Blatant sales pitch

As some of you may know, in a fit of optimism I had a bunch of Old Guy Walking shirts and hats made up prior to leaving for Europe. I brought a few of them with me, and would like to see if I can find homes for these items before I head for California. I know that there are a lot of “Old Guys” that I met on my walk, and even if you aren’t an Old Guy, you probably know someone who you would like to see walk more. This could really be the thing that gets them moving. See photos and drawings below.

So, here’s what I propose for all shipments to an address in Europe before I fly home on 18 Nov:

€18 for a short sleeve T-shirt or a hat

€25 for a long sleeve T-shirt

€5 for shipping for any number of items.

For anyone in the US:

$20 for a short sleeve T or a hat

$25 for a long sleeve T

$5 for shipping any number of items to an address in North America. Once I get home all shipments  overseas will have to have a $15 shipping charge. I’m sorry, but that’s what it costs me.

So, if you want to order, send me an email at either albreese@aol.com orallan@oldguyswalking.com with the sizes and colors you want, and an address to send them to. I will send you a link to put funds in my paypal account, and when the money comes through I’ll ship them off.

Sorry for the convoluted process. I hope you like the shirts and hats.The shirts come in light blue or tan, S M L XL and XXL. The hats are only in tan. Those of you in Europe can save $10 by ordering this week.





 

Reflections Statistics and Exhortations

So, now my very long walk is over and I can start to look back and assess what took place. Right now I’m vacationing in Barcelona with Shelly, Sarah and Ron, so not much time to write, but I want to record a few things before my memory gets hazy. 

 

It’s my belief that most of the changes and effects of my walk are internal, but there are some things which can be measured. I recorded weekly statistics on this blog, which was at least interesting to me. When they are combined together the results are a little startling….even to me:

Steps: 

France 1,206,000

Spain   1,181,000

Total.    2,387,000

 

Miles: 

France  685

Spain    558

Total.    1243

 

Floors of stairs climbed (estimated 10’/floor)

France  4617

Spain    4316

Total.     8933

 

These totals were accumulated during 68 days of walking from Le Puy en Velay to St. Jean Pied de Port and then Santiago. They don’t count the walk from Finnester to Muxia, and don’t count my 2 days off. 

 

So, I averaged more than 35,000 steps a day, 18.3 miles a day, and 131 floors (1310 feet) of climbing a day. These were all recorded on my Fitbit. The miles are probably a little high but I think the rest of the readings are pretty accurate.

 

I’m posting this not so much to show off how wonderful I am (well maybe a little) but to demonstrate what an ordinary guy in his late 60s is capable of. I met guys older than me who were walking this much and more, so I am not by any means unique.

 

Almost everyone I know owns a smartphone which they carry around with them. I am asking that all of you who read this take a look at your step and distance totals every day for awhile, and think about the amount of walking that YOU are capable of….and what it might mean to your life and well-being to do a little more. It’s not necessary to walk 18 miles (27 km) or 35000 steps a day, but if it were possible to work yourself up to 4500 steps or 4 miles (6 km) a day your life could change for the better in ways you can only imagine.

 

It’s my intention to devote future posts and the book I am working on to show a path that’s possible for almost everyone reading this to achieve this level of walking and even more. I already know several people (old guys and women of no particular age) who have increased their walking and started to see improvements in fitness, attitude and hopefully health. It doesn’t matter so much what level you are at now, as long as you can still walk and your doctor says it’s okay, and (this is most important) you are willing to keep trying every day…I believe you will be amazed at what you can do.

 

 

Muxia

 

After an unsuccessful day of chasing down my bag of civilian clothes which was late for delivery, I’m now on a train from Santiago to Barcelona. It’s an all day ride from 8:30 to 9:30 at night. Not much chance to photograph, but I’m going back through many of the towns and cities I walked through and it’s bringing back memories of the sights, sounds and smells I encountered.

Muxia was a pretty big deal for me. I got really lucky with the weather and had no rain, and very few clouds during my stay. 

I’d been planning for several days to do a consciousness walk where I was to take an hour to walk 50 meters. I chose a stretch of rocks leading from the monestary to the ocean. I noticed the wind and the salt spray, the transition from smooth to rough rocks, and the way a path always seemed to open up for me. Just watching and listening to the waves breaking was mesmerizing, and I ended up the hour as close as I dared to the ocean where I symbolically scattered the ashes of my former life on the water. To some people my current and future life will look a lot like the old one, but I will know the difference. I’ve had a life of some significant achievements but nothing tops the sheer everyday effort it’s taken to walk this Camino. 

 

The town was filled with people like me who were ending their journeys and wondering what their lives would be like after walking.i don’t have all the answers yet, but perhaps they will still come from staring out to sea.

The day ended with a great pink sunset. I thought I might see a green flash, but had to settle for the sun melting into the ocean. During my years at sea I was privileged to see many hundreds of amazing sunsets and sunrises. It meant a lot to me to see another one at the end of this journey. 

Thank you to all of you who have followed this journey. 

 

 











Finnesterre to Muxia

I immediately fell asleep as the bus took me towards Finnesterre. Pretty country but nothing special until we arrived at the coast and my first glimpse of boats and even a small ship on the most beautiful clear and crisp autumn day. The great weather continued for my 2 days on the Costa Del Muerte. 

 

In spite of very poor signs I walked first to Cabo Finnesterre, the fabled end of the earth. I had wondered about this but when you are out there it’s like being on the bow of a ship at sea. Nothing else in sight but the open ocean. 

 

After walking back to the fishing/tourist town of Finnesterre I managed to put myself on the way for the 31 Km’s to Muxia. About halfway there I came upon a donativo place. No one was there to serve coffee so I called out. 3 guys I can only describe as old and aging hippies came out and  insisted that I come inside for a little food and drink. About an hour later I staggered out after having consumed beer, fries, half raw hamburger, and heard 3 life stories in Spanish. It’s all part of the day during a Camino in this remote part of the country. 

 

I met 2 Spanish peregrinos I have known for several weeks going the opposite way on the trail. Adios Victorino from the Canary Islands. Among other meetings were 3 French men I met separately who each told me they also started in Le Puy. Two of them hugged me when they found out where I started. They were nice moments and neither one kissed me for which I was thankful. 

 

Gallegos is a different language than traditional Spanish, and sounds a little like Portuguese. There is a separatist movement here as in the Basque region. All these regions making up t a  bit complicated but seems to work for the Spanish

 

The markings for the way were often not where they should have been, but I managed to find my way to Muxia. Not as much coast walking as I would have liked, but I did see a newly born calf struggle to its feet and meet its mom. My shin splints acted up again, so I guess I pushed myself a bit farther than I should have. I carried my regular backpack, and although it’s a lot lighter than it was, I felt the difference in various parts of my anatomy. Still, I have arrived (finally) at the end of this long Camino. An amazing journey that I’m just now beginning to comprehend. 

Because Muxia is such a special place, I’ll write a separate piece on it.