A short look back on my Camino de Santiago journey

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A year ago tomorrow I began the most gruelling, yet immensely satisfying, journey of my life. I set off from my home in Buchholz in der Nordheide Germany, to fly to France to walk the Camino de Santiago.

Ostensibly the point of the walk was to find myself, to seek out something that had been missing in me for a long time. But it was also about trying to make a decision about what I was doing and my relationship with my wife.

I kinda failed at the latter point. I found while walking that often my brain zoned out and I wasn’t thinking about what I should have been. I did however find something that (mostly) made me feel good.

My original intention was to take time along the way to stop for an extra day here and there to see places that I was walking through, but it never really happened. I kind of regret that, although the point of the walk was not to be a tourist.

I had fully intended to go back on the Camino this year (2020), but the unthinkable happened and the world entered a state of lock down that for now has no end in sight. The intention was to walk (mostly) different routes this time, because there are a heck of a lot of them.

I didn’t want to end when I did, I wasn’t ready to back and quite honestly, I’m still not ready to.

Some Stats, Dates, and Figures

  • I walked 2 camino’s. The Camino Frances & Camino Portuguese (Porto; More Costal Route + Espiritual Variente)
  • I flew from Hamburg to France on the 28th of May 2019
  • I started the Camino de Santiago, leaving Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the 31st of May 2019
  • I finished the Camino on the 8th July 2019, when I arrived in Santiago de Compostela
  • I left the next day for Finisterre
  • I arrived in Finisterre on the 11th of July 2019
  • I start the Camino Portuguese on the 18th July 2019
  • I arrived in Santiago de Compostela on the 31st of July 2019
  • I flew back to Hamburg from Porto on the 6th of August 2019 (walking 14km to the airport from Porto)

  • I took 3 rest days (3rd, 8th and 23rd of June). The first 2 where not because I actually needed to rest, but because I had the wrong shoes and they where messing my feet up. (which gave me a couple of nasty blisters)
  • I bought a new pair of shoes on the evening of the 7th of June, which I then used the rest of the way.
  • I sent roughly 2kg of stuff home on the 8th of June, stuff I thought I needed but didn’t

Originally I was track my steps / distances using a Fitbit HR and my iPhone 6S. However because of issues charging the HR (connector area broke), I gave up using it on July 6th.

In total I walked at least 1643km. This was a combination of the daily Camino walks, plus any extra after I arrived at my destination.

Section Stage Distance Walked Total walked that stage
Camino Frances 793.04km 972.3km
Santiago to Finisterre 96.16km 105.9km
Camino Portuguese 299.14km 402.9km
Totals: 1,188.34km 1,481.1km

The remaining 160km was days walking around Finisterre, Muxia, Santiago and Porto.

Photos

Over the next little while I am going to post photos from my journey, more than I did at the time on Instagram (which had a limit of 10 per post).

I’ll try and add context to them, and a bit about where they where taken.

Anyway, enough for now. I intend, body willing, to locally repeat the Camino distances over the next 2 months.

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