Saturday, 28 January 2023

One Major step closer!

What do I mean by this...well please be patient... A few other quick things first.

Camino de la Isla - Island Walk PEI

An update to my Jan 19, 2023 post which described this upcoming walk. 

All accommodation / transportation planning items are now complete...all I have to do is get to Charlottetown...and start walking. While this walk seemed so simple the logistics are anything but however it seems to have all come together...however at the last minute I had some serious reservations. 

The last few days 22 - 24 were absolutely wacky...transportation, costs etc... Yet something was bothering me...I was missing something and finally I had an aha moment!

My mom used to tell me “Guy tu es dans la lune”...does not translate well in English as it means you are “in the moon” but what she was telling me is that I was away somewhere else...dreaming. Still happens...often. My aha moment ...remembered or thought I did hearing that Lake Verde accommodation existed but required a 2 day I emailed Experience PEI and simply asked Bill if I was dreaming...really wasn’t sure. He indicated I was not...and provided me with the accommodation specifics.

So I set to work...and voila a little less craziness in last 2 days. (yikes reserving Air BnB accommodation for the first time was quite the experience requiring two photos, 12 emails from Air BnB...) 

Initial plan: PM - after days walk; AM - before days walk

    - Day 22 Walk from Murray River to Surrey (26 kms)

        - PM Taxi back to Murray River from Surrey

    - Day 23 Walk from Surrey to Lake Verde (25 kms)

        - AM Taxi forward to Surrey from Murray River

        - PM Taxi forward from Lake Verde to Charlottetown

    - Day 24 Walk from Lake Verde to Charlottetown (22 kms)

        - AM Taxi back from Charlottetown to Lake Verde

Revised plan: Note Vernon Bridge is 5 kms before Lake Verde

    - Day 22 Walk from Murray River to Surrey (26 kms)

        - PM Taxi forward from Surrey to Vernon Bridge 

    - Day 23 Walk from Surrey to Vernon Bridge (20 kms)

        - AM Taxi back from Vernon Bridge to Surrey 

    - Day 24 Walk from Vernon Bridge to Charlottetown (27 kms)

While this may still seem bizarre somehow the changes make all the difference and move the needle into “this is totally reasonable” 🤣 from “this is insane” ☺️. It’s the little things that sometimes make all the difference. 

Now that the itinerary is settled I can move to a critical to do...laminate my 6 sheets which have everything I need for the 24 days. Laminate...yes you heard correctly...go ahead and laugh...but consider this...

It will rain...paper does not hold up well...I will have the itinerary on my phone...but what if I lose my phone...if I lose my phone I am screwed anyway i.e. how will I call one of the various shuttles/taxi? Well you can’t solve every potential problem ☺️. At least I will have my laminated sheets and can flag down a car...passing cyclist or that time I will likely be in tears (pretty good at this) and I’m sure someone will take pity on me. 

Yes I have had some past major faux pas with laminating a crazy itinerary but I would rather not go there 😳.

A fun fact...25% of Canadian potatoes come from I will be walking by potato fields often! Museums really aren’t my thing...too many old things...15 minutes and well I wonder what’s outside the museum? I am however willing to make an exception for sure on the Island Walk...the World famous potato museum in O’Leary Day 5...maybe they even have Costco style fry tasters 🙂

Finally I have just ordered my Island Walk Passport. Upon completion of the entire walk an individual can submit a photo of the Passport and obtain a customized Certificate of Completion. Wow I can then add that to my growing collection of Camino compostelas (now where are those certificates 🤔) poor will they eventually divvy up these treasures? I think I’s called a paper shredder 🤣

Wainwrights Coast to Coast Walk - September 2023        

You likely have heard of the tortoise and the hare fable or Mutt and so many ways Greg and I fit these stereotypes quite well. In case you are wondering I am the tortoise and Jeff.🙂. So how is walking 300 kms over 13 days going to work? After thinking about this long and deeply I believe I have a pretty good idea will of course work out just fine!

Greg has been training hard and running in a number of track meets.  He will participate in the Canadian Masters championships at the end of February 2023 in Toronto...I plan on going to see him run...800m I think is the best bet.

In December 2022 at an indoor meet in Winnipeg competing in the 60 - 64 age group...I don’t want to divulge Greg’s age as that is impolite however fyi I am 66 and 5 years older than Greg.☺️... Greg shattered the Manitoba Indoor Provincial records for his age group by 4 seconds in the 400m and 9 seconds in the 800m. His best times as I understand them are.

    - 400m 60.68 seconds (outdoor)

    - 800m 2:15.59 (indoor). THIS IS 1.1 SECONDS OFF THE CANADIAN RECORD!

    - 1500m 4:52 (outdoor)

Ok for any of you who are not familiar with Canadian geography Manitoba isn’t PEI size can’t walk around Manitoba in 24 days...and if you tried you would almost certainly be eaten by a Polar bear along the Hudson Bay coast. So a Manitoba Provincial Record IS a big deal.

Now here is the kicker...and I have permission from Greg to include the following result although he professes to be humble in that it is early in 2023 and there haven’t been many competitions blah, blah, blah.

Just take a look at Greg’s 800m result. Holy Moly! #1 World Ranking (take that everyone outside Winnipeg Manitoba!), #1 NCCMA (North, Central America and Caribbean Masters Association). How many of you have been #1 in the World at any point in time? Will let you in on a little secret...I have never been #1 the World or in anything…zippo 🤣.

Which brings me back to how will this walk work? Seems impossible with Greg’s speed however here are a few facts...Ken this is not complex math...please do not zone out:

- Using Greg’s 1500m PB he was running at 3.24 minutes per km or 18.5 km per hour. I likely walk in the 5 - 5.5 km per hour on flat ground. 

- Greg therefore can “walk/run” about 3 times faster than I can however there will be elevation gains/losses...I will not try factor the latter as really only nerds 🤓 try to do that kind of stuff ☺️...sigh once a nerd always a nerd...

- Assume Greg can’t keep the 3X faster on longer distances...a better assumption is 2X faster than me. Let’s say I will walk 5 kms an hour.

- Greg and I wake up one morning...discuss the days walk with a few arguments/differences of opinion for old times sake...I pretend to let Greg win the discussion however as in the past I can be a little sneaky and really haven’t given too much away. We have a 20 km day ahead...flat walking 🤣😂

Here is my best forecast of how this day will go:

- Start together but Greg quickly jumps out ahead...

    - I arrive at the 5 km point and wonder where Greg is...he is of course at the 10 km mark (halfway)

    - I arrive at the 10 km point at exactly the same time as Greg completes the 20 km day’s objective however being a little hyper competitive Greg reverses course and starts walking/running back towards me.

    - At my 13.3333 km (close enough Actuaries!) Greg and I meet and exchange a few pleasantries which may/may not include a few gibes 

    - At my 15 km point Greg is now back at the 10 km midpoint for the day and starts moving forward again.

    - I waltz in having completed 20 km at exactly the same time as Greg and we go for a beer. I have walked 20 km and Greg has walked/run 40 kms.

So no will work out just fine...and everyone will be happy!

Japan Camino Film Documentary

Surprise...I received the following email Friday morning...I couldn’t breathe for a while...I was going to do a blood pressure reading on a home machine but decided no way as it would be off the charts (it was very normal a little later ☺️).

For anyone wondering what the heck Guy is talking about...Japan Camino Film Documentary...well I may have referred to this in a few past blog postings 🤣.  A number of past blogs touch and have built on this amazing story/opportunity...the Sep 18th, 2022 - Camino Primitivo Sep 18, 2022 Day 3 Salas to Campiello outlines this best. Other followup blogs Oct 12, 2022, Nov 11, 2022, Nov 28, 2022 further the story and anticipation.

Now where does starring in the Japanese Camino Film Documentary fit in my top 10 life events? Well it’s jockeying with a few other great moments for coveted spot #10. The top 9 are locks...getting married (still amazes me considering my total lack of “savoir faire”), 3 daughters, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, 2 granddaughters and grandson.

Here is the email I received a few days ago from my good friend Shidara...

Dear Mr. Arbez,

Our show is nearing completion and I will send you a link to the video after it airs, 
so I would appreciate it if you could wait until around March!

Also, one question, how old are you and Paul? 
We're using an interview with you two on the show 
and want to put your ages separately in the subtitles.

Kind Regards,


株式会社 ドキュメンタリージャパン
〒107-0052 東京都港区赤坂8丁目12番20号和晃ビル1F

設樂康太 Kohta SHIDARA

I quickly sent a WhatsApp to Paulo asking him for his age...again I want to be polite about not giving away his age as some people are quite sensitive about this so let’s say mid forties + 1 or 20 years younger than me. (refer to Greg example above for my age).

So I drafted an email to Shidara as follows...but decided to pause before hitting send...

Hi Shidara,

Very nice to hear from you and great news that the documentary is nearing completion. I am sure the documentary team has worked diligently on this project and looks forward to its successful completion!

Paulo is 46…I am 66 however was 65 in October when walking the Camino Primitivo.

"Given your comments about our starring roles in your special documentary and the anticipated opening night Gala  I thought you might appreciate hearing thoughts from both Paulo and I regarding who should attend this Gala in Tokyo.

The consensus opinion is that I should attend and represent us both given the following:

- Paulo, in his capacity as a high powered lawyer, is exposed to exciting events on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. He must go head to head with judges, other counsel making reasoned arguments, snap decisions etc. In other words Paulo is extremely busy...does not need the additional glory whereas I am in a more modest personal space at this point in life.

- Paulo is much younger and as such does not have the breath of Camino walking experience that I have accumulated. Japan reveres its older citizens and has an older population average age than either Brazil and Canada. At 66 it would be good to highlight that very old me...can still do stuff.

- We both expect...given many factors in my favour ie Tilley hat, Clooney glasses, sparkling personality that...well...I might just outshine Paulo just a little bit more at the Gala.  Also Paulo and I anticipate that the ratio of time we both appear in the documentary is likely very skewed...perhaps 10 to 1 in my 30 seconds for Paulo and 5 minutes for me. 

Of note I  have an additional significant personal advantage considering one of my daughters would be an ideal companion at the awards presentation.  She spent 3 years in Japan teaching English and has University level Japanese language skills. At the Gala presentation you will require someone to introduce me and my daughter could easily do so in Japanese. Unfortunately I do not speak Japanese however as I relate my thanks and appreciation to the documentary team my daughter could provide simultaneous translation to all attendees.

One small consideration centers around expected dress code at the Gala. I just happen to be somewhat hesitant to wear a Penguin suit as I did that twice in a formal hoity-toity event at my previous employer and told myself never...ever...again. My customary summer...would be a flamboyant coloured golf shirt and Eddie Bauer shorts. If this is not appropriate please do not hesitate to let me know and I will adjust accordingly.

I very much look forward to seeing the documentary.



I paused, hesitated and decided not send the above message as is and tweaked it to...

Hi Shidara,

Very nice to hear from you and great news that the documentary is nearing completion. I am sure the documentary team has worked diligently on this project and looks forward to its successful completion!

Paulo is 46…I am 66 however was 65 in October when walking the Camino Primitivo.

I very much look forward to seeing the documentary.



So now I can simply sit back and wait OR start planning for what is now 100% sure to happen. Note once the link has been received I will again ask whether I can share it on this blog (knowing full well that no one is going to click on it and watch 59 minutes 🤣)...however I expect the answer will be that I must be present when someone else sees the documentary...I will certainly respect that. Clearly I can/will send the link to Paulo.

So...I may be overthinking this a bit...however why not be prepared...options as I see it are:

Option 1: Given that others can view the documentary in my presence I will invite my family members to  watch it with me. This will be a repeat of the yearly fiasco invite for A Christmas Carol movie...they will either ignore my invitation or provide a flimsy excuse not to show up. I will watch it alone.

Option 2: Go Big! To my knowledge there are subscribers from many parts of the world on this blog...Ireland, Belgium, France, United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom and in Canada...Ontario - Ottawa, Kingston, Keswick, Toronto (meaningful % of population), Manitoba - suburb of Clandeboyne, Carman, Winnipeg (most of the city)...sorry I am undoubtedly missing some locations.

So...perhaps the following is the way to go.

Rent space in a local movie theatre (Fox theatre here has a 248 seat space for rent)...send out invitations to all 78 current subscribers. Let’s say 75 decide to come to the showing(s) and each come with an average of 2.3 invitees then the theatre will be just large enough. Now if this catches on in Brazil we will certainly have to expand to two or more showings.

Again my daughter could undoubtedly do simultaneous translations of Japanese subtitles and/or actual speaking. 

Option 3: Option 3 is the same as option 2 except the event would be held in Brazil. The main drawback here is well...the dangerous animal situation in Brazil...crocodiles, snakes, sharks, bad spiders etc etc. This would require much discussion before option 3 becomes reality.

Ok so going back to my Business Lead days working on large IT projects I think the best way to successfully implement Option 2 (Option 3 would need additional Brazilian team members) is to set up a formal Project team. Based on past experience and other learnings a possible team is outlined below...other qualified members undoubtedly missed...sorry project team work would be on a pro bono basis. Note only blog subscriber initials are utilized to preserve anonymity...except for the Steering Committee.

Steering Committee - Me, Granddaughters Rose (8), Elodie (5), Grandson Rishi (<1). My vote counts as 1...Rose .59, Elodie .40...Rishi .005. Steering Committee decisions are final...majority rules.

Executive Sponsor - Provides strategic overall direction and motivation to the Project teams. (SK)

Program Director - Largely a ceremonial role given there is only one project however if my acting career takes off well... (LH, BG)

Project Manager - The heart of the IT management on a project...Gantt charts, psychological warfare on troops, coercion etc. (SM)

Business Lead - Must be able to work both sides of the project i.e Business and IT...extensive meddling in all aspects of the project a must. (me with consultation with two Business Lead veterans GO, DO)

System Architects - To my dismay actually a key role here...analyzing equipment at local theatre and getting the video link to work and project on a 36 foot screen. Also simultaneous Japanese to English subtitles must flash up on the screen replacing the Japanese subtitles (GA, CB, SS)

System Analyst - Honestly to keep the System Architects in line, out of the clouds and focused on actual results (CS)

Project Consultant - Keep everyone honest, communicate at all levels by dazzling everyone with super fancy PowerPoint slide decks (RE)

Business Analyst - Heart of the Business requirements gathering, testing of solution...ensure theatre patrons enjoy fabulous entertainment value (SS, PM, LC, LC, LS, DR, SB, LL, KJ)

Translation Specialist - Simultaneous written translation of Japanese subtitles and narration allowing IT to replace Japanese subtitles with English ones...clearly a critical role (JA)

Legal - Ensure all signed contracts abide by Canadian stuff! (PRRMN)

Artistic Director - Ensure the flow of the documentary presentation has artistic should see his recent exhibition…spectacular! (KD)

Pilgrim Advisory Board - Honestly their feedback would have been invaluable before I blurted out whatever I said in the Campiello Japanese documentary team interview...alas a little late for that...welcome feedback before I go to Tokyo Gala  (PRRMN, MA, CB, GK, RA, MS, JPV, JL & CL, HK)

Financial Advisory Board - Ensure cost/benefit of the entire project is sound (that’s a given no matter what the cost 🤣) however their input is required to ensure I don’t get too far over my skis. Note 6 Actuaries…and a PHD in Economics so this should be a fascinating group 😊 (KDP, LA, CA,  SC, PD, AK, LP)

Ok that should do it...a very strong team! As indicated earlier I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here...or be too excited. March is not that far away...once the link is received a final update will be sent. Decisions will then have to be made on who sees what, when etc.

Oh man this could be very very big...must be patient again...please Shidara do not contact me again until the final product is out and the link sent. 🤣 

And here is the best part...based on the reaction Paulo observed during our infamous interview... apparently as I was speaking...documentary crew members were laughing. Couple this with Shidara’s comment "so I would appreciate it if you could wait until around March” maybe...just maybe the Japanese crew are chuckling and enjoying this back and forth as much as I am. If that is the case an amazing incredible win/win ☺️