Excitement and anxiety meet when I think of my trip to Caminho Portugues with my mam coming up. It’s the ideal birthday present, I thought last year and picked Elena’s very helpful links to surprise my mam. Excitement!
Now, just a few days before we leave Austria, we are both a little anxious. How will we survive this little journey – on a personal and a physical level.
Be Prepared! Things I would not want to miss:
- One hell of a backpack. I chose a 60L +10L @Deuter pack but tried Lowe Alpine Air Zone and Geoffrey. Before you buy one – do not choose color or design first – try it on, walk with the amount of kilos on your back. Then, say yes! For more information on which backpack to eventually buy, please look up some particular hiking or traveling websites like this one.
- A pair of walkable hiking shoes. I am not a big fan of hiking, at least I was not until I went to Patagonia in Chile in 2016. This is why I invested to buy proper over-ankeled hiking shoes which took me blisterless from A to B. In this case, I went for hiking shoes in Winter and took some by Mammut.
- Sun protection, lotionwise and on top. Even though I will be starting in mid-April to walk the St. James the sun in Portugal is stronger, more effective and my skin is (after spending months inside) not used to direct sun. I really (yes, really) take SPF factor 50+ with me, just in case. And a hat. Do not forget the hat. Or buy one on your way!
- The playlist of your dreams. I know, it is not essential. But it helps you on a personal level to calm down, to let go of anger or frustration throughout the way. Music is a very intense partner when I am traveling. I have started to pick some walking songs… listen!
- The lightest travel journal on earth. Also, not an essential. But still, even if you take pictures or think you will remember your emotions and your experiences and even your new friends. Better write it down. I like to end the day with a short story about the day in a hand written travel journal.
Schedule your time!
Thoughtful prep involve buying the right guide book. I was told that this one is the best to follow (in German). I know that my mam and I will not stay in Pilgrim hostels but in Bed & Breakfasts on the way. I have not booked anything in advance.
I can also recommend these guides:
The Camino Portugués – A Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino Portugués from Lisbon to Santiago along the Central and Coastal Routes by Michaela Matynka Iglesias (2017)
Preparing for the Camino Portugués: CAMINO DE SANTIAGO | Pilgrim Guides 2017/2018 by Johnnie Walker (2017)
Bring your camera (phone)!
While I usually travel with a Canon LSR camera (just a really basic one) I decided to bring an analogue camera plus my iPhone with me. I got these adaptable lenses by thumbsUp! – you should try these. A 20 Euro pack of 3 lenses (wide, fish eye and macro) is very little luggage and still effective.
I suggest not to carry more than 10% of your body weight on your back. I will offer you a packing list before I start the big trip, so keep yourself updated!
And: do not forget to get yourself a Shell of St. James to carry with you.
Talk soon, Lucie