I love planning my next walk! There is such joy in poring over maps and other planning websites (I regularly use https://www.gronze.com/ and http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos and https://godesalco.com/plan) and I love reading other camino blogs and finding slideshows on youtube; it’s a wonderful part of the process. It can though also be a little stressful as I get so tied up trying to decide which route. Will I have time? Can I get there and back? What will the weather be like? Will there be open albergues? Questions, Questions, Questions!
Last year Gerry decided he wanted to walk the Camino Del Norte for his special birthday treat… YEAH!! I was hoping that I could maybe extend that trip with a couple of extra weeks to walk the Primitivo; mid October feels like the perfect time to walk that route. However, life has a way of getting in the way of even the very best laid plans. Work means that those extra couple of weeks was just too long but we still have nearly four weeks on the Norte so I’m happy.
But… well… a little window opened in April. A concert date was changed and I had two weeks with nothing booked… then another date changed and I had three weeks. I’ve been watching this little window and wishing and hoping and I’ve decided that with less than a month to go it was time to take action. I can leave home on the 16th of April and have to be back for the 9th of May.
- I looked at the Madrid/San Salvador option but his nibs felt he didn’t want me walking totally alone and this really is an isolated path (which is also currently snowed in).
- I looked longingly at the Primitivo but everything I read suggests that April is normally the rainy season and the path in the mountains often turns to mud. I know the weather is always changing but I just feel that maybe it’s not the right time? And I have in the back of my mind a desire to follow in Magwood’s footsteps and walk the Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo combo.
- I totally love the Via de la Plata and I could just about squeeze in Seville to Salamanca but it would be tight on time and I’ve just been in Seville and as much as I dream of walking that path again in Spring I don’t want to have to rush it and spoil the joy… and the flights in and out of Seville didn’t work so well for me which would cost me two additional travel days.
- The Levante…. not enough time
- The Ingles… too short
And so it goes, checking each route, mapping timescales, finding transport options. Added to this list of wants, wishes and needs was also the needs of my lovely walking partner from the Porto. She wants to walk again but doesn’t have as much time so we needed to find a way to easily meet up en route.
Crikey am I the only one who goes through this process?
Anyway a decision was made! I have bought my train ticket; home to Bordeaux to Hendaye, to Irun, to Burgos! I’ve booked a room opposite the cathedral in Burgos for the 16th April and I plan to step out onto the Camino Frances the next morning. It’s almost four years since I walked this section and I’ve never seen the Meseta in spring… it feels like a good choice.
If she can, Jaqui will join me in Leon and we can walk for two weeks together into Santiago… and the walk from Leon is beautiful so that is perfect for us both!
I’ve booked a bed in Santiago for the 7th May (actually I’ve booked two beds but one can be cancelled) and I’ve booked my train ticket back to Irun for the 8th May… in short (or not so short) I have a plan!