Monday, 28 November 2022

Major Update - Japanese Camino Film Documentary

Ok so I have been accused of wishful thinking...a dreamer at times...a few examples...

- Epiphany... Canada Men’s Soccer team will win World Cup 2022 in Qatar...well you did well guys...need more experience against first tier teams...future is bright... Ok Brazil...time for your 6th title...if not then Morocco 1st!!!

- My family will agree to watch and enjoy best Christmas movie ever - 1951 A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim with me...OK that will never happen so I will settle for watching with someone:

    - Elf - simply one of the funniest movies ever (Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart are priceless)...if you don’t laugh watching this you are having a very bad day! Guy Tear Meter - no tears except laughing so hard

    - Miracle on 34th Street - Ahhh...An absolute gem! Santa is legally proven to be real...Mom captures the Christmas spirit...everything works out in the end and the little girl get’s her dream family and house! Guy Tear Meter - tears very high probability

    - The Holiday - Oh my everything works out in the end beautifully including the old guy getting his award! Guy Tear Meter - tears a certainty

- I will be nominated and win an Oscar award for Best Actor in the Camino Primitivo Foreign Documentary Film Category. Ok would settle for Best Supporting Actor as Paulo will likely win Best Actor for Campiello stunt...refer to Camino Primitivo - Sep 18, 2022 Salas to Campiello blog posting for background on Japanese Camino Film Documentary 

But I digress... here is the initial email received Nov 27, 2022 which made this blog absolutely necessary...blogging was not supposed to happen again in 2022 🤣

Hello Mr. Arbez,

How are you ? I'm Yuji, from japanese television crew we met at the Camino de Santiago.

We are starting to edit the documentary and if it's possible, we would like to receive followng pictures of you with your friend, Paulo:

- In 2014, the first time you two met.

- When you two walking the French way in 2014 (el Camino Francés)

- When you two did the Portuguese way in 2018 (el camino portugués).

- Paolo caring your leg (or foot?) in Porto when you got hurt your leg.

- When you two arrived Santiago de Compostela after completing the Portuguese way.

- If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

Yuji Shinohara 

Upon waking up and reading this email I did a little dance...similar to the dancing Mr. Scrooge did when he wakes up after visits from the Past, Present and Future spirits...except dancing is really not my strong suit...amongst many other skills I do not have 🤣...see hugging picture below with Dr. Olga which has to rate as “worst hug ever”!

So a little digression...again...why not it’s fun for me and there are simply too many must do things in life!... Elodie my youngest granddaughter took it upon herself (she was 4...just turned 5 recently) to teach me two dance moves..."the twist" and “shake your tail”. Both begin from the squat lessons started...note the two dance moves looked exactly the same for me.

“Papi like this”...try, try, try...”Papi not like this”...rinse and repeat on my part...same comments from Elodie... however I sometimes came close but I can’t quite get there. I am thinking/hoping that this may be one of those childhood memories for Elodie down the line 🙂. A few photos of my dancing instructor...she has style...panache in her dress choices 😍

Coming home from school..note running shoe positions!

Normal everyday indoor wear!

Now Yuji’s email (now on a first name basis!) really brought home that my dream of being in the Japanese Camino Documentary was totally becoming reality! The questions asked were very specific...daughter Jeanne has already commented to me “Pa your interview responses were probably so boring they now feel they need a picture just to distract the audience!”. If other daughters Lise and Claire read this they will probably message Jeanne “Good One!”. Rodney Dangerfield of Dad’s here 😒

First I want to give Paulo credit as he initially got the ball rolling by being a good sport in Campiello and agreeing to stop, agree to walk back X meters and then repeat the walking...this time with Patricia, the other pilgrim and the film crew. Next he was asked if WE (both of us!) wanted to sit down in Campiello for an interview (who knows how many pilgrim walkers were watching us from the sidelines) with the Japanese film director and crew. Paulo not only agreed to do this but he actually let me know. He could easily have pretended I was not around and hogged the glory for himself. A true pilgrim friend!

Since that time I have taken it upon myself to ahem move this project along...5 separate emails Oct 12th, Oct 16th, Oct 21st, Nov 27th x2. If you want something...sometimes you just have to create the opportunity yourself. Clearly a win/win situation...a notable personal connection has been made with the Documentary team...I am well established as someone who has a minor interest in the Japanese documentary AND the film crew needs footage/pictures for their project.

After reading the email...I contemplated the major plans in my agenda for the day...and 5 seconds later started poring over pictures...and replied to the email received as quickly as possible. But I was cool about this. 

NOTE: THE video included in my email was completed by Paulo’s daughter in 2018...likely 12 years old or so at the time. If you are squeamish about blisters don’t click on the link...however this type of problem is not rare...happened through bad luck (rain), poor planning (well worn equipment) and COMPEED. Learn, adjust and move on...

Marc, Cyrille - You may also star in the Japanese Documentary if they include a few pictures from the email.

In my email response below I really wanted to include the following bolded italicized words...but thought that might just be too much...have to be approach this in a manner that says yeah sure use some photos if you want...whatever” ☺️ "If I can be of further assistance, including traveling to Tokyo to assist in the film editing process, please reach out to me…will gladly do so! 

My November 27, 2022 email response...

Hi Yuji,

I am doing very well…thank you for asking! What a pleasure to hear from you…I have included a number of photos and a short video below in answer to your questions about past Camino walks with Paulo. Given that I don’t know what may be of interest for your Camino documentary I have added a few additional pictures...

Note the video included pretty well documents the Camino Portuguese blister foot issues requiring a total Camino replan and 4 days rest in Porto. I realize the short video will not be used as is however perhaps there is a video photo clip which helps. Yes some pictures will be a little too intense for some however they do represent a reality associated with long distance Camino walking. Sometimes bad blisters happen…when they do one must stop, treat, rest, heal and hopefully keep walking!

If I can be of further assistance please reach out to me…will gladly do so! Thanks for allowing me to view the three spectacular 2020 Camino Documentaries "1500 kms from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago de Compostela”. They were very meaningful as I walked both routes in 2013/2014.

Wishing you well in your editing process for the current Camino Documentary, a warm peaceful Holiday Season and the very best in New Year 2023.

Buen Camino!

Guy Arbez

In 2014, the first time you two met.

First night in Roncesvalles - front to back counterclockwise Chico - Brazil, Marc (brother) - Canada, Me - Canada, Paulo - Brazil, Daniel - Brazil

Me, Paulo, Marc 

Me, Paulo

Walking the Camino Frances in 2014

Hot day…needed sunscreen…fellow pilgrim walkers did not tell me that I applied too much 🤣

So very true!

Pulpo in Galicia!

Success on reaching Santiago de Compostela

We made it Cyrille (France), Marc , Me , Paulo 

Walking the Camino Portuguese in 2018!

Rained 250 mm in first 3 days!!!

A canal stretch that I did not negotiate well…and fell in!

Me after falling in the above canal…turtled…on my back…with backpack totally submerged! Paulo asked “Are you ok Guy?”…”yes”...then he laughed…and so did I!

Me, Paulo, Allan, Steffan (Denmark)

Paulo after a long day with food and wine!

Blister problems which forced a stop after 4 days from Lisbon…train to Porto and 4 days rest and healing

Dr. Olga, a Camino Angel, who performed “surgery” on feet

Pre - Surgery

Post surgery recovery food in Porto!

Walking from Porto required daily dressing care by (Dr.) Paulo with consultation phone calls to Dr. Olga. It’s a good thing Paulo is a lawyer as this allowed him to transition to Dr. care easily 🤣

Blister Video (45 seconds)

Santiago de Compostela arrival after completing the Portuguese Way

Paulo & Me - made it hobbling from Porto!

Final supper in Hospederia San Martin Pinerio - Luis (Paulo’s brother non walker), me, Emile (France), Paulo

I then received the reply below which sealed the deal...Paulo it’s going to happen...we will both be in the Japanese Camino Documentary... I am 100% sure of it. 

Paulo, given your lawyer background you likely would have wanted to negotiate royalty rights, rights to use our images in advertising, contracts for this and that etc etc etc. Sorry none of that is going to happen my friend...forget about that Legal stuff and think of the glory of simply being famous! Who cares about future earnings blah, blah, blah... don’t worry all will be fine! I am satisfied to launch my acting career in a low key manner...🤣

Also Paulo can you provide me with your full name...last time I saw it I was stunned as you must have a dozen names...your name, your mother’s maiden name, father’s name, grandfather/grandmother names, great aunt, second first cousin etc. etc. I want to be prepared for the Director’s question about our names for the film credits.

Here is the November 27th, 2022 email I double dare anyone to tell me that I am still dreaming!!!

Holy Smokes 2023 is going to be an exciting year!

Hello Guy,

Wow! Thank you for those fantastic  pictures and the video. I will send them to the director, Mimaki san, to choose the best ones for the documentary.

If he has any questions, we will contact you again.

And when its broadcasted, of course, we will send you links where you can watch the new documentary.

Thank you!


And now I must rest...and wait patiently!!! As if 😂

Friday, 11 November 2022

2023 Coast to Coast England Walk, 2024 Camino Planning, Japanese Camino Film Documentary Update, 2022 World Cup

I did not expect to be blogging so soon after completing the 2022 Camino routes however opportunity knocked. 😀 The next walking adventure will be the famous Wainwright’s Coast to Coast England Walk mid Sep 2023 with Greg (will attempt to introduce Greg later) a GWL fellow co-worker and friend (hope he will still be after 2 weeks 😂). Note a time critical reason for this post is my epiphany concerning the 2022 World Cup starting Nov 20, 2022!

Coast to Coast England Walk

While this walk has been on my wish list for many years the 2023 decision making and planning was completed at warp speed...that was fun! A very brief synopsis...skipping significant back and forth between Greg, me and Mac’s Adventures...

Oct 22- Contacted Mac’s Adventures inquiring about a 14 night, 13 day Coast to Coast England walk...received a detailed itinerary the same day.

Oct 23 - Email to Greg..."are you serious about the Coast to Coast 2023”? Quick answer “Yes!"

Oct 26 - FaceTime with Greg where we exchanged a few pleasantries... I last saw him likely 9 years ago... After a brief chat on certain points...we agreed “let’s go”

Oct 26 - Contacted Mac’s Adventures “we are ready to book”

Oct 29 - 20% non refundable deposit details completed...provisionally booked

Nov 3 - Mac’s Adventures confirmed our 14 nights accommodation in B&B’s, Inns, etc were booked! 

Subsequently after detailed research into flights, trains etc (~6.5 hours travel from/to Heathrow or Gatwick to start or completion of walk) we decided to an extra night at the walk start and finish. Paulo’s experience where he dashed at Brazilian speed through Lisbon airport...possibly knocking someone down to arrive at the departure gate with 10 minutes to spare...then the hide and seek we played in Madrid airport to catch a flight...convinced me...learn from the past and have an actual contingency plan!

Nov 8 - Booked Air Transat flights direct from Toronto (Greg lives in Winnipeg)

Start to finish 2 weeks...the decision making process was quick...fantastic! Clearly we are both looking forward to this famous walk.

Brief description of the Coast to Coast England Walk

'Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk is by far the most popular long distance trail in Britain, and one of the world's great walks.

From the Irish Sea at St. Bees Head, it winds its way across Northern England, 190 miles or so, to the North Sea shoreline at Robin Hood's Bay. On the way it passes through three National Parks: The Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. 

It is an exhilarating adventure, and once completed is an achievement that will remain fondly in the memory for the rest of your life.

The Coast to Coast is a tough and challenging walk; even forewarned many people still find it tougher than they expected, particularly over Lakeland. The key to success is careful preparation.

Wainwright divided his walk into 12 sections. Strong and experienced fell walkers may tackle one section a day, but for most walkers some sections are just too long. It's better to break them and take time to explore. 14 or 15 days make better itineraries, whilst still allowing the walk to fit into a fortnight slot. 

Since Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk was first published in 1973 there have been a number of changes to the route, for a variety of reasons. 

The Wainwright Society, founded in 2002 to keep alive the things which AW promoted through the guidebooks, took on responsibility for the Coast to Coast Walk. At the Society's Annual General Meeting in 2012, chairman Eric Robson announced that the walk would be way-marked for the first time in 40 years. 

10 years later, in August 2022, the government announced that Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk was to become Britain's newest National Trail.”

Coast to Coast Trail

A good You Tube video link of the walk for anyone interested is shown below

How will this walk compare to Camino Walks?

One way it won’t differ is that this will be a challenging example is Day 2 route choices:

High Route - 10 hours, 25.3km, 1.107 meters elevation gain, (1,126) meters elevation loss

Low Route - 6.75 hours, 23.3km, 539 meters elevation gain, (553) meters elevation loss

Mac’s Adventures description of Day 2...High route rated Extreme difficulty...Low route rated Moderate to Strenuous.This is what they say about the High route.

The first section of today’s walk is tranquil and flat, hugging the shore of Ennerdale Water. this is the quiet before the storm, soon you will head up up those lofty mountain peaks that tower above!

This route reaches four mountain peaks, starting with a challenging climb up to Red Pike (752 meters), from where you can follow narrow ridge lines to reach the peaks of High Stile (807 meters) and High Crag (744 meters). The drama unfolds before your eyes with every step rewarded with fresh glimpses to distant peaks, new valleys and cascading waterfalls. There’s a steep, thigh-burning descent on loose scree from High Crag before a rocky (almost a scramble) climb up to Haystacks (598 meters), the final mountain of the day.

The hike passes old slate mining infrastructure and quarries, including the Honister Slate Mining Visitor Centre where you can learn more and even enter a mine, before dropping into the quaint villages of Seatoller, Longhwaite and Rosthwaite, that comprise the Borrowdale Valley.

The high route is featureless in places, and requires a basic rock scrambling ability; if bad weather is forecast, either low visibility or heavy rain, please ensure you take the low route”

🤔 Now which would be more fun...High or Low route? Guy remember the blog posting about Fear of Heights and the infamous "chicken out" on Mt Rundle many years ago? Greg and I will have to talk this through however...If the weather is good...and we are feeling good... No question “Go for it!!!"

The Coast to Coast appears be a similar challenge to the 2022 Camino Primitivo

2022 Camino Primitivo

- 317 kms over 12 days or 26.4 kms per day

- 7,847 meters ascent, (7,764) meters descent

- Using my time adjustments for ascent/descent the overall estimated walking speed works out to 4.52 kms per hour (5.5 kms per hour on flat terrain) 

2023 Coast to Coast Walk in England

- 304 kms over 13 days or 23.4 kms per day (so a little easier here)

- 7,584 meters ascent, (7,578) meters descent

- Using my time adjustments for ascent/descent the overall estimated walking speed works out to 4.51 kms per hour (5.5 kms per hour on flat terrain)

In many ways this walk will differ from previous Camino walks

- I can speak translation required unless of course i have difficulty understanding the way English is spoken 🤣...very close to Scotland!

- Mac’s Adventures is taking care of all travel accommodations, bag transfer etc. That has only happened once...4.5 day Kumano Kodo route in Japan.

- Bag transfer...The only other time I walked with a light day pack only was the 2015 Thames River walk (110 kms or so) from Oxford to Windsor with our merry band of 4 walkers + good friend Dennis. Reflecting we should have taken the additional option of either a pony or red wagon pull for Dennis 🙂 I am still debating whether to utilize the bag transfer route...but current mindset...why not...not that expensive and this walk might be very wet!

- Terrain...Looks quite varied...there will be road walking...clifftop walking and in one specific area navigating through bogs...oh that should be interesting!

- Poor Camino arrows to guide us...Mac’s Adventures has provided GPS tracks and an App to utilize the tracks. This was extremely useful on the Camino San Salvador and useful on the Camino Primitivo...on the Coast to Coast it will be an essential. Apparently brushing up on compass reading with maps skills is recommended...well how hard can that be 🤔. Will see if the MEC store in Toronto offers a course in this.

- Equipment...Gossamer Gear Backpack will stay at home...possibly even the Packa 😒🥲...will need a good day pack and a Duffel bag for stuff carried by Sherpa Van. Geez...a little weird...but all will be back for the 2024 Camino!

- Passport...Not a difference but a question to anyone who has recent experience renewing a Canadian passport. My passport expires Jan 2024...which means it will expire within 6 months of the trip...not acceptable in many places. How early can you/ should you renew a Canadian passport?


In my last 10 years at GWL I was involved in large scale legacy system redevelopment...where I worked with Greg a System Architect.

What is a System Architect? There is no definition possible for this role other than it is the world’s best job ever...steer your children/grandchildren towards this career. Remuneration - High, Requirements - Ability to talk & talk & talk, draw fancy cloud diagrams, utilize every geometric shape possible, draw squiggly lines between all these shapes...and stand back with a smile as poor Business people try to understand “OMG...what did she/he say?”

Greg and I were part of the IT and Business teams respectively...teamwork was essential. The two of us had many spirited discussions...Greg is not shy about expressing his works on many matters and well I sometimes had something to say in return. ☺️. 

I have never been big on “official" job titles...let’s say Greg’s was Senior System Architect and I was Business Lead. At times Greg fashioned himself to be Junior Business Lead or Junior Business Analyst and frankly I did the same...Junior Senior System Architect, Junior Senior System Analyst, Junior IT Project Manager and occasionally straying into Junior IT Program Director territory. Oh my...

What I do strongly recall in working with Greg (and all IT folks) though is an ability to laugh...working hard and a focus on coming to a consensus...good teamwork.

Having said this I expect Greg and I will have the occasional time where we both feel we are the good old days. A likely scenario...trail branches in 2 directions...Mac App says to take the right branch...Greg will contend that the left branch is the right one...I will say we must take the right one as Business people were involved in mapping out the route. We will stop...discuss...I will pull out a Snicker bar and offer it as a bribe to take the right one...what is super funny is that it WILL happen at least once where the App was wrong 🤣

Greg is an athlete...a long time runner who will be competing (60 - 65 category) in the February 2023 Canadian Masters Championships in Toronto and other meets through the spring and summer 2023.

When I worked with Greg he was focused on long distance running...

Marathon Greg PB 2:42 hr/min..My PB (in 1987 or 35 yrs ago 🤔) - 3:38 hr/min (rounded up)

Half Marathon Greg PB 1:18 hr/min..My PB (in 1986 or 36 yrs ago) - 1:40 hr/min (rounded up)

If you golf the difference between my PB times and Greg’s are VERY significant...let’s say me shooting a 100 and Greg shooting 67 type of difference...not even close!

Greg has turned his attention to short track and will be competing in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m events...some info WR - World Record, PB - Personal best, AG - Greg PB Age Graded. As you can see hie AG times are in the 20%+ range higher than World Record times! 

200m WR 19.19 sec, Greg PB - 28.2 sec, AG - 22.4 sec

400m WR 43.03 sec, Greg PB - 60.6 sec, AG - 48.7

800m WR 1:40.91 min/sec, Greg PB - 2:17 min/sec, AG - 1:48 min/sec

1,500m WR 3:26 min/sec, Greg PB - 4:52 min/sec, AG - 3:52 min/sec

Ok so Greg has speed and I absolutely do not...however we are going on a long distance walk where endurance over many hours is really the key. So we should do ok together however IF there is an encounter with dangerous animals then I can see Greg having a very distinct advantage over me...the 5 dangerous animals covered in a previous blog were...

- Cows/Bulls  where sprinting will be a definite advantage combined with hurdling over fences...I am dead last here.

- Dogs where basically one must stand your ground...wave walking poles if you must and walk slowly advantage for Greg unless he decides to sprint in which case he may be in trouble

- Chickens, Slugs don’t think Greg’s sprinting is much of an advantage here

- Bee swarms/Snakes for both I will be sprinting as fast as I can however Greg will clearly be way ahead in which case I will be in BIG trouble!

What is Greg concerned about?

Only two things that I have come across so far

1) Snacks - Greg had a standard office desk...his middle drawer where most people keep office supplies was crammed full (no joke) full of candy bars etc...Snickers a favourite. So Greg is concerned about his ability to buy and carry snacks on the walk. His day bag will likely be 50%+ full of snacks. He has started packing already!

Leftover Halloween candy at Greg’s Winnipeg House for Coast to Coast

2) Walking shoes - Greg is not so much concerned about type of shoe, waterproof or not but rather the “look”. At GWL Greg was admittedly a little bit more of a snazzy dresser than I was...however as many know I set an almost impossibly low anyone beats me.

However when it comes to snazzy walking shoes...Greg has a very steep hill to climb and his first attempt shown below simply doesn’t cut it

My shoes - Hoka Speedgoat V5

Greg’s Feeble Attempt

So that’s it for Coast to Coast Walking planning...basically just have to keep healthy...make my way to St. Bees and enjoy the adventure!

2024 Camino Planning

Given there won’t be much planning for the Coast to Coast Walk I have to switch to something else...why not 2024 Camino. Originally Paulo and I were going to walk in 2026 (previous walks in 2014, 2018, 2022...) however Paulo suggested 2024 as I am guessing he is concerned about my “Best before date” for long distance walking.

The high level plan is 13-15 days of the area of 350 to 400 kms or so ending in Santiago de Compostela on a new route.

Paulo...if he is reading this (very busy lawyer, less busy retired person here) has not seen any of the alternatives below ☺️.

A quick review of the Guy Naismith adjustment for elevation gains/losses...assumptions are very simple.

- 5.5 kms per hr on flat terrain
- Add 1 hour per 1,000 meters elevation gain
- Add .6 hur per 1.000 meters elevation loss...Note going down is much harder on the body but generally faster

Example: 25 km walk with 1,000 meters elevation gain and 1,000 meters elevation loss

- 4.55 hours on flat terrain + 1 hours for elevation loss + .6 hours elevation loss = 6.15 hours of walking
- Adjusted kms (assume flat terrain walking) 6.15 x 5.5 = 33.8 kms (if you were walking flat terrain in 6.15 hours)
- Adjusted kms per hour 25 / 6.15 = 4.07 kms per hour

Both of these Adjusted kms and Adjusted kms per hour provide good planning information for an entire walk but perhaps more importantly daily stages.

Five early contenders for future 2024 Camino discussion with Paulo

Camino Norte starting in Gijon

- 338 kms over 13 days or 26.0 kms per day
- Adjusted kms 31.0
- Adjusted kms per hour 4.61

Camino Norte starting in Villaviociosa

- 368 kms over 14 days or 26.3 kms per day
- Adjusted kms 31.5
- Adjusted kms per hour 4.59

Camino Invierno starting in Leon (Camino Frances)

- 363 kms over 14 days or 25.9 kms per day
- Adjusted kms 31.3
- Adjusted kms per hour 4.56 

Camino Invierno starting in Zamora (Via de la Plata) to Astorga (Camino Frances)

- 397 kms over 15 days or 26.5 kms per day
- Adjusted kms 31.2
- Adjusted kms per hour 4.66 

Camino Sanabres starting in Zamora (Via de la Plata) 

- 402 kms over 15 days or 26.8 kms per day
- Adjusted kms 31.1
- Adjusted kms per hour 4.74

Will utilize Buen Camino elevation gains/losses to map out potential daily stages...also post a question on the Camino Forum to get feedback from pilgrim walkers who have walked these routes. What would they recommend? What did they like/dislike?
After all this work we may just put five numbers in a hat and simply pick at random 😀

Also day dreaming of a totally different approach to future Camino walking i.e. map out sections of long Camino’s over a couple of trips say 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032, 2034, 2036, 2038 (age 81) 🤔🙂

Japanese Camino Film Documentary Update

My last blog posting included an email sent to the Director of the Japanese Camino Film Documentary. Some may have thought that I was grovelling...looking for any possible way to be included in the a kid desperately wanting something. Well you would be 100% correct on all 3 counts!

Shortly after sending my email I received a very positive reply from a member of the Film Documentary team (Director does not speak English). He provided me links to the three 59 minute 2020 Vimeo films 1,500 kms to Santiago de Compostela...along with a password to view them. In a subsequent email exchange he confirmed my suspicion that I could not publish these links...I could view the movie(s) with friends/family only if I am present. Totally fair and I will respect that!

The documentary movies are exceedingly well done...spectacular scenery...many pilgrim walkers interviewed. They brought back soooo...many memories of my two walks from Le Puy en Velay (France) to St. Jean Pied de Port (France) and then from there to Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

Once scene in particular was memorable for me...Abbaye Sainte-Foy in Conques France. The scene was a communal pilgrim meal in the large pilgrim accommodation residence. I recall that day vividly...during that meal I met Georges, Daniel, Yosh, Cyrille (had met a few days earlier). Great fun...and after walking alone for 45 days or so I was invited to join this group and we walked together for the better part of 3 weeks. Great memory!

A few key learnings (none of which should have been a surprise 🤣) in watching the 3 documentary films...

- Narrator speaks in Japanese...therefore no subtitles
- When someone speaks in English, French, Spanish or other there are subtitles but they are in Japanese

So...the documentaries are a little hard to follow at times...however that does not dim in the least my desire to be in the 2022 Japanese Camino Documentary! Given the number of pilgrim walkers in the films I think my chances of having an all expense paid trip to Japan for the initial screening are very, very, very low. 🥲 

However I think my chances of receiving a link (with password) to the final documentary are very high based on comments received! ☺️ My new contact mentioned that they would be in touch to obtain our permission IF we were in the final documentary. Well there is no IF in my mind so I promptly decided to get ahead of the game and gave my permission and Paulo’s to use any footage involving us.

It was mentioned to me that perhaps I had no right to provide Paulo’s acceptance...after all he is a lawyer and...well...I can’t really accept on his behalf 🤣. Ok so let’s call this a preliminary permission!

There are 3 possible scenes where Paulo and/or I could be in the film

1) Tineo - Camera crew filming Patricia and Japanese Pilgrim (he was in all 3 2020 documentaries) walking down the street. Cameras turned to me sitting in an outside patio while “Buen Camino’ was shouted to me.

Chances of being included - Rate as Medium

2) Sit down interview with Paulo and me - Maybe half hour in length answering various questions individually.

Chances of being included (in part only) - Rate as High

3) Paulo cresting the hill coming into Campiello with Patricia and Japanese Pilgrim - Essentially 3 Amigos arm in arm.

Chances of being included - Rate as a question as this scene is priceless

So I must just calmly wait...I will let you in on what I secretly hope will happen.

Scene 1) not used, 2) used but only when Paulo speaks and 3) used in documentary. In other words I am 100% shut out! If this happens I will have one of the best laughs ever and an amazing story to tell!!! It would be priceless...

2022 World Cup

You may be asking "why is he including this in his Camino Blog"? Well first because I can and secondly a number of Camino walking friends subscribed to this blog have teams participating.

- Georges (Via Podiensis), Pierre (Camino Primitivo) - Belgium
- Cyrille (Via Podiendis, part of Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre ) - France
- Marc (Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre) - Canada...oh Marc is my brother!
- Paulo (Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Primitivo) - Brazil

Now I should mention that I know almost nothing about World Cup soccer/football...however I can Google! 

My first real World Cup interest was after the 2014 Camino Frances walk with Marc, Cyrille (in part) and Paulo. The 2014 World Cup was held in Brazil and so they became my team. I remember being so excited preparing for the semi-final match Brazil against Germany...two powerful teams...two very different playing styles.

Well sorry to say Paulo but that 7-1 game was a disaster...can’t imagine how painful it would have been for you in Brazil! I have pulled for Brazil ever since...hard to believe their last World Cup victory was 2002!

The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar (a few shenanigans in the bidding process I understand) starting Nov 20, 2022. The Canadian men’s team has qualified...the only other time they did was 1986 when they lost 3 straight matches and did not score a goal!

Canada, as of the Oct 6,2022 FIFA rankings, was ranked 41st in the world. Only 5 teams of the 32 competing teams rank worse Cameroon 43, Ecuador 44, Qatar 50, Ghana 61 and Saudi Arabia 67.

Canada’s first game on Nov 23rd is against Belgium ranked 2nd?

So what’s the Ephiphany?

Canada will win against Belgium Nov 23rd and go on to WIN the 2022 World Cup! You heard it here first! So sorry Georges and Pierre 🥲for Nov 23rd!

I am aware of a few sporting “Miracles”...

- 1969 Miracle Mets - 1969 World Series where the Mets beat the Orioles in Game 5

- 1980 Miracle on Ice - 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid NY where the United States men’s hockey team beat the Soviet Union the reigning Gold champion in the semi-final and then went on to win Gold against Finland.

- 1980 Miracle on the Pitch - 1980 World Cup Soccer Final where England beat France...I guess England was an underdog then.

All of these will pale...not even come close to Canada men’s soccer team winning the 2022 World Cup therefore this will be known as..

- 2022 GOAT (Greatest of all Time) Miracle on the Pitch - Dec 18, 2022 Canada beats X Who will X be?

I am guessing looking at the Group Stages that the format follows a typical pattern Finalist on one side comes from Groups A - D and the finalist from the other side from Groups E - H.

If this is correct then Canada in Group F will meet Brazil in Group G in the Semi Final...sorry Paulo this is where Canada beats Brazil.

Then the 2022 World Cup Final will be between Canada and defending champion sorry Cyrille!

Quite confident this is the last blog for 2022 and it may be a while in 2023 before another post shows up...unless of course the Japanese Camino Documentary comes out!

Happy Holidays and wishing each of you a Happy New Year in 2023...never too early to say this!

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Final Wrap up Camino 2022

Back home...all is good! The spirit moved so this is a final wrap-up blog posting on the Camino 2022 walks. 

Keen observers will note that the title associated with the email picture now reads “Santiago de Compostela - Fourth time awaits!”. It took some digging around however I finally found within Mail Chimp how to change the title!

Reflecting on the 2022 Caminos I can only reiterate that there isn’t much that could have gone amazing experience! Having said that I also must admit to myself that on a least one day (Day 3 Camino San Salvador - Pola de la Tercia to Benduenos) I went right to the edge of my current abilities...good fortune was with me that day. 

The analysis below while crude clearly shows me why that particular day...from a simple numbers perspective...adding the difficult terrain...poor preparation from a food perspective...was very poorly planned on my excuses.

Walking the Camino Primitivo was very inspirational...Sylvie/Didier from France, Carmel/John from Ireland all in and around my age walking strongly...Simon from Germany and Pierre from Belgium both 70 also walking strongly and taking an extra day to complete the Camino Primitivo. That’s the challenge going forward...start scaling back the expectations gradually...and enjoy the benefits of this activity for hopefully many years!

Fourth time originally scheduled for 2026...the 4 year Olympic schedule devised by Paulo...however Paulo is now proposing a 14 day walk ending in Santiago de Compostela in 2024. He has likely figured out this old guy/Guy likely has limited shelf life...if life circumstances permit I will walk in 2024 for sure! ☺️.

Also a former work colleague and blog reader has approached me wondering if we could walk together. Hopefully the stars align to give this a go. The famous 315 kms Wainwright Coast to Coast walk in England would lend itself nicely to a 14 day walk...and I could even speak the local language of the area 🤣.

Final wrap-up covers 3 items...Japanese Film Documentary, Estimating Walking Time based on Elevation Gains/Losses, 2022 Camino September 2022 Pilgrim Statistics.

Japanese Film Documentary

Past blog postings have described this once in a lifetime opportunity. Sometimes one has to push a little bit harder to give oneself the best chance of here is a summary of my attempt.

In Tineo I thought I had a good chance of being in the Documentary...the Documentary crew walked by...Patricia yelled “Hola Buen Camino”...and the cameras focused on me! Paulo had his back to the cameras...too bad 🤣

Later that day a real problem developed...I hustled in to Campiello ahead of Paulo...waving to the Japanese crew as I entered the city. I waited...waited...waited... and finally Paulo crested the hill walking...almost arm in arm with Patricia (true strong pilgrim walker) and a documentary only pilgrim walker with the camera crew taking all kinds of shots. I was NOT a happy camper being upstaged by Paulo!

A short while later Paulo and I were interviewed for likely 30 minutes...peppered with questions. I think I held my own with the slick lawyer (Paulo) beside me...I definitely had an appearance advantage with the Tilley hat...not sure if the Clooney glasses were on or not...hope so.

That’s the last we saw of the Japanese Film crew...the Director left his card with contact information soooo...this morning I sent him an email...shown below.

Everything in my email is true...yes it did not need to be sent however I am looking for every possible way to be in the Documentary and frankly to differentiate myself from friend threw me under the bus in Campiello!

Paulo is a lawyer therefore leading an exciting life and is much younger than me...he doesn’t need the glory and he will have future chances to be in a Japanese Camino Documentary I am sure!

Now if I am invited to Tokyo for the premiere showing of the Documentary I will of course go however one major stumbling block...I absolutely abhor formality of any kind! I am not wearing a penguin suit (tuxedo) ever again...maybe I could wear a Japanese traditional kimono instead on opening night! ☺️.

So here is my email message...dreaming costs absolutely nothing!

"Dear Mr. Mimaki,

It was a real pleasure to meet you and your film crew, first in Tineo Spain, then in our sit down discussion in Campiello Spain while walking the Camino Primitivo. Paulo and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to exchange ideas on why walking the Camino de Santiago paths is such a meaningful experience. 

Fortune has smiled on me as I have visited Japan on 3 separate occasions given that two daughters each worked 3 years in your beautiful country. In March 2015 I walked the sacred Kumano Kodo pilgrimage path in the Kii mountains and received the Dual Pilgrim designation given to those who have walked the 2 recognized Unesco World Heritage pilgrimage routes being the Way of St. James in Spain and the Kumano Kodo in Japan. That was very special.

I note the first Camino de Santiago project (NHK BS8K) “Going on the Sacred Pilgrimage Route - Camino de Santiago 1,500 km” Episodes 1, 2, 3 aired March 8, 15, 22 2020. I would be most interested in viewing these episodes however am currently unable to access them. If at all possible receiving a link to these documentary episodes would be much appreciated.

Paulo and I wish you success with respect to your 2022 documentary film project and look forward to hearing from you when the film is released.

Best regards,

Guy Arbez

p.s. Please excuse the use of Google Translate for the Japanese version of this email


最初はティネオ スペインで、次にスペインのカンピエッロで、カミノ プリミティーボを歩きながらの座談会で、あなたとあなたの撮影クルーにお会いできて本当にうれしかったです。パウロと私は、なぜカミーノ デ サンティアゴの小道を歩くことがとても有意義な体験なのかについて意見を交換する機会を大いに楽しみました.

あなたの美しい国で2人の娘がそれぞれ3年間働いていたことを考えると、私は3回に分けて日本を訪れました. 2015 å¹´ 3 月、私は紀伊山地の神聖な熊野古道を歩き、ユネスコの世界遺産に登録されている 2 つの巡礼路 (スペインの聖ヤコブの道と日本の熊野古道) を歩いた人に与えられる二重巡礼者の指定を受けました。 .それはとても特別なことでした。

2020 å¹´ 3 月 8 日、15 日、22 日に放送された、最初のカミーノ デ サンティアゴ プロジェクト (NHK BS8K)「聖なる巡礼路を行く - カミーノ デ サンティアゴ 1,500 km」エピソード 1、2、3 に注目します。ただし、現在それらにアクセスできません。可能であれば、これらのドキュメンタリー エピソードへのリンクを受け取っていただければ幸いです。

パウロと私は、2022 年のドキュメンタリー映画プロジェクトの成功をお祈りしており、映画が公開されたときの連絡を楽しみにしています。



追伸このメールの日本語版は Google 翻訳を使用していることをお許しください"

Estimating Walking times based on Elevation Gains/Losses

An interesting exercise... no Actuaries, System Architects, IT Project Managers, Other IT professionals, Engineers, Company Presidents, Lawyers, Medical professionals, Consultants OR anyone with a professional designation of any kind was involved or consulted in this analysis.

Given I don’t fit any of the above criteria I felt totally at ease to give the analysis a go. Be forewarned the various adjustments described may make your head spin 🤣 the very least you will shake your head and wonder “What on earth is Guy doing? Why is he doing this? Does he not realize that there should be way better things to spend his time on?” 

Well...I can have fun doing many different things in life ...and this type of kludgy analysis and playing with numbers is simply one of these varied things. Producing analyses and numbers is pretty easy...a lot of experience with that. The key though is to ferret through and determine “what does this analysis mean?” and more importantly “what decisions/changes do I make based on this?” 

In researching this I came across the following approaches and in the end adjusted an approach to ensure it made sense to me.

Naismith’s rule is the starting point basis for most approaches developed for estimating walking times which adjust for elevation gains/losses. It was devised by William W. Naismith, a Scottish mountaineer in 1892!

- Allow one hour for every 5 kms walked, plus an additional hour for every 600 meters of elevation gained. No adjustment for elevations losses.

Scarf’s Adjustment

- Adjust the kms walked by adding (meters elevation gain/1000) x 8 and then calculating Estimated walking hours by Hrs. per kms on flat terrain

Aitken’s Adjustment

- Assumes walking 5 kms per hour on paths, tracks, roads and 4 kms on all other surfaces. Add an additional hour per 600 meters of elevation gain. So essentially Naismith’s original rule adjusted for terrain.

Langmuir’s Adjustment

- Assumes walking 5 kms per hour. Add 30 minutes per 300 meters of elevation gain. For elevation losses:

    - For a gentle decline (slopes between 5 and 12 degrees) subtract 10 minutes per 300 meters of elevation losses

    - For a steeper decline (slopes > 12 degrees) add 10 minutes per 300 meter of elevation losses.

Wild Walk Adjustment

- Assume whatever walking speed per hour on flat terrain makes sense for you. Add 1.5 hours per 1,000 meters of elevation gain. For elevation losses add .75 hours per 1,000 meters of elevation losses.

Sooo I tried them best as I could...and concluded that the Wild Walk Adjustment was the best one. Intuitively it also makes the most sense given elevation losses simply slow you down. I am confident that most mistakes and injuries result from losing certainly is where walking poles are essential for me. 

However I found the Wild Walk Adjustment did not fit my Actual results that well sooo...

Guy Arbez Wild Walk Adjustment

- Yes my own adjustment which is the following...

    - 5.5 kms per hour on flat terrain...a little higher than what I normally assume however realistic in limited testing.

    - For elevation gains add 65% of 1.5 hours per 1,000 meters or ~ .98 hours

    - For elevation losses add 75% of .75 hours per 1,000 meters or ~ .56 hours

Overall result

- Actual hours walked / Guy Arbez Wild Walk Adjustment hours were 97% so pretty good.

Ok...what does this mean 🤣. There are so many reasons why trying to estimate walking times is pretty dubious... how you feel, rain, type of trails/terrain etc. etc. Well I went one step further...based on the added estimated time for elevation gains/losses I determined an adjusted Kms per day. An example:

- 25 km day using 5 kms per hour on flat terrain..; it will take you 5 hours to walk

- Factoring in elevation gains/ losses using the factors above let’s say adds 2 hours to your expected day

- Now you have a 7 hour day and using the 5 kms per hour an adjusted walking time of 35 kms or 40% longer than originally planned for.

In the spreadsheet below the average kms per day over the 17 day Camino walks were 26.0 kms...the adjusted average kms per day factoring in elevation gains/losses were 31.5 kms or just over 21% more.

The most difficult day was surprise...surprise... Day 3 Camino San Salvador Pola de la Tercia to Benduenos which was 30.9 kms however 42.2 kms when adjusting for elevation gains/losses. This day ranked as the most difficult in this analysis however it was only the 4th most difficult ignoring elevation gains/losses.

Conclusion - while this type of analysis has many limitations it does provide a basis for decision making. In the future when I see days with adjusted elevation gains/losses in the 30 - 35+ km range that will be an indication of a tougher day...> 35 kms will be a red flag. Over time these criteria points will need to lowered as I move into my 90s and early100s walking 😀🤣

2022 Camino September Statistics

Final graphical presentation (like graphs as well...oh my this is so sad 😢 😔) with updated graphs from previous blog posting.

Overall...2022 will shatter all records as previously predicted.

- September 2002 totals at 371,000 pilgrim compostelas issued have already surpassed the previous total year 2019 high of 348,000

- Mujers are simply out walking Hombres in a very big way...53 % vs 47%...the trend line is really interesting

- > 60 pilgrim walkers now at highest % level at 19%...this will hit 20% by year end. Baby Boomers are healthier and willing to get out there and walk long distances.

- For all Camino Routes the Sep 2022 / Sep 2019 ratio is 124%

- For Camino Primitivo Route the Sep 2022 / Sep 2019 ratio is 134%

Quite a satisfying feeling to be part of this historic year!

That’s it for the foreseeable future...other things to do now...then well maybe a little walking planning would be fun 🙂 and we will see what if any actual plan develops.