Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back From The Camino

I returned from my second Camino on Thursday evening.  I probably should have posted this a day sooner but I've been a tad slow since I've returned.  I imagine that is understandable as I've been separated from the real world for 50 days - it takes time to return to real world speed.

So how was the Camino you ask?  Things have changed a bit in the two years since my first Camino.  I will tell you all about it over the next month or so as I post about my latest adventure.  I will say that some things seem better, some things seem worse, but, in general, the Camino simply is different - neither good nor bad.

My shadow trekking along the Camino de Santiago.
The people along the Camino have changed the most I think.  I met a lot of people along the way but a Camino family, like the one that formed last time, never really took shape.  I have a few thoughts about why that is and I will share them in my future posts.  Let's just say that it was nice to have a familiar face in GV to keep me company.

The weather didn't cooperate either.  Last time we had maybe three days of significant rain.  This time there was significantly more.  The rain took a mental toll on me on the meseta and to a lesser extent (but in a more physical way) on the walk to Fisterra.

No stages were skipped.  No buses (except one taken for a good reason) were taken this time. I can now say that I completed the entire Camino Frances on foot.  We took one rest day along the way (day 26).  In the end, the unofficial distance walked was around 616 miles (991 km).  A bit more than 102 miles (164 km) more than last time.  I didn't have a GPS this time but my camera did.  Having said this, the camera had days when it found it hard to track anything and I know many of the tracks are incomplete.  I hope to have maps in my posts like I did last time but it will probably be a bit more labor intensive than before.  We'll see how I feel after I work on the first few tracks.  It is safe to say that I won't be able to quote the stats like average speed and altitude changes like I did last time.  I felt kind of naked without my GPS.

Speaking of my camera, I took 1,711 pictures and a handful of videos which is a little more than last time. I've downloaded them to the computer but I haven't had a chance to take a good look at them yet.  The camera did pretty good.  I dropped it on old stone floors a few time with no apparent damage.  I took pictures in the rain.  It's ruggedness and waterproof-ness were appreciated.  My charger was not as rugged and died just a week before coming home.  Fortunately this really didn't hurt.  If it had died earlier I would have had issues.

So how am I you ask?  Last time I returned with aches and pains that required six months of physical therapy to correct.  This time I return relatively healthy.  No need for physical therapy.  While I had one big blister last time, I had several bad heel blisters this time.  Like the one last time, these new blisters didn't stop me from walking.  There were a couple days along the Camino where I struggled more than I would have liked but I think my body recovered each day faster this time than last - a possible result of all the training walks and exercises I've done over the past two years.  I learned a few lessons along the way that will certainly be applied during my Appalachian Trail preparation.

I'm hoping to start drafting posts this coming week and will try to start posting the week after that.  I'm not sure how this will turn out.  This Camino lacked the first time wonder it had last time but there were still quite a few new places and people to write about.  I have many opinions about how it has changed and how it may fair in the future.  I have thoughts on how I have changed as well.  I just need to take the time to get it all down before it fades too much.

2 comments:

  1. Ahh the joys of a computer not my own!! So...second attempt to say hey! Glad to see you back and very much looking forward to your pics. Toe nails all make the return trip with you this time?

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    1. KSam: 1 decided to stay in Fisterra. A couple more will be leaving soon. I guess I'm hard on my toenails.

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