Monday 24 July 2023 – The excitement in the Burridge-Walker household is verging on the palpable as we head towards our next adventure. The tension about the adventure itself is considerable (read on for details), but is as nothing compared with that of an update to this website. Let me deal with that first.
I like, of course, to let people know when I publish a new post to this blog. Several readers currently get a notification, to mobile device or web browser, to let them know when another post has gone up. However, the method I have used thus far (called PushEngage) seems not to be a very robust way of ensuring everyone is informed; several people have reported that they no longer receive notifications.
This is tragic, and not to be tolerated.
Therefore, I have updated the machinations of the website so that it is now possible to subscribe with an e-mail address which will receive a notification of every new post. I’d thus ask everyone who is still receiving notifications (or, well, anybody, actually) to activate this new subscription method, to give me greater confidence that people do indeed get wind of new material on the blog.
Please, therefore, provide some kind of an anodyne comment and an e-mail address, and tick the “Notify me of new posts” box at the foot of this post to activate your subscription. I will shortly remove the old push method to save duplication.
And now – the adventure!
When Jane and I arrive somewhere on our
holidays travels, among the first things we do is to go for a walk. Obviously. Many times I have referred to this as a “peregrination”, without, really, a second thought as to what the word really means. This year, however, we are challenging ourselves with a proper peregrination.
Based on our enjoyment of the experience of walking around the outside of Menorca, we (i.e. Jane) sought out other walks. One of the obvious candidates was the Camino de Santiago, something that has been achieved, in whole or in part, by friends of ours in recent years, thus providing no small measure of inspiration. We had originally planned to do this last year, but various pandemic-related issues put it back to 2023.
So it (we hope) will be that on August 16 2023 we take our first steps along the Camino Francés, a 480-mile (770km) journey, starting in France and ending, if we make it, at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Being not entirely masochistic, we are getting our bags transferred for us whilst “all” we have to do is to walk; this, and our accommodation and itinerary, have been organised for us by a company called, imaginatively, “Walk the Camino”. They have provided masses of helpful material, among which is a detailed book about the Camino itself, historically a pilgrimage trail to the Cathedral, which houses the tomb of the apostle St. James.
The Spanish for “pilgrim”? Peregrino. In Jane’s case, Peregrina, I suppose.
Hence “peregrination”. Obviously.
To be clear, we’re not undertaking this for any particular religious or spiritual reasons, but simply to challenge ourselves. Spirituality will come in the form of a large gin and tonic at the end of each day. As ever we’re living dangerously when it is safe to do so, as the Camino is a very popular endeavour, with many people undertaking it and a well-established support framework along the way. And a few bars, restaurants and coffee stops. Obviously. (Wouldn’t do it, otherwise – do you think I’m mad?)
Many peregrinos undertake the Camino on a day-to-day basis, walking as far as they
can be arsed feel comfortable before seeking accommodation, often in a hostel. Our plan is more structured, and we’ll be staying in pre-booked and decent quality hotels, since I’m way beyond the age where sharing a room with many other people or having to get dressed to visit the loo during the night count as acceptable conditions. We’ll have the occasional rest day, too. I expect that it will be on those rest days that I bring this blog up to date; I can’t imagine that three dozen entries all saying “got up – had breakfast – walked – got a drink – ate supper – went to bed” would make interesting reading, so I’ll aim to focus just on the highlights, and use the rather natty Relive app to record and share scenes along the way.
That said, there will be some days worth describing individually, such as day 1, which basically involves crossing the Pyrenees and which I expect will give me a great deal to
complain write about. We’ll also spend a couple of days beforehand in Biarritz, which should be interesting to look round.
Photographically, I have decided that I don’t want to have to deal with the extra weight of a Big Camera – and the time overhead of processing loads of RAW images – so the Nikon will be staying at home and I’ll use my phone to record everything.
Let’s see how it all goes!
I’d be very pleased if you took the time to subscribe to the blog so that you receive the updates as we go along – provide a comment and an e-mail address below and tick the “Notify” box.
Hasta la vista!