Friday, June 24, 2016

Training for the Camino (Pt 1)

Preparing for El Camino de Santiago del Norte
(or lack of preparation)

(If you are new to Coffee, Crafts & Conversation, here is the basis of my recent posts: My next great adventure is beginning on July 10th, 2016 when I'll be flying to Spain for the summer. July & August will be spent with a wonderful family serving as their aupair and the last month I'll be hiking El Camino de Santiago [which is a 500 mile pilgrimage] through the country with a friend.)

El Camino de Santiago del Norte is also known as The Way of St. James - northern route.
In preparation for our 500 mile hike across Spain, Debbie and I got in one good practice hike in addition to the training we've been doing separately, as an indicator of where our endurance is.

Debbie and I @ the beginning of the walk
Feeling strong 1/2 way through!
We wore our hiking shoes and backpacks that were purchased for the trip. Debbie bought a 25L REI Daypack and mine is 40L REI Trail Pack - we were professionally fitted at REI and choose the backpack that was most comfortable. They will only weigh 12-15LBS with minimal supplies, clothing and only one "luxury" item. I haven't decided if my luxury item will be mascara or a light scarf. (I'll post our packing list when it gets closer!)

Practice hike on 6/18/16

We made 12 miles in 3.5 hours stopping for a 30 minute break twice. It was a good pace - one I think we'll be able to maintain for the entire 26 day trip. Our best-case-scenario goal will be to walk 20 miles per day.

We made it!
We came out of the woods looking a little delusional but EXCITED for the trip! The journey is not about getting to the end or reaching the daily goal, the journey is about.. the journey. It's about deepening our friendship with each other, seeking the Lord and hearing from Him along The Way.

I've heard it said that on the Camino 3 things, at the very least, will change from within.
  1. You'll be reminded on one thing
  2. You'll learn one thing
  3. You'll let go of one thing


We'll be walking Camino del Norte (806KM)


he Northern Way follows the gorgeous Northern coast of Spain starting in Saint-Jean-Peid-de-Port and going through Bilbao, Laredo, Santander, Gijion and then to Santiago de Compostela which is approximately 500 miles.

"The Camino del Norte starts in the Basque Country, in the chic sea-side city of San Sebastián (Donosti in Basque), a real paradise for foodies: it is in fact in the top 10 cities with highest number of Michelin stars in Europe. The Northern Way follows the coast line for most of the way so you can discover charming fishing villages, swim in beautiful sandy beaches and taste delicious seafood. Feel inspired at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; stroll by the elegant royal palace in Santander; sample Asturias famous cider; stay in lively seaside towns and admire the natural beauty of the Northern coast of ‘Green Spain’." (

Pilgrims have been trekking this route or a variation of it for over 1,000 years with anywhere from 100-1,500 starting at different points each day! Some walk it to honor the Apostle James and others in the midst of their own spiritual journey. Along the route are centuries of historic and religious European architecture.

Debbie and I will be starting the day with a devotional based on a book from Tony Stoltzfus called Questions for Jesus. At the end of the daily devotion are 3-4 big questions for Jesus to meditate on during the day.

After all, Matthew & James were disciples of Jesus together and Matthew 7:7 says, 
“Ask, and it will be given to you; 
seek, and you will find; 
knock, and it will be opened to you."
James is talking to early Jewish Christians in James 1:5 when he says,
"If any of you lacks wisdom, 
you should ask God, 
who gives generously to 
all without finding fault, 
and it will be given to you."

Thanks for joining me along The Way!



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