back pack. I personally used a 80 liter but you can get away with a 60 easily. I needed more room for when I was in Thailand and Greece which is why I decided to purchase something a little bigger. Invest in a high quality back pack, it is a great investment and you never know when you’ll get the call to adventure again 🙂
– First Aid kit which includes Band-aids, dis-infectant, bug spray, duck tape, nail clippers and a pocket knife
– Head Light! you want a LED head light for those early morning walks, you start anywhere between 6 and 8 am and the earlier you start the darker it is outside. The head lamp is much more convenient and lighter then your ordinary flash light.
-Umbrella (depending on what time of the year you go) I went in August and experience 2 days of rain, without an umbrella I would have been doomed without a doubt.
– Quick dry bath towel! This was my biggest mistake, I actually ended up having to use hand towels from the bathroom to dry myself off every time I took a shower since I didn’t pack a towel.
– Even though I didn’t use one, packing a sleeping bag would be a smart decision. If not, you’ll be alright since the Alberguer’s usually have extra blankets in storage.
Don’t over prepare or stress the slightest bit over preparation. You can purchase anything you don’t have in the major cities along the way. Believe me, the struggle and lack of luxury makes the experience far more rewarding. There is a strong realization in regards to Simplicity. Cherish the simplicity and prepare to live those 30+ days in the barest and purest way.