Each guide carries detailed advice on preparation
for both the outer and inner journey together with a detailed checklist
of equipment and clothing to bring, depending on season. Here is
 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS:
||When? Summer is busy (over 50% of all pilgrims arrive in the 2 months
of July and August) and hot.
Winter is solitary and cold with many hostels closed and travel
schedules limited (physically more demanding but magically quiet).
Autumn tends to be kinder than spring, you’ll miss the
blossom, but you can eat the fruit.
||How long? Allow
time to complete the journey gracefully. Clear the decks and
allow some spaciousness into your life and time to integrate
||How far? The
Camino Francés carries 80% of all pilgrims and is 800
km (500 ml) – allow 4 to 5 weeks for the entire or join
/ leave the route to fit in with your schedule. Camino Portugués
is 241 km (150 ml) allow 2 weeks. Camino Fisterra and return
via Muxía is 147 km (91 ml) allow 1 week.
 PREPARATION – OUTER:
||Buy your boots in
time to walk them in before you go.
||Look again if your backpack weighs
more than 10% of body weight or 10 kilos.
||Bring a hat, sunstroke is painful
and can be dangerous.
 WHAT NOT TO BRING:
||Get rid of all books
(except your camino guide!)
|| Don’t take ‘extras’,
Spain has shops if you need to replace something.
||If you want to deepen your experience,
– your camera –
you’ll be able to live for the moment rather than memories.
– your watch – you’ll
be surprised how quickly you adapt to a natural clock.
your mobile phone – break the
dependency and taste the freedom.
 PILGRIM PASSPORT, PROTOCOL & PRAYER
||Get a credencial from your local Confraternity, and join it. You can also obtain
a credencial at pilgrim offices at the start of each
route. They are required in order to stay at pilgrim hostels
along the way.
||Have consideration for your fellow
pilgrims and gratitude for your hosts.
||“May every step along
the path be a prayer for peace.”
 PREPARATION – INNER: WHY AM I
Take time to prepare a purpose for this pilgrimage. Start from the
basis that you are essentially a spiritual being on a human journey,
not a human being on a spiritual one. We came to learn some lesson.
Perhaps this is your chance to find out what that is. Ask for help
and expect it. It’s there, now, waiting for you.
Whatever you do, for heaven’s sake – don’t
forget to start.
Any reasonably fit person can accomplish any of the way-marked caminos
without undue stress. However, if you have recently had an illness
or are otherwise concerned about your state of health have a medical
check up. It is always advisable to put in some physical training
before you go. I would be surprised if more than 5% of pilgrims
actually act on this advice. If you are one of the 95% who haven’t
then please heed the advice to take the first week slowly. Remember
that most common injuries, such as strained tendons and blisters
occur in the early days. It takes the body a few days to adjust
to the regular walking with full backpack.
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