… or how an average day on the Camino looks like.
Basically you get up , get your gear ready (and try not to wake everyone else) and start walking.
Check out the route for the day and plan how far you’ll go. Have a breakfast at the next village or improvised picnic when you feel like it. Take frequent breaks and air your feet as you go.
For me lunch was usually a combination of sandwich/fruit/energy bars. When you reach the albergue for the day, most will require you to leave your boots/shoes and poles in the lobby storage. Sandals are mostly used for walking in the albergue and around the town.
After you register at the albergue, shower – laundry (allow the time for it to dry) usually comes first followed by rest. Some albergues have a washing machine and dryer that you can use at extra charge.
Main meal of the day – menu peregrino is served either at the albergue or nearby bars/taverns. Be advised that dinner is usually served only after certain hour (18h or 19h).
It may sound boring but it most certainly isn’t … each day is a unique experience.
Couple of tips, from my experience:
- Start walking early in the morning
I found that I could cover more km and feel it less if I started earlier in the day. Later in the day my steps felt heavier generally. Check the albergue policy on when do they open the door in the morning.
- Pay attention to the siesta
Even mild spring sunshine made its presence felt quite strongly between 11 – 13h. I would definitely advise stopping in the shade, especially in the summer.
- Hiking poles
… were heaven sent for me. After the Camino I did a 36 km hike without them … major, major difference … I’d never, ever repeat that mistake.
- How to carry a backpack properly
Two key things to remember here. The weight is carried on the hips not on the shoulder, so adjust the hip belt correctly. Second thing is to attach the backpack for a snug fit with upper back area. (there are separate straps for this) . I was shown this in the last stretch of the Camino and the backpack felt at least 30% lighter. Here is a video with a demonstration on how to properly carry a backpack