Useful tips for walkers
1. Test out your footwear with a fully-laden rucksack carried for extended periods on successive days walking on hard surfaces.
2. Consider wearing impact-reducing insoles in your walking shoes / boots. There is a lot of walking on hard surfaces – tarmac and rocky paths. (But, again, try them out before you go as you may need to wear thinner socks.)
- Learn as much Spanish as you can. Almost no-one speaks English and very few people are used to communicating with people whose first language is not Spanish.
- If your command of Spanish is still not very good, prepare in advance some phrases that you think you might need, e.g. ‘Will this door be locked in the morning?’, ‘Where do I leave the key to the albergue?’
- Save paper (and thus weight) by writing phone numbers, addresses for postcards, any other useful reference information in the back of your notebook or by saving them in your phone.
- Make a list of places, distances and facilities for planning and preparation purposes, including accommodation available. Whenever is possible book you stay in advance! You can use the search-box below to book online a place on your way. Cancellation is flexible and you can pay only when you stay!
Book your stay – Find accommodation on your way!
- Attend to foot discomfort immediately you are aware of it – it only gets worse.
- A sling for a water bottle can be easily constructed from a length of string.
- Rest just before you enter the place where you will spend the night. You may still have quite a lot of walking to do to find what you want.
- Take frequent rests during the day’s walk. Take your rucksack off your back and try to lie down at least once.
- When shopping for picnic food, buy cans with ring-pulls to avoid having to take a tin-opener.
- Soaking feet in cold water (ideally with ice in it) is beneficial.
- Keep a diary and write it up every day.
- Consider writing blog entries to keep in touch with all your family
- If you use your smartphone for photos, consider downloading an app that will stamp your photos with location data
- Make sure you have enough to eat. Walking all day expends a lot of energy and you need to be properly fueled.
- You will have a good signal along the route. Taking your phone with you is a good idea especially that you can call albergues beforehand.
Coping with the Heat
If you plan to walk in the summer months you are likely to have to do at least some walking in the middle of the day when it is very hot. Here are my thoughts on keeping cool:
- start early in the day (in the dark?) and warm up with the day
- take frequent rests
- be careful about your caffeine intake – in coffee, Coca-Cola, etc. – it dehydrates the body
- wear sunglasses (to give the illusion of shade)
- tie a wet bandanna around your neck
- stray well hydrated (500ml before you set out, and several litres while you walk)
- make sure your water bottle is accessible while you are walking – make it easy to drink
- keep a steady pace and don’t rush
- ust accept that it will be hot and try to avoid thinking about how hot you are – part of it is in the mind.