Follow my journey to Santiago and the discovery of a fantastic long distance walk called the Camino de Santiago, hopefully i will complete the walk in 2017.
In the beginning
My journey started back in 2013 and with any good adventure it all starts well before the actual start line.
I love to walk and go on hikes and i was a lost sole looking for inspiration and one person that has all the answers in a modern world is Mr Google. I’m not one for reading much so i type. “Walking Movies” up pops a list of walking movies and i narrow them down to the most recent ones, write them down on a bit of paper for future Chris. I get distracted by chocolate and total forget about the movies and start gardening.
The Movie that started it all.
I think a week later i’m in JB Hi-Fi and see The Way on Blu ray which I remember is on my list of movies to watch.
I flip it over and start read the back, decide a long walk in Spain sounds fantastic, this is the movie for me.
Wow what can i say this is a fantastic movie i was totally moved and the scenery was so beautiful very good cinema photography. The story of a group of people coming together and making friends on the Camino was excellent.
I must have thought about the movie for the rest of the night and the conclusion was. I can do that, i want to do that, this is amazing. Err how far was it again.?
I put the Blu ray back in and have a look at the special features….. wtf 800+ km i’ll rephrase that. I would love to do part of this walk, can normal people actually walk that much. Apparently more that 200,000 people walk the camino or at least the last 100km per year.
I think mum phoned me up as she always has a habit of calling in the middle of movies, this time I got thought my movie Un interrupted. “You have to see this movie i just bought” I say its about a massive hike in France and Spain.
Mum passes the phone to dad and I say “Iv’e just seen a movie and I want to do a walk from the Pyrenees to San Diego.” Thinking he’ll be impressed. His response “your going to get your feet wet.” Then explains his geography is much better than mine and i may in fact want to walk from the Pyrenees to Santiago.
So back to Mr Google Maps to see where Santiago and San Diego are. He was right, if i wanted to goto the Zoo i could visit Taronga Zoo after work and save myself an international flight and a pair of shoes.
Work and friends
So I think about the Camino some more while at work. I have holidays saved up, I have the money, I love walking, yes….. I ask around at work to see if anyone has walked the Camino.
Friends of friends know people that have done it. Some people think i’m mad so with all the doubters around I drop the thought of going on the Camino for a few more weeks.
My advice, if your friends want to do something, encourage them. If you don’t think you could do what there asking, their dream adventure then thats your problem not theirs. Don’t kill someones dream just because your incapable or don’t have the will power or time in your life to live.
I gave the DVD to mum and after watching it she decided that its something she would like to do also and we talk about it little more over the next few month but i’m not 100% sure it’s a walk that we can both do together as our fitness levels are both totally different levels. As i said i’m not going to kill mums dreams of coming on this holiday.
More weeks pass and my mate decides he’s going to do a wild endurance hike. My name comes up so I can’t say no since this will be good training as I know I can do 25 km. Then he informs me its 100 km in 36hrs. Wtf have I just said yes too.
Anyway to cut a long story short, 5 of us train every 3 weekends and I hike 30 km and a few weeks later hike a 40 km and I decide something not quite right.
I’m getting so much pain in my knee, so in the following weeks I have x rays, MRI’s and finally get told I have to have an operation to cut out 60% of my cartilage.
I’m in tears as I have to tell my friends that I can’t do the 100 km wild endurance race. I still stay part of the team by helping them plan for walks and I’m part of their support crew for walks over 40 km.
I have my operation take a few days off work and i’m keen to get on my feet as fast as possible.
I make it down the hall the very next day I get shooting pains in my knee and I collapse to the floor crying.
I have appointments with a physiotherapist and he gives me a few exercises to do at home. The next time i see him i get left in a room for over and hr doing a few exercises on my own.
I decide i’m not paying someone to ignore me, so I rearrange my home gym and buy an exercise spin bike and drag a rug in there as well so I have somewhere to stretch.
I manage to drive down to River Rd carpark and get out and walk along the new footpath and tears well up again as i’m over taken by a 80yr old man with a walking stick.
Whats going on, I’m getting so emotional, has the Doctor performed the wrong operation, will I start growing breasts or change sex.
I try and man up a little but I can’t capture the old man as I try for a longer stride i get shooting pains in my knee and almost collapse, so I just watch the old man slowly get father away from me and continue on at my snail pace.
Wild Endurance event, i’m now support crew to help out and cheer my team over the finish line.
June – Dec
Mum decides that she wants to do the Camino with me so we go for a walk in the blue mountains. Once we start doing a few walks I say straight out that I don’t think your fit enough and if your serious about this walk then you will have to do some training.
The next walk I put some hills into the mix just to prove my point that mum needs training. After 6 months of training doing and lots of 10 km walks around the river and a few walks with hills the Camino comes up again and I say, “If you want to go then you have to start doing walks with hills and a backpack.”
New Years Eve
Dinner at mums place and the Camino’s the topic of conversation and dad points out that we both couldn’t hike 27 km over the Pyrenees Mountains. I have the maps with me and point out that it’s not the ice pick climbing over the Pyrenees it’s the low end but still over 1400 m. Any way i’m a little pissed at this so decide that i’m going to prove him wrong that I can hike 27 km and a gain of 1000 m.
Time to get serious, the next chapter.