Week One Survived on the Camino de Santiago!

​Hola from Calzadilla De Los Hermanillo! We have officially finished week one on the Camino de Santiago. Go team!

At this point in our adventure I think we’ve worked out a pretty good routine. Of course we’re on the meseta right now which means long flat days of walking, things might change when we reach the mountains…

The meseta. Not a mountain in site. Also not in sight, shade.

But for now we’ve found what works. And we’ve all been very good about communicating when we need breaks, or doubts in the planned path, etc.  This is my first team adventure, and trekking with group is very different than when it’s just me and Anna.

The routine:

We wake up not-so-bright and early at around 5am to get our packs on and walking by 6 or 6:30.  Partly because we have been staying in albergues (Americans, think public hostels) and when the other peregrinos wake up and start getting ready, we all wake up and start getting ready.  People generally try and be as quiet as they can, but there’s only so little noise you can make when getting gear together in an open room with 50 other people. On the bright side, this means I never have to worry about setting my alarm!

Our albergue in Boadilla. (We chose the loft section)

Once we’re ready, we head out and start walking. This usually means before the sun is up and the heat hits. Which is the whole point of getting out early – to get as many miles in before the sun is up and baking.  Joanne and I do not do so well with the baking. Rebecca, I think, seems to come alive in the heat but she’s been very accomidating to her two New England bred companions.

After walking for a couple of hours we stop in a town and have breakfast. This usually includes either a croissant or a bocadillo (egg, potato, and sometimes cheese, on french bread), and always includes the precious cafe con leche. We sit and relax and eat for about an hour, then it’s back on the road. 

Our typical pilgrim breakfast

After breakfast we walk for a couple more hours, at least, and either take a break on the side of the trail in a bit of shade (if we can find any) or if we reach another town we’ll stop for a cold soda and maybe some fruit or snacks we’ve packed.  This break tends to be short – just a breather, then it’s back on the trail.

Sometimes we luck out and have both shade and picnic tables for our break.

Usually we plan it out so it’s just another couple of hours to our end destination. Which means we stroll into town around 2pm (or 14:00), which is plenty of time to make sure the local albergue still has enough beds open.  We drop our packs on our beds, shower, and relax until dinner time.

Then we sleep, wake up, and do it all over again. 

There are still a few quirks to work out – like how we tend to skip lunch and then curse ourselves later in the day when nothing is open and we have to wait until later to get dinner.  Minor stuff…

But honestly it’s going really well. We’ve all found our strides and every day we seem to be making better time and getting well into the groove of the Camino.  I think Joanne and Rebecca are nervous about the upcoming mountains, but I have complete confidence we’ll be fine. I might be singing a different tune by the end of next week, but we’ll see.

Buen Camino!