Most Inspirational Moment
The walk through beautiful farm country and interesting old towns and cities.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Jose was very good at communicating what to expect each day. He really kept the trek worry free for the group. On the trail he sped up or slowed down to keep us together enough to have all stops and meals together. All of the stops were at great places for coffee and food and we put tables together so we could visit. Jose made a point of interacting with all of us. He had excellent advice on how to avoid blisters and offered first aid if people developed them. Having Jose with us allowed us to enjoy the Camino concentrate on the trek.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Do an honest self evaluation of your walking skills. Then take time to get to the point that you are able to walk for a few hours and go a long distance. This trek was not a marathon race, but you cover a lot of ground. The days are usually a pattern like : breakfast, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk about 2-3 hours, lunch, walk about 2-3 hours, break, walk an hour or so, check into hotel with a group dinner scheduled for later. It is a full day that is so interesting and picturesque that is goes by quickly. If you read the blogs they tell you to bring certain kinds of gear. Take it with a grain of salt. Decide what you really need to trek miles per day. Dress for the weather. In May I wore merino wool longjohns, poly tee shirt, Gore Tex pants and jacket, Keen walking shoes. I bought a huge rain parka on the trail. I was warm and dry. I did not carry a pack or knapsack. I had a fanny pack with cash, ID, and small water bottle. I would not recommend bringing poles unless you usually need them to walk. Shoes are the most important thing. Make sure you have shoes you can walk in for hours. I walk 8-10 miles most days. So I know my shoes are broken in and they fit. When you train for the trip trip you will be able to break in new shoes. I only used one pair of walking shoes and never unpacked the second pair. So one good pair of hiking shoes was enough for me. Off the trail I used lightweight slip-ons. In May we had fairly cool weather with rain a few times and lots of sunshine. Walking was usually in the shaded countryside with some mud. It was nice because we did not have extreme weather.
The group blended well and people were fun to be around on the trek. While hiking you can easily take time to speed up or slow down to engage people, either from your group or trekking on their own, in conversation. You meet interesting people. Our guide, Jose, knew the countryside and was full of interesting and historical facts. The trail allows horses, so expect “mud!” Some people bring dogs, most were nice. Bicycles are allowed and most did not signal that they wanted to pass you. You really appreciate the good bikers who give you a verbal heads up and do not just buzz through your group.