I just received a message from Jose in Mexico today. He and his wife are planning to start a Camino walk in St. Jean in April. I thought his questions, and my responses might be of interest to others.
Hello, your FB was sent to me by my wife. We are planning on going to do the Walk from St. jean PdP to Santiago, come mid April. We have been training steadily but just in Walking, mo rough terrain.
A week ago, I had a fall /%/%$$#//=… my speed was 7 km /hr and fell on my shoulder and hurt my face and shoulder arm… I went to a sports doc who checked me out and after verifying that all was ok, he just recommended I slow to 5.5 km /hr. Am still a bit weary of falling but continue with the spirit.
How tough really is the CDS?
Would y have a shirt mage for the ladies “Old gal walking”, and have you thought of getting a TM… and possibly start a brand name?
We live in San carlos, Sonora, Mexico. Eastern side of the Gulf of California.
I replied as follows:
1) 7km/hr is quite fast. I have seen some younger guys walking that fast, but not too many my age. I think slowing down a bit is a good idea. I usually walk between 5-6 km/hr. I can be comfortable doing this all day, and I think I see more as I walk.
2) A lot of the Camino is not too tough, but it is uneven terrain, and there are some quite steep places. One of the most difficult downhills is at the end of a very long first day with 5000 feet uphill. The downhill into Roncesvalles takes a lot of focus and strength. You might want to go back and look at a photo I posted that day. There are a few other tough places. When you come to them don’t worry about speed, only safety.
3) I recommend walking some hilly trails once or twice a week if you can do it. Also, please do a lot of your training walks with a pack on your back which weighs as much as you plan for your Camino. I didn’t, and I regretted it. I also strongly recommend using a walking staff or sticks on the Camino and while training on hiking trails.
4) April weather in the Pyrenees mountains can be changeable. Pay attention to the locals in St Jean. Better to lose a day than get stuck in the snow. You will likely get a lot of rain in that season but after the first day it’s not too hazardous.
5) I still have a lot of shirts left for Old Guys, but nothing yet for women of a certain age.
Good luck and Buen Camino. I hope you and your wife get as much joy as I did. If you can walk at 7 km, you should be able to do it, but be sure to stop and smell the roses now and then.
Sent from my iPad