Dear Old Friend,
So, you’re a Lazy. That’s okay. I am, too. In fact, the sparse information about the Camino de Santiago is really contradicting and confusing on the internet. But, just like me, you heard about the Camino and you’re dying to go. In fact you’ve already bought boots and a sea shell and a new pair of shades. Well, that’s great! I hope you have fun on your Camino and that it brings you all you are hoping for. But here’s the truth:
“How was your Camino?” It was incredible. It truly pushed me to my limits and the scenery was amazing. The weather couldn’t have been better and I loved the food.
“Was it scary being out there as a young woman?” No. For one, I had my two adult brothers and my father with me so I was always “safe” as you say, but the Camino was 200 miles of the nicest people on Planet Earth. Secondly, there were many women traveling alone, young and old, and they were having an incredible time. You go, girls!
“Would you ever do it again?” Look, I met many people who were on their third or fourth Camino and you know what? I am happy for them. I am actually astounded that they repeated this journey more than once. Some walk it again or they bike it or even take horses. As for me, no, I would not walk it again. This was a hard journey. It is not for people who prefer to be house cats more than 50% of their time. It is not for people who like to be clean all the time. It is not for people who want to sleep in their own room without the sounds of snoring men AND women nearby. This journey was the most difficult task I had ever begun. My feet hurt and I suffered injuries. I almost wanted to quit at one point and had my family not been with me, I do not think I would have walked the entire way. Oh, and there is the fact that I loved hiking through the mountains, but when we got out of the mountains and into the forests of Galicia, the terrain got monotonous and boring and busy. I, of course, kept it exciting because that is the person I am, but I don’t even think my elaborate imagination could do that again.
“What was the most important thing you brought with you?” The filtered water bottle. That saved us. We spent a very little amount of money (compared to hospital bills) and were able to drink any water any where. We of course tried to stay away from the signs that said “No Potable”, but when it came down to it, we saved money and time with those LifeStraw bottles.
I would love to write about Spain in this post card, but a 200 mile journey through scenes that quite literally took my breath away could never fit in one single post card. That is why I made a video. Oh, and don’t you remember? I’m a little lazy! The video is a whopping thirty minutes long making it seem like a film more than a video, but it answers a lot of questions that people don’t talk about on the Camino de Santiago Compostela. Until I figure out the audio on said video, I’ll give you the gist of the Camino below. Hopefully, it will help you if you ever decide to go or when you go! Always remember, “To find what works for you.” You are a unique person, which is why even if you try to do everything exactly as I did, your experience will be different. Until I release the video, Buen Camino.
So, here you go! My lazy guide to the Camino. Maybe one day I’ll write a book.
Don’t overdo it. Seriously. You can live without it! The long sleeve items were a little hot at times, but they saved me a lot of annoying pain that sunscreen brings me.
- Outfit one:
- Quick dry Sunscreen shirt from Columbia (long sleeve)
- Quick dry Pair of cut off pants or roll up pants from Columbia (hiking)
- Outfit two:
- Long sleeve cotton shirt (for cooler days)
- Athletic leggings either capri style or long
- Outfit three:
- Light shirt long or short sleeve
- Comfy shorts
- Rain poncho – full size
- Rain cover for backpack
- 3-4 pairs of underwear
- 10 pairs of socks (if you change your socks every time you rest, you prevent blisters and other pain)
- Tiny Comb for brushing hair
- Girl items if necessary (you know what I mean)
- First aid kid
- band aids in all sizes
- compedes in all sizes
- sewing kit with needles
- allergy medicine
- medical tape
- ankle brace
- Full-brimmed hat
- Small flashlight
- Phone/Charger/Outlet Converter/Headphones
- Small quick dry towel
- Handkerchiefs or tissues
- Water proof hiking shoes (tennis shoe or boot style)
- Contacts/Case/Glasses/Contact solution
- LIGHT sleeping bag or blanket
- Reusable bag for dirty clothes
- Small reusable bag to put clothes and shower items in (hang on the shower for easy access to stuff when showering)
- All in one utensil
- LifeStraw Water bottle
- Flip flops or sandals
- Lotion with aloe
- Shampoo/conditioner (don’t fall for the Lush shower bar – this made me still feel dirty at the end of the day)
- Money belt
- Get a walking stick there – it helps!
- Camino Guidebook
- Small notebook and pen for writing
It looks like a lot, but it is actually very little. I used everything on this list more than 10 times each. It was extremely helpful. I definitely could have had a lighter sleeping bag though. Also, Spain is very clean so the bed-bug spray was pointless. Just check your bed before laying down. Download podcasts and play them to help you fall asleep. Earplugs didn’t really help with the snoring- but the podcasts did. Put your feet up at the end of each day – or whenever you can. It helps SO much. Say “Buen Camino” to everyone. It helps. Don’t take too many photos. Look with your eyes. Enjoy the journey and don’t expect to have any life-changing thoughts. Expect to be physically tired and to embrace it. The best thing about this experience for me is that I was not mentally tired for once. I wasn’t worrying about school or work or bills. I was just thinking about how beautiful Spain is and that I would reach my destination one step at a time. Don’t worry- most people know English. Take cash. And as always, know where your towel is.
Your favorite traveling pilgrim