We embark on this adventure…walking from Porto, Portugal, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain…in less than 2 months. Many people have asked us about how we planned for this adventure. The short answer…not much. We have read several guidebooks and books related to life after the Camino, read hundreds of blog posts, watched hours of YouTube videos, and even joined the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC). We have made many trips to REI to purchase backpacks, shoes, socks, and everything else we need. But other than our first few nights in Porto and our last night at the airport before a very early flight back to the US, we have not planned at all.
The purists believe that one should walk the Camino with no planning. Simply carry only what you need and put one foot in front of the other until you arrive at your destination. Wherever that is. No reservations. No expectations. They live by the motto “The Camino will provide.” Others feel the need to plan every day, every hour. They make reservations at the albergues and hire companies to transport their backpacks.
We will walk each day with not specific goal, but hope to log about 20 km each day. We say hope to because if the weather is bad, we will stay in a town and call it a rest day. If we happen upon a village that is celebrating a festival, we will stay an extra night and join in. Along the way, will will carry about 2 liters of water each and a few snacks, but other than that, we will rely on the Camino to provide stops for meals during the day and a bed at night.
For most of us, our lives have been planned. Either my our families, our personal expectations, or our employers. This will be the first time that we will experience life unplanned. We will only need to walk, eat, rest, repeat. Along the way we will meet others doing the same. We will actually have the liberty to truly embrace life…not just exist within it. The Camino will provide all we need. Buen Camino