saturday 26 april. This is the story of my pilgrimage in the spring of 2008!
Pilgrimage april - May 2008
Actually I started hiking in 1999 when I was working on a project in Galicia, about 30 km north of Santiago de Compostela. Here I came in contact with people who were very interested in the pilgrimage, "El camino de Santiago de Compostela". I bought a guide named "the road to Santiago". I was curious what this was about. I thought it might be interesting to examine the walk. But there where new projects going on and I never got the time. I almost forgot this trip.
However, in August 2007, a friend from the flying club in trollhattan, Lennart Svensson, asked if I wanted to fly with him to Spain in a MFI 9 (airplane) and walk the last 112 km from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
He had read Agneta Sjodin's book "A woman's journey" about her experiences from the "El Camino de Santiago de Compostela".
I thought it sounded interesting and said yes. I then looked up the guide from 1999.
I contacted the flying club in Lugo, where I was a member from 1998 to late 2001 and asked if we could place the airplane in their hangar for four to five days. This was not a problem and in the end of August we flew to Lugo via stopovers in Denmark, Holland, France and San Sebastian in Spain.
We took the bus to Sarria, found a hostel and bought a 'pilgrim passport' each.
We walked about 30 km per day for 3 days and about 20 km last day. So it took us only four days. We got our "diplomas" and flew home. This hike and the flight is another story.
I got a taste for a long walk and decided that I wanted to walk the entire route the following year. I asked Lennart if he wanted to go with me but he refrained. He told me that he had problems with his knees.
I am, although I'm retired, very busy with my clubs. Orienteering Club Alehof OK, Trollhattan Flying Club, Air Corps Volunteers, fire flight and Gothenburg Veteranflights society. I therefore had to plan my walking very carefully. I decided that last week of April next year was the best start time.
Week 22, we got a call for the forest fire flight, so I wanted to be home the weekend of May 24 to 25, if possible. Forest fire flight is something I am engaged in and we are helping the firemen with guarding the forest for fires.
I bought a ticket to Toulouse, the nearest place I could fly to as travel agents, via Brussels. Today, I know that Ryan Air flies to Biarritz via Stanstead. My backpack weighed 8 kg and in my spring-balance, approximately 10% of my bodyweight. Then my full weight was 80 kg.
I was wondering some different things about this strange journey. Why do so many people walk 770 kilometers on narrow and difficult than when there are cars, airplanes and trains?
Is it for religious reasons?
Is it to test themselves to physical and mental?
Is it the desire of adventure?
For me the adventure was the motivation. I was sure that my physical and mental fitness was sufficient.
People warned me and said that it was possible to walk 25 km a day with 8-10 kg on their backs, two days and maybe a third day, but then it's over.
My experience showed that my health got better and better. On April 30, in Los Arcos, I got a bit sore in my calves. I bought an ointment at a pharmacy which I rubbed on a couple of times and this made the pain disappeared. On 2 May, I was a bit sore right knee. I had knee pads with me as I took on and the pain disappeared after a few hours. I learned to not hold back with your knees in the descents.
I had no more problems at the walk, apart from a bit sunburned calves.
For some time I had contact with a lady from home, Britt Tipsis, asking about my experience of pilgrimage. She planned to go together with friends, from Sarria to Santiago starting May 15
I planned to implement the hike of about 30 days so it was a possibility that we would meet in Santiago.
I learned of this journey what equipment to use. Please look here>>>
Even how to plan walking to get a sleep the next day. It is essential that you are by the hostel before 15:00 otherwise it is full. Walking speed varies. In flat land about 5 km / hour and in mountainous terrain 2-3 km / hour. As hiker, you can never be sure of the weather and this could force you to seek shelter earlier. It is not known with certainty where and when you get breakfast or lunch. You must select a shelter for "reserve" which you can reach within an hour. Because if you get to a full hostel it is sometimes up to a four hours walk to the next shelter. This will say that after lunch, 12:30 to 13:00, you've got between 5 and 10 km to find a shelter.
The trip began at Orrison. But first I had to reach Bayonne >>>