When planning to walk the Camino you will undoubtedly be told though many sources the Route Frances can be done in 32 stages. (One stage = one day) Although this is fundamentally true I would like to suggest the time frame will be a complete injustice to yourself and this wonderful country. By burning through the Camino you will not really experience this wonderful part of Spain. If time is short I suggest 6 weeks is much more appropriate. The longer better.
This is where my dilemma exists. I took the 32 days at face value, now to discover this is not sufficient time for me to complete full Camino Frances. Physically I am capable of completing any challenge in front of me, but the amount time remaining appears to be insufficient. My flight leaves Santiago de Compostella on the 24th of October. My walking schedule requires more days more than this. Blame staying at Orisson, blame staying at Burgos, ultimately I wouldn’t change a thing. Both events were indivisible from the trip.
But I am torn….. How to make up these days?
Changing my flights is not an option, this is clear. I have decided to walk as far as I can and bus to Sarria when I have 6 days remaining. I will be able to complete the required stage(s) and receive my compostella, despite skipping 40 or so kilometres.
This makes the most sense….except for Bene, who I have been with from day one, is not willing or wanting to take the bus. She wants to complete the Camino in it’s entirety. Susan is more flexible in this situation as her ticket home coincides closely with mine.
I have yet to commit to a plan at this point in time…… but it appears to be obvious what I must do.
Our day begins at 7:00 am, and we are moving slowly. Our breakfast provided by the Albergue and is as meger as is possible to be, and we hit the road by 7:30. It is more than an hour before sunrise and our route today takes us beside a river for a third of the day.
The mornings are increasingly cool and the layers are hard to judge. Mark makes no attempt to accommodate the cold. He simply wears his shirt and shorts as he always does. I on the other hand being of hearty Canadian stock, and infinitely more experienced with cold temperatues, am wearing virtually everything I own. Crazy Aussi….
The day is absolutely clear but a cool breeze continues to chill the day. When walking the shade I definitely need a sweater, but the sunshine I am starting to sweat. This, it seems to me, is a great way to catch a cold.
We stop twice during the day and are joined by Ian and Nick. Ian is making wonderful time, despite the incredibly poor condition of his feet. On our later break Pete, Kate, Tom, and Patrick (more Australians) round out our group.
Something quite odd has occurred to me on the Camino. I have developed magnetic feet. Despite wearing thick Merino wool socks and high Solomon walking boots small stones get into my boots. I have to stop every hour or so to empty my boots of these tiny irritants. This puts me behind the “Family” and I find myself walking alone for quite a bit of the day. I finally break out my music and enjoy the solitude. I don’t enjoy this more than the company of others on the trail, it is simply another way to enjoy the Way.
The destination today is a Monastery run by Nuns……. let’s talk rustic beauty… let’s talk “primitivo”…. let’s talk toilet,sink, and shower in the same 3′ by 5′ space……
Let’s talk no Wi-Fi……….how will I make it?