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 better...an 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 part...no 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 success...so 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 Paulo...my 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,
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 🤣 ...at 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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 all...as 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 elevation...it 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
- 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.