Walking a Camino is, at its most basic level, a very PRACTICAL endeavour. The spiritual and personal realms of the walk will unfold in their own time. The weeks and months leading up to departure will be dominated by maps and lists, training and preparation.

Before walking our first Camino, we’d done quite a few bush walks and carried packs along some pretty rocky paths. We’d woken up with tight calves and stiff shoulders with another day of walking in front of us. So we figured that walking a Camino would be fairly similar – it would just mean more of the same. How hard could that be? Really?

‘Large Lesson Looming’ should have been the sign that flashed before our eyes – one of those signs that can only be seen in the rear vision mirror of hindsight. It would have shown us that our Camino began long before we set foot in Spain, when we first began planning and preparing for our trek.

The lessons we learned on our first Camino affected our training, packing and planning for the second walk. We’d learned the hard way about things like:

  • what to pack
  • essential equipment
  • when to go
  • where to start
  • language
  • food
  • accommodation
  • nutrition
  • fitness
  • the ‘inner Camino’ (what goes on in your head)