As I sit here in Terradillos de Los Templarios, I still am in awe that we are living this life. Although it is temporary, it feels right, like this is where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. It is a sweet feeling.
In part 1, I mostly focused on the routines and structure of this life we’re living and enjoying. However, there are many other parts of this life that I’d like to address based on the questions I’ve been asked by family and friends. I’ll do my best to address these main ones.
Where is your luggage? Jim, Annie and I decided we did not want to carry our belongings with us. We really dreaded the idea of walking 13 to 17 miles per day with a pack that would weigh between 13 to 18 pounds on our backs. To avoid doing this, we chose the option for our Camino travel agency to transport our luggage from town to town. It was an extra charge of course, but I can honestly say it was the best decision we made for this trip. We’ve had countless number of people compliment us on our choice of pack and say we were smart to only carry that. We agree wholeheartedly with them!
Are you staying in Albergues? No, another wise decision on our part given what we need to get a good night’s rest. The company we contracted with, Pilgrim.es, gave us a choice of staying in an albergue, rural inn, or hotel for each location. We decided to only stay in rural inns while in towns and hotels in large cities. It’s worked out beautifully! Some people staying in albergues that we’ve spoken to have said they wish they had not made that choice. They state two reasons: 1. You have to get to the albergue as soon as possible to get a bed. 2. The snoring and other bodily noises are making them sleep deprived. Again, we are very happy not to deal with any of that.
Where do you wash your clothes? Most of the places we’ve stayed at have a laundry service. We have chosen to go to laundromats, and we only do it when we have a rest day which is every 4 days. The cost has been somewhere between 7 to 10 euros total for both washing and drying. The washing machines already have built in soap; however, I brought Tide pods from home and use those each time. The clothes come out smelling fresh and clean. We love laundry day!
Are there many insects on the trail? The simple answer is yes, but it’s only one type of insect…FLIES!!!! They’re not big; however, they are very annoying. First, there are so many of them. We spend half our time just shooing them away. Second, they stick to you like white on rice. They will not move unless you smack them away. And they keep coming back! As I said, very annoying. However, we have not encountered any bees or mosquitoes while walking on the trail. Bees are only around if we are eating.
Are you with a tour group? How do you know how to get where you are going?
We are not part of a tour group. The 3 of us are only accountable to ourselves. The Camino has been very well marked with all sorts of markers on the ground, on walls of buildings and on posters. Therefore, we look for these markers to help guide our way to Santiago. In addition, there is an app named Camino Ninja which has come in handy for places where the markers are few or just to get us from our overnight place back on the trail. If none of the above work, there’s always a Peregrino around willing to help.
What do you like about the Camino? What don’t you like? We are enjoying meeting all the people we’ve met on the Camino. Different ages, from varying countries, and doing the Camino for different reasons. They have all been a joy and some will be lifelong friends. We are also enjoying visiting all the hamlets, towns and cities on this beautiful path. Some are small, some are large and some are just right. All have something special to offer. The flies really have been the most annoying part of the trip. They’re on the Camino, mostly since Burgos, but they also are around when you eat. And yet, we still manage to enjoy our food, our chats with new friends and the delicious food. The flies are not going to diminish our joy!
There are probably many more questions that out there that I have not answered. We ourselves still have questions. The Camino will provide us with the answer, of that, we are certain.