Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paris to the Pyrenees, a review

While not on Camino (I can't decide whether or not it should be capitalized if not referring to a specific one but decided to err in the case of yes) which sadly is like 95% of my life, I like to read about other people's pilgrimage experiences. Judging by the amount of books available I am not alone in this fact. There are many great ones to chose from all with something to new to learn. There are many that seem to be self published and only available as e-books, but I thought I would first talk about a more widely available book.  Which is available here: Paris to the Pyrenees (side note I am addicted to amazon's kindle and both audible but sure it is also available at your favorite location as well.)

I will admit I had a hard time with this book. I am not sure exactly why.  It is very well written. Maybe it is just more scholarly than I prefer. I think my biggest objection, is a more personal taste than fault of the author. Disregarding the fact that it bugged me the author did not actually walk from Paris to the Pyrenees as the title would imply, mostly I find it hard to deal with the fact he didn't like to be around other pilgrims, and actively avoided them all together. To me that is a part of pilgrimage doing something that has been done for hundreds of years, by thousands of people.  I'm not saying you must always be in a group, talking to everyone but I think it adds something to the be connected with those who have the same purpose as you do. David and his wife mostly stay in BB's that are not on a very well travelled path by pilgrims or anyone really. What I did take away was his great interest in the history of place he was walking thru and his knowledge of the significance of the monuments and buildings he was passing by. That is one thing I will really like to add to my trek on the Via de la Plata. Take time to stop and know what it is exactly I am seeing. He also conversed quite a bit with the proprietors (maybe as there were no other pilgrim's)  who of course know something of the land they are on.  Hopefully my rudimentary Spanish will allow this to happen.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention during his wife's tooth incident, I couldn't help but mentally scream, "just Get a taxi and go see a dentist, NOW!!" Maybe's its because I had the meanest dentist as a child, or have nightmares of my teeth falling out, but I just didn't understand their decision. While not quite my cup of tea, if you find it on good discount or at your library I would recommend it. Not at full price though.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Time flies, as did my goal to write 5x a week. How did time go by so quickly?  I can't believe that I am going on Camino in less then six weeks. My personality is sadly such that I keep expecting something bad to happen, and I won't be able to go.

Having that said, I getting pretty excited. I have got a few new things for my kit, I'll make a post of them now and then agian after the Camino to see how they fared. I have also been on several long walk in consecutive days, as I think that is the hardest thing of the camino for me. Due to time constraints I won't have many (if any) really days of rest. I didn't last time either. I think the lack of recovery time is quite hard. Its also diffucult to replicate, while I have been able to do 7-8-7-8 mile walks back to back, on the Via de la plata I will need to do twice that. But at least that will be my job for the day. Thank goodness for Audible, its a bit boring walking just to walk and not get anywhere. I am also going to be starting a bit of upperbody work as well, though I haven't yet.

Oh I have lost a bit of wieght,  I would like to lose 8-9 more lbs. (its more than originally stated as I was more than originally thought) but that may be a tall order due to the amount of time between now and then. If I can't fit my fancy dancy hiking pants I wlll be in quite the dilema, as I really don't want to spend more money on gear and would like to save it all.

Oh, I have decided I much prefer camelbak to the waistback as least that model keep slipping when the water bottles were full.

buen camino!