The Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular and famous pilgrimages in the world. It covers 500 miles across the Spanish countryside and leads through beautiful scenery and villages. However, there isn’t just one route. There are actually a number of networks that cross through Spain from all directions with one common goal – the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great, situated in Galicia in northwestern Spain.
The most popular route is called the Camino Frances, which runs from the French border and over the Pyrenees before descending into the green plains of Galicia. The other routes that are well-traveled include the Camino Portuguese, the Camino del Norte, the Via de la Plata and the Primitivo. This last one is actually the original route that pilgrims from medieval times took. It runs from much further north than the popular French route but covers the same roads once you reach the border. This is because Spain was controlled by the Moors at the time the pilgrimage was established.
Choose Your Route
To start with, you need to plan your route. Research the different options and decide on the one that best suits your fitness and hiking levels, as well as the exact time you want to go. You should also consider if you would prefer to be on the busier routes or go for the more solitary, quiet experience. You can also look at the type of scenery you’ll experience as a motivator for which route you want to take.
There are many, many routes and they can take you over mountains, through forests, past towns and cities, and along the coast lines. It’s up to you to pick which type of path you would prefer and how the length of that path will impact your training.
Make Sure You Train
There are a number of Camino trail options that don’t require you to be advanced hikers or serious outdoor fundis. However, the shortest distance required to get a finisher’s certificate is over 62 miles (100km). This means that you need to be fit enough to cover a minimum of 13 miles each day for five days in a row. That could mean a lot of blisters and a very tired body – even with suitable training.
Start off with training in the shoes you mean to do the Camino in. You want these to be nicely broken in and comfortable before you start with the longer distances. Once you’re fairly fit, it’s time to start training with your backpack too.
Pack Suitable Gear
The most important gear you’ll take with you are your shoes and your backpack. These need to be tough, up to the daily challenge and comfortable to wear every day. It’s definitely worth investing in a good pair of shoes for hiking and a proper hiking backpack to carry everything in, even if you use your winnings the best eSports bets to do so.
When it comes to clothes, make sure you bring lightweight gear that can dry quickly. At most you’re want three changes – one you’re wearing, one that’s clean and dry, and one you cleaned from yesterday.