Leaving on a jet plane

Okay, what are we doing?   We're so nervous about this whole thing.  I mean -- walking 500 miles? Really? At our ages? Are we crazy?
Dick and I have been "practice" walking for this trek for the past 2 months. I already have blisters on my feet and Dick has bruises on his torso (not from me!).  We have to carry all of our own gear and our backpacks are soooooo heavy that I walk bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame while Dick walks behind me huffing and puffing all the way. Because we'll be staying in hostels and eating in restaurants all we need to carry is our personal stuff. But by the time we put in bare essentials -- one change of clothes (yes, only one!), shoes, rain gear, jacket, sleeping bag, toiletries, first aid kit, water bottles, camera, iPad and iPhone it all comes out weighing 18 to 20 pounds.  And I'm even leaving my blow dryer and curling iron at home!
Why are we even doing this? What is the draw? I'm not quite sure I know why, but years ago after reading Shirley Maclaine's book about her walk on the Camino de Santiago I was drawn, I was summoned, it was something I knew I had to do someday. Years went by and then out of the blue our good friends Joanne and Tim Joseph mentioned the Camino and that they were going to a screening about it. I got so excited that I couldn't stand it. It reignited a spark in me -- a new desire to do it.  We all went to the screening of the woman who had walked the Camino Santiago and had one problem after another, but in the end found it to be a fulfilling and life changing experience. After reading lots more books about people who had walked the Camino I was hooked. Dick, on the other hand was not. He didn't want to do it and thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I told him I could walk it alone but he said that if I was going to do it so was he.  Then he immediately went out and started buying very expensive equipment -- backpack, trekking poles, sleeping bag, blister plasters, water bottles and anything else you could think of. That was nearly two years ago and we had no plans as to when or "if" we were really going to do this 500 mile trek. But his backpack was packed! He was ready -- 2 years too soon.

Tomorrow is D-Day. Now that it has come right down to it we are both very nervous and having our doubts.  We're not sure we can really do this -- walking every day for 6 weeks, on flat land and over mountains, fighting the elements of freezing temperatures, hot piercing sun and lots of rain.  But if we don't do this I'll regret never having tried.  And another reason is that our beloved daughter-in-law, Tracy, said that if we don't finish this trek she'll never let us live it down.  So in the morning we're going to LAX to try to get on a plane to Madrid in hopes they have seats for us, as we're flying standby.  Then when we get to Madrid we hope we can get tickets on a train that will take us to Pamplona.  Then we hope to get tickets on a bus that will take us to St. Jean Pied de Port, France, for the start of the trek.  Oh, did I mention we don't have any reservations?  Looks like we're off to another adventure...

17 thoughts on “Leaving on a jet plane”

  1. Dick and Karen, I am so very proud of both of you! I will be anxiously waiting to read each update along the way. If anyone can do this, you can. HAPPY TRAILS and BON CAMINO!

  2. One day at a time! Looking forward to reading about it and seeing your photos. BTW, forget what Tracy said. If you need to stop or need help, I will put Gary on a plane have him hire a Uber Taxi and come pick you guys up! AND you know I would do it. If I can get out of Myanmar in a few hours I can get him to France or Spain! lol! Seriously, have a great time.


  3. Wow. If you don’t finish, I’ll let you live it down. It’s not the destination, but the journey.

  4. OH MY! I am envious. That sounds like such an adventure and after reading “Wild”, I have wanted to do a long distance hike as well. I will have to get Shirley M’s book and get hooked. I’m proud of you to stay in hostels and no curling iron – you go girl!

  5. After reading about all of the various ways to do this trek that seem safer and easier on you, like having lodging ahead of time, and meals prepared for you, and guides who know what they’re doing, I am worried that you are taking on so much in addition to the walking! You scare me, so I’m really happy that you’ll be writing a blog so that I know precisely what to worry about day by day! Also, if you want to quit any time, unlike Tracy, I’ll say FINE, you did it YOUR way!

  6. Wow, the fun never ends for you two! We have some friends who did that trek about a year and a half ago. They really enjoyed it and want to do it again. They only walked 100 miles, which sounds tough enough…can’t even imagine 500! They also had a van traveling with their group to carry their packs, which sounds like a real vacation compared to what you’re doing.

    Take care and have fun…we’ll definitely be keeping up with you on this blog. (P.S. Don’t forget the Lavoris….you’ll need it 🙂

  7. Vaya con Dios!
    We will be thinking about you walking Spain while we “drive ” around Ireland!
    Keeping you in our prayers.

  8. WOW! I am so impressed and in awe of you both. That is something that I would like to do someday after we retire. Your son is right, it’s not about the destination but enjoying your journey along the way! What memories you are making! I’m anxious to read posts…..

  9. Go Go Go. You are living my dream one season ahead of me. I burst with pride at your efforts so far. God bless you and keep you safe.
    We will follow along with you on the blog and please know that you will be helping me with your stories when my time comes.
    I have read all I could find…even spent some days in Santiago during a med evac flight I made there when I was a flight nurse. I hope to return soon after the long walk.
    Best wishes…we pray for your strength and perseverance. Cheers, Debby and Bill

  10. Jan passed on your link … it is a little secret of mine that I, too, would like to walk the Camino some day. I have some friends who did it a couple of years ago. One of them started prior, but had to stop because of some problems, but then went back to finish the rest. All I can say is — good for you! And if you don’t make it all the way, the part that you do will be worth it I’m sure. Good luck!

  11. Hey Guys!

    This sounds like quite an adventure! I hope that you have a great time, and respond to every comment! There are only 16 comments so far. I get that many emails every 5 minutes!

    We love you guys! Hunter, Blake, Tracy, and I are reading every day!


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