Note: as explained below I am using a test version of a software app so no idea how this will look!
This will be my 6th Camino route (Via Jacobi Switzerland, Via Gebennensis France, The Puy France, Frances Spain and Finisterre Spain) and 2nd time walking into Santiago de Compostela. If successful the total distance walked over these Caminos will be approximately 3,200 kms or about the same distance as walking from Winnipeg (home town) to Halifax...no way I would/could ever do that!
It’s been a year of many changes as Dawn and I made the great decision to move from Winnipeg to Toronto to be close to family...3 daughters (Lise, Jeanne, Claire) son in law (Steven) and 2 wonderful granddaughters Rose 3 years and Elodie 3 months.
|Rose and Elodie|
We are actively and joyfully involved with Rose on a daily basis...trying madly to keep up with an inquisitive 3 year old. Elodie is smiling now and laughing at my jokes...not at me! Dawn and I are either staying young or getting old really fast...hopefully the former!
|Elodie's reaction when told I was walking the Camino Portugues|
I am both excited and a little apprehensive in advance of the walk (more on this later). I never expected to walk a Camino route again however out of the blue in November 2016 my brother Marc, Cyrille (France) and I received a “let’s go” email from Paulo in Brazil.
Paulo had had an especially rough night as he slept on the top bunk of a champion snorer from Italy who snored on the bottom bunk. We said sure and off we went...Marc planning the route as Paulo had chosen a fairly tight schedule for himself!
It’s tough getting 4 people from 3 different countries together... unfortunately Marc and Cyrille will not be joining us... so I am afraid Paulo you are left with the 61 year old Canadian!
|Camino Portugues Route|
We will be walking the Central Route from Lisbon through Golega to Porto through Barcelos, Tui on to Santiago de Compostela. Paulo and I are taking a non traditional approach (go figure!) I created a large spreadsheet with distances, locations and possible accommodations along the route with a suggested daily walking plan. Then Paulo set to work (he can speak and understand Portuguese a little better than me...) and he booked accommodation for the walk.
We decided early that we wanted comfortable local family accommodations where possible which meant many of the places we will be staying book up fast at this time of year. We know there are risks with this approach but no matter what one chooses to do there are always risks.
I mentioned earlier that I was a little apprehensive... In mid December I had a little (well not so little) fall while ice skating with Rose and Steven. I had not skated in quite a long time but thought why not try a triple axle jump (had moments before successfully completed a double backwards flip). The landing did not go well...used my hand to cushion a big jolt to the rear end! Ok I tried to stop and tumbled!
Recovery has been slower than expected however feeling pretty good right now...have to trust that it will remain so for the walk!
A little story...yesterday Rose made a medical kit at pre-school (pictures below) and mid evening our doorbell rang (we live in a great basement apartment in Rose’s house and we installed a wireless door bell for Rose to ring whenever she wants to see us).
I suspect Lise and Steven had mentioned that Papi (my name instead of grand-papa...merci Cyrille) had a bobo. She came in with her medical kit in hand and proceeded to work her magical medical powers including a kiss on the cheek to make it better (facial cheek of course and not the other cheek which has been unhappy!)
With help like that how can I not be ok!!!
|Rose's medical kit|
Anyone who followed my blogging on the long walk knows the technical gremlins that are always lurking. Well they are here again in what could be in a very big way.
So I went on various forums and finally come across an app called Blogo which seemed promising. So I tried it and got Google error 403 which of course is not understandable.
I then contacted Blogo support and they informed me that they were in the process of rewriting the API and that the Beta test version of the software would be available soon. I actually understood this jargon based on my previous life working with Systems teammates!!! “Did I want to be part of the test group when the Beta version was ready” So I said sure thinking I would never hear from them again.
Well last week I received a link to get the Beta software. What are the chances the test version will keep working? We’ll just have to wait and see...may blog intermittently instead of daily (won’t have my friend Dennis around who automatically makes for easy pickings) I can already tell there are app bugs...published date and weird picture sizes...will have to log these defects as an official tester!
Now in past Caminos I have had some very scary dangerous animals encounters. I have done the requisite research and apart from a poisonous snake or spider or two there are no expected problems in areas where people live. You will note the key phrase in areas where people live! What about the long stretches where no one lives and pilgrims pass through? Unless my geography is way off the only way to walk into Spain is to go through Northern Portugal (where Eurasian wolf roams)!
|Here is what my research found!|
And the ever dangerous Portuguese man o’war! I will have to be extra vigilant if our walk takes us on a beach!
|Portugues man o' war|
In final preparations...packing with a view to having a 9 kg pack if possible...no Canadian lapel pins this time!
|In final preparations!|
Well that’s it for now...look forward to simply walking for hours each day and enjoying the countryside and meeting people...haven’t been in Portugal since our honeymoon in 1979.Can’t wait to hear the Portuguese version of “Buen Camino” walking by someone on the path!