I will be hiking El Camino Primitivo in Spain. It is the original Camino through more mountainous terrain and runs about 195 miles. My mom is joining me making the pilgrimage all that more special! It will be a different kind of long distance hike than I am used to but I'm excited to experience Spain on foot.
Copy the content below and paste it in the page in which you would like this embedded. Change the width value below as necessary.
The Camino Primitivo will be different from other long distance hikes I have done as we will be hiking town to town. It is not a wilderness experience but more of a cultural one. I am looking forward to experiencing Spain in this way, learning about the people and life as we walk through each village and landscape. I have to admit I am NOT looking forward to the amount of road walking, but the Camino Primitivo has less than the other routes. This is another reason I picked it.
In thinking about how to get in miles each day or week in preparation, my plan is to use my feet as much as possible. I have been taking the bus to work which requires about 2 miles of walking in the morning and then walking home from work which is about 7 miles. Some days I walk to the gym after work first and then the bus (3.5 miles). In general, walking whenever I can. With gas prices the way they are going, it has been nice not to drive my car at least 4 days a week (I work M-Th).
As I walk the areas of my town, a town I have lived in most of my life, I think about how I am traveling to Spain to soak in the details there. I am conscious of the fact that by leaving my car at home, I am doing the same thing here in my own town. How often do we do that, notice the little things? From the bright azaleas blooming, to wild rabbits on the court steps, to the patterns in the sidewalk. Sure, from the car I notice if a business has changed hands or construction projects. But once moving at a slower pace, I see so much more.
When we go on a hike, we are in amazement of the nature around us. The wildflowers, the fauna, the terrain at our feet. We feel connected. But we are not limited to this experience in the outdoors. Those things exist in our urban environments, too. I am excited for this in Spain and I am enjoying it in my hometown, as well.
My biggest debate so far is which pack to use (I have about 6 to choose from). My two most likely choices are my 22 liter Osprey daypack or my Gossamer Gear pack, which I think is about 35-40 liters. I'm not sure since I got it out of a bargain bin for $20 at a ALDHA West Ruck event.
The Osprey would keep me from taking too much and has the best support but the Gossamer Gear is lighter and offers more flexibility. I have used it on most of my 2-3 day backpacking trips and two weeks in the UK last fall so I know it would be great on this trip.
Most forums I visit people talk about a base weight of 15lbs but my typical wilderness backpack weight is between 13-15 so I know I can do better than that. I was talking with Angel of Boldly Went and she said she did it with a 14 liter pack so I'm pretty sure I can get my weight down low enough that the support of the Osprey would not be needed. No sleeping bag, no hammock, no tarp, no sleep pad. No problem.
I have been checking out several online resources for our trip and ordered a guidebook and our pilgrim passports. Something tangible that says we are actually going to do this.
With this being a less popular route than the French Camino that starts in France, there are fewer books and materials. However, that is the whole idea! This route is more hilly and remote allowing for a bit more of an actual hiking experience. There will still be pavement to walk but less of it.
Here are some of the resources I have found so far:
https://www.pilgrimagetraveler... (I ordered her eBook)
So, two months ago my mom and I did this thing.
And today once again, I walked from my house to Mukilteo Beach.
It’s about 8 miles one way.
Last time I did this was six years ago in preparation for hiking a section of the Pacific crest Trail. At that time, it was the longest I had ever walked on foot.
I had come close once, when my sisters and I with my mom did the Seattle half marathon.
Walking to Mukilteo Beach, in another town, seemed like such a big accomplishment back then. Of course, that was before I knew I was capable of hiking 33 miles in the mountains on one day. Or 75 miles in three days.
Now I know there isn’t a whole lot I can’t do that I set my mind to.
In less than two months, my mom and I will get on a plane to fly to Spain to walk one of the El Caminos. Yes, one of them, El Primitivo. It’s about 320 km or 195 miles.
I have wanted to go to Spain since my first high school Spanish class.
I have wanted to experience Spain by walking across it since my sister gave me the movie The Way to watch about four or five years ago.
Since I had hundreds of miles under my belt at that time, it only seemed like another great adventure to add to the bucket list.
I was going to do it when I was laid off in 2016 but it didn’t materialize because darn it, I went back to work.
In 2018 when I quit my job, my mom started talking about wanting to hike the El Camino, too.
Now, two years later after telling my mom we weren’t getting any younger, we finally bought our plane tickets.
Not only am I going to Spain, not only am I going to hike across Spain on a pilgrimage, I’m going to do it with my mom.