Adventure Geek Walking Podcast
EP3 - Lockdown Genius Fell Walking | A time saver location app for OS | Weird sounds and much more

EP3 - Lockdown Genius Fell Walking | A time saver location app for OS | Weird sounds and much more

April 22, 2020

“The Earth has music for those who listen.” - William Shakespeare

SUMMARY OF EPISODE 3

  • Guess the sound - this animal eats its own poop!
  • Derek & Doreen go on their first hike! 
  • An interview with Rachel Hinds who explains how she is keeping active during the lockdown (genius!). 
  • Education slot is an app that works in conjunction with the OS Maps app. 
  • Janet & John's episode is a bit of a shocker! 

Hello everybody and a very warm welcome to episode 3 of the Adventure Geek Walking Club Podcast.  This is a show for those who love everything to do with the outdoors, backpacking and hiking. Hopefully, we have something for everyone in each episode. So without further ado, let me explain the contents of this week's show.

We always start the podcast with a bit of a quiz in the form of “guess the sound”.  This will be a sound of an animal, bird, or something to do with the outdoors.  I will always give you a bit of a clue, but the answer will be revealed at the end of the show.

The second segment continues with the adventures of Derek & Doreen. This week the pair are off on their first proper walk…. The Towcester Hulcote Walk!

Segment number three is an interview with Rachel Hinds, who has a genius way of keeping active during the lockdown period.

The fourth segment is an education slot. This week I am sharing a magical app, which works in conjunction with the OS Maps app.

We then end the show with Janet & John’s latest antics.  Let’s just say that this week’s episode is a bit of a shocker! 

So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, and see if you can guess this week’s soundbite.  I did promise a bit of a clue, so I googled “unknown facts about this animal”.  Google told me that this animal eats its own poop!  Here’s the sound….

PLAY SOUND

The answer to the soundbite will be revealed at the end of the podcast.  Over to Nigel for this week’s episode of Derek & Doreen. 

SWOOSH

PLAY DERICK & DOREEN EPISODE 2

Thanks, Nigel. If you have been on an Adventure Geek walk then you can probably relate to some of these tales. Please let me know if you also started laughing at the same point I did!  Nigel, we need to keep the giggles in as they are hilarious!

I am now going to transition over to this week’s interview with Rachel Hinds who talks about her new little hobby which involves climbing a few mountains!   

SWOOSH

PLAY INTERVIEW

Thanks for your time today Rachel, you were awesome.  For our listeners, you can download the spreadsheet template that Rachel has created as well as reading the show notes for this episode over at www.adventuregeek.co.uk/PodcastEP3

STAIRS TRACKER SPREADSHEET CAN BE FOUND HERE

PING

Right, time for this week’s education slot.  For those of you who are using the OS Maps app, don’t you sometimes find it frustrating that you need to pinch and zoom before you find that little red arrow to show you where you are? Today’s app, called OS Locate is brilliant and I use it all the time.

Used alongside your Ordnance Survey map, OS Locate is a fast and highly accurate means of pinpointing your exact location on the map, anywhere in Great Britain. If you have lost your bearings or simply would like a little reassurance, OS Locate is the ideal companion for all enthusiasts of the great outdoors. 

The app not only displays your co-ordinates, but there is a little icon on the right hand side for OS Maps.  Press that and then your OS Maps app is launched to your exact location.  No more pinching, scrolling and zooming to try to figure out where you are - it opens up at exactly the right place.

PING 

Before we go into our finale with “Janet & John go walking” I would like to reveal the soundbite answer from the beginning of the show.  For those of you who guessed a rabbit, you would be right! And yes, a rabbit does it eats own poop, they can’t vomit, their vision nearly covers 360 degrees and their teeth never stop growing!

PING

We are going to end the podcast with the amazingly talented Shiny Shoes as he reads the lates Janet and John adventures.  Over to you John. 

PLAY JANET & JOHN EPISODE 1

Thanks, John - everybody left, dog poo alert!  and sweets…. the perfect Adventure Geek walk!

As I draw the podcast to a close, I would like to leave you with this final thought from William Shakespeare

“The Earth has music for those who listen.” - William Shakespeare

Remember that you don’t need to take any notes as we do all that for you. Links to anything that has been mentioned in today’s show can be found at www.adventuregeek.co.uk/podcastep3

See you next week!

EP2 - An Interview with Sue Ferrie | UK walks | A film to watch | and more

EP2 - An Interview with Sue Ferrie | UK walks | A film to watch | and more

April 15, 2020

SUMMARY OF THIS WEEK'S SHOW:-

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” - JK Rowling

  • Soundbite - an animal found in warmer climates
  • Derek & Doreen experience their first walking induction and round-robin. 
  • Interview with Sue Ferrie who talks about walks in the UK. 
  • Education slot - a Film about an 83-year-old lady called Edie who climbs a mountain in Scotland. 
  • Janet & John - this week they learn a new word... goo! 

TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW

Hello everybody and a very warm welcome to episode 2 of the Adventure Geek Podcast.  This is a show for those who love everything to do with the outdoors, backpacking and hiking. Hopefully, we have something for everyone in each episode. Let me explain the segments of the show.

We always start the podcast with a bit of a quiz in the form of “guess the sound”.  This will be the sound of an animal, bird, or something to do with the outdoors.  I will give you a bit of a clue, but the answer will be revealed at the end of the show.

The second segment continues with the adventures of Derek & Doreen and they experience their first Adventure Geek induction and round-robin!

Each episode I interview someone who has something to share about the outdoors.  Perhaps it’s a trail they have walked, an outdoors hobby or knowledge about wildlife, plants, or geology. If you know someone who would like to be interviewed then please message me at julia@adventuregeek.co.uk   This week we have Sue Ferrie, who shares with us stories of various adventures, including how her family climbed the Miners track up Snowdon when her son had two broken arms!

The fourth segment will be the education slot. This may be an app, a gadget, or a resource to share with you.  Something related to the outdoors.

We then end the show with Janet & John.  This week the pair are introduced to the group, they realise who Julia’s henchman is, and learn a new word… goo!

So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, and see if you can guess this week’s soundbite.  I did promise a bit of a clue, so this animal is not a native English animal, and is often found in warmer climates.

PLAY SOUND. 

The answer to the soundbite will be revealed at the end of the podcast.  Over to Nigel for this week’s episode of Derek & Doreen. 

SWOOSH

PLAY DERICK & DOREEN EPISODE 2

Thanks, Nigel. If you have been on an Adventure Geek walk then you can probably relate to some of these tales.  I think Nigel should be conducting all new starter briefings from now on as his does it so well!

I am now going to transition over to this week’s interview with  Sue Ferrie. Sue is an experienced walker and her joy out the outdoors shines through in this little chat.   

SWOOSH

PLAY INTERVIEW

Thanks for your time Sue, it is very much appreciated.  We will certainly add your East Northants walk to our collection once this lockdown is all done and dusted.

As we are allowed out to play for our daily dose of exercise, I thought I would share with you some ideas each week to keep you (and your kids) occupied whilst out and about. 

As we can’t get outside, I thought I would share a good film to watch that is available on Amazon Prime (link in the show notes) called Edie.  It is a thoroughly motivating story of an 83-year-old lady who has not given up on life, even though her daughter thinks she should be in a retirement home.  Soon after her controlling husband passes away she decides to rekindle her childhood memories and sets out to climb a mountain in Scotland.  This is such a lovely film and has something for everyone.  It is a fantastic storyline, but the scenery is amazing, and it also showed how far backpacking gear has improved in the last 50 or so years!

PING

Before we go into our finale with “Janet & John go walking” I would like to reveal the soundbite answer from the beginning of the show.  For those of you who guessed a camel, you would be right!

We are going to end the podcast with the amazingly talented Shiny Shoes as he reads the lates Janet and John adventures.  Over to you John. 

PLAY JANET & JOHN EPISODE 1

Thanks John - I look forward to these each week. 

As I draw the podcast to a close, I would like to leave you with this final thought from the famous author JK Rowling.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”

Ep1 - Munzee Hunting | And Introducing Janet & John / Derek & Doreen

Ep1 - Munzee Hunting | And Introducing Janet & John / Derek & Doreen

April 7, 2020

This is the very first episode of the AG Walking Club Podcast.  Segments and notes include:-

  • Can you identify the wildlife sound?
  • An interview with Jemma Jones Hayes, who talks to us about Munzee Hunting.  
  • Derek & Doreen join the Adventure Geek Walking Club
  • Education slot this week is about the app called Alltrails.com 
  • Finale where we get to meet two very unique characters called Janet & John.  Think "carry on camping" and you have got the idea! 

 

 

Ep19 - DEALING WITH BED BUGS ON THE CAMINO

Ep19 - DEALING WITH BED BUGS ON THE CAMINO

April 12, 2019

Introduction

Many people ask me about bedbugs on the Camino.  I think there is the impression that they are rife along the Frances route and I hear of stories where people are spraying their gear and themselves with all sorts of chemicals in order to prevent bedbugs.  I am here to put your mind at rest and let you know that they are not as common as people perceive and in all my Camino trips I have never had a bed-bug bite.  I have also only ever heard of three people who have had bites.

If you are interested in listening to their stories, then please check out Carmel Lutmans interview (here), and also Emma Larose (who had a reaction to bedbugs) here.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE AND LINKS TO THE PRODUCTS MENTIONED VISIT: www.adventuregeek.co.uk/19 

 

 

EP18 - MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR THE CAMINO

EP18 - MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR THE CAMINO

April 3, 2019

The good news is that the Camino is a very inexpensive way of spending a month in Spain (and certainly cheaper than most other European countries).  If you are on a budget then you can expend to pay no more than €35 a day, which will include accommodation and food... yep!  Just €35 a day!

But there are always ways to cut your budget and here are my top ten hacks to trim that wallet just a little bit more.

#1 - TAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE OR TEA-BAGS

Us Brits do like our tea and coffee in the morning.  The Spanish coffee is the best coffee I have ever tasted, however, there is not always a cafe open in the mornings.  Either stay at Albergues that have kettles/microwave etc or, like me, take a little cooking stove (I have a Jetboil).  If that first coffee of the day is important to you then the extra weight will be worth every penny!

#2 - SAVE MONEY BY DRINKING WINE!

This is a silly, but true, tip.... wine in Spain is cheaper than water.  Drink more wine!  Yey!

By the way, just outside of Estella there is a free wine fountain.  Please do not top up your water bottle with the wine from the fountain, simply enjoy the tradition of drinking the wine from your Camino shell.  (It's not the best wine but it has to be done!)

#3 - SPLIT THE COSTS OF A TAXI

Sometimes you may find yourself taking a taxi (yes, people do take taxi's on the Camino!).  If you find yourself in this situation then always ask around to see if anyone is keen on sharing splitting the fee.  Usually there is someone else who is going to the same place as you.  I was once very poorly and didn't want to loose my Camino family, so I took a taxi to Burgos and then had two days of rest whilst my Camino family walked for two days.

#4 - SHARE YOUR WASHING / DRYER CHARGES

I know it does not sound like much but not only will it save money if you share a washing machine with a few other pilgrims, but it will also save water.  It seems like such a waste to run a full load (washing or drying), when you only have a few small items that need to be laundered.  Sharing is a big part of the Camino and so is washing your clothes!

#5 - SAVE MONEY ON THE ATM MACHINES

On all of my Camino trips, I have taken the maximum cash out of the ATM machine to save the charges from the bank.  I then split the money into little plastic money bags of €35 a day which helps to keep me under budget on a daily basis.  You will often hear of pilgrims who have run out of cash as you can often walk for 2-3 days without seeing a cash machine in any of the villages that you will pass through.  Unlike the UK, you can not expect to pay for anything on your card, especially in the smaller towns and villages. Spain is still a cash economy and if you run out of cash then you will either go hungry or end up asking your fellow pilgrims to help you out.

 

#6 - IN GALICIA THINK ABOUT UPGRADING

The very last section of the Camino is called Galacia and this is the most popular region.  It is often crowded and most people will be staying in Albergues.  A ninja tip is that the price of a private room for two or three people is often the same price that you would pay for a bunkbed in a dorm room.  So consider partnering with your new found Camino family and share a private room for a better nights sleep and often a similar price.

 

#7 - BUY TRAIN / BUS TICKETS BEFORE YOU GO

If you purchase your train and bus tickets ahead of time then you will certainly save money on your trip.  I am never this organised and often pay for the tickets at the train station, which can incur an additional charge of up to 50% more!  Saying that, bus and train tickets are super cheap in France and Spain, so yes you will save money by purchasing them online, but if you are from the UK then you will be surprised at how inexpensive the tickets are in the first place!

 

#8 - BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS EARLY!

If there is one thing that I regret of my most recent Camino trip is that I didn't book my flights early enough.  The myth of "last minute booking and you will get a good deal" is totally unfounded.  Flights in April or October are usually much cheaper than other times of the year.

 

#9 - STAY IN ALBERGUES THAT HAVE A KITCHEN

If you use the Beun Camino app then you can see which Albergues have kitchens for self catering.  Many pilgrims cook and eat together which not only saves money but it is also one of the best experiences you can have on the Camino.  One pilgrim brings wine, another brings salad, another cooks pasta etc.  It is a fabulous way to save money and enjoy the spirit of the Camino.

In addition, if you can not find an albergue that has a kitchen, then certainly seek out a hostel that holds a pilgrim meal as part of the deal.  They are often around €10 per meal.  A pilgrim meal will often consist of 3-4 courses, bread and a bottle of wine.  It is extremely good value for money and well worth seeking out.

#10 - WALK THE CAMINO FRANCES

I have walked a variety of different Camino trails but the Frances route has the best infrastructure and the most options available.  If you are looking to reduce costs by staying in Municipals (Community Albergues) for as little as €5 a night, then the Frances route is built to support this option.  There are more options for Pilgrim meals, lots of little village shops that supply pilgrim related products such as the famous Compeed.  Other routes such as the Ingles trail, you will end up paying for rooms/hostels via booking.com to secure your place, and eat at a nearby restaurant which soon adds up.  I found that the cafe's were more expensive in general on the Ingles route rather than the more popular Frances trail.

Ep17 - Camino Talk Show | Kim from California | The story of pure determination

Ep17 - Camino Talk Show | Kim from California | The story of pure determination

February 21, 2019

You can find Kimberly's story on https://kimscaminoadventures.wordpress.com/

If you are looking for an inspirational story of pure determination, bravery, heartache, pain and magical moments then this is the interview to listen too.  Camino Kim, as she is now known, who suffers from chronic arthritis and diabetes, opens up her heart to share her story, which starts with a near miss of hypothermia, in June, on the Pyrenees! 

Below are the show notes / mini transcription of the interview. I would highly recommend listening to the audio though so that you can get a true feeling of Kimberly's journey. 

 

How did you first hear about the Camino?

I was in a staff meeting at work and a co-worker announced that she was going to be following another colleague who was walking the Camino.  I had no idea what that was but was intrigued.  That was in 2013.  Friends agreed to come along and then they kept letting her down, so it never happened.   

Eventually, after lots of signs from other places (including her doctor and a support group), she decided that this was something she was going to do on her own.  Go girl!!

Have you travelled much on your own before this trip?

Only on holiday and always with friends.  I had never been to Europe before, so telling my family was another challenge that I had to overcome.  I have two daughters and they were fully supportive of this adventure. 

What was it about the Camino that attracted you to this trail?

I tried not to over analyse.  I read somewhere that you need to ask a question and stick with that question throughout your trip if you want answers.  My question was “why don’t I do things consistently”.

In my everyday life I am very much a business person, but on the Camino, I am not like that at all.

The Camino forced her into the present.  On the Camino you don’t have time to reflect on the past, you need to move on.  You can’t worry about yesterday.

Tell us the story about that first day on the Pyrenees.

Kimberly talks about her first experience in a hostel, and how she crossed the Pyrenees in a storm. 

I somehow missed the sign and bumped into a farmer and his wife that didn’t speak English.  After some sign language communication, I realised that I now had to work my way back to where I had just come from.  I had lost all the time gained from leaving early that day.  Then the storm came!  The temperature dropped to 1 degree celsius, and then it started to sleet.  It was on June 11th.  I stumbled upon a small shack/hut but it was packed with pilgrims who were trying to wait for the storm to pass.  There was a fire in the fire place but it was still very cold.  I put on all of my clothes and ventured out into the harsh weather. 

It was not a regular storm, but one hell of a storm!  Visibility was so bad that I didn’t realise that I was inthea middle of the forest.  I just kept going. 

Then the magic happened..

Kimberly continued her story and as she stopped for a breath she was so very tired.  She knew that this was a sign of hypothermia but she just couldn’t go on.  Then she heard a female voice say “don’t stop here”.  She looked around to see who said that and there was no-one there.  She kept going and eventually bumped in to another two pilgrims and they made it together to Roncesvalles.  (Wow!, what a story!).

25 people were rescued off the mountain that day.  Three people suffered from hypothermia.

Do you believe in Camino Angels?

Oh, absolutely.   I met so many Camino Angels on this trip.   Kim tells the story of 11 strangers who were told to look out for her and to give her a big hug… which they did!

What Camino routes have you walked and when?

I walked the French route from St jean Pied De Port to Santiago.  I didn’t have time to walk to Finesterre, so I completed a day trip there.

Now you documented your journey, is this something that you would recommend?  How did you manage to upload everything along the way?

I used my phone to update my blog.  It was mainly to update friends and family on my adventure. I purchased a sim card when was in Spain.  I was constantly running out of data.  The wifi was often not strong enough to update the blog, so it was a bit sporadic.

What is it about the people on the Camino that makes it so special?

We all share the same experience.  We all wake up, grab a backpack, go on a walk, eat, deal with the weather.  It is something that we all go through together. There is mutual respect for people.   

Did you use walking poles?

Oh yes.  I could sleep with my poles, that is how much I love them!

What about training?

At the weekends 9two months prior to the Camino), I would live out of my backpack.  All my needs would be in the backpack.

Do you remember your luxury item?

Kimberly has a patch that says “Young forever”, that was given to her by her daughters.  The patch represents a song by a Korean Group.  I am learning Korean and I met loads of Koreans on the Camino, but no-one noticed the patch.

I saw that you had some painful open wounds on your blog.  What caused these and how did you cope with them?  Did you also suffer from blisters?

I dealt with rain for the first two weeks. I was wet for this whole period, and I was putting on wet clothes.  I was in Pamplona and my clothes had stuck to my leg.  As I stood up I gave a yell and the skin ripped my from leg.  The funny thing was that I didn’t tell a soul, I just made out that I had aches and pains.  I was taking a photo of my leg when a guy called Frank from Germany came in and said: “have you taken a picture of yourself crying yet for your blog?”.  I replied, “Why would I do that?”.  He said “If you are going to tell a story then you need to tell the whole story"

Kimberly talks about the step down from Le Cruz De Fero - which was a huge challenge.  She was stuck going down.  She had to trust, she had to believe.  The story of Kimberly's friendship with a fellow Pilgrim called Heidi will certainly pull at your heartstrings.

Did you have a Camino cry?

Yes.  One guy approached me and said, “I don’t think you will make it to Santiago”.  He and his friends would laugh then all of a sudden the guy begins to cry.  I instinctively reached out and grabbed his hand (which was crazy as he had just insulted me).  He said “I am so ashamed, the Camino is for everyone”.  I then had my Camino cry but I realised that I needed to be careful otherwise I will ruin my Camino experience.  I can not clam up because of what I had just heard.  This guy needed to learn not to judge others, and my lesson was to not take on board other people’s judgements.

QUICK FIRE ROUND

Hostel or hotel? - Hostel

Pilgrim meal or cook your own - pilgrim meal,

Umbrella or hat?  Umbrella

Music or no music? - no music

Skip the mesta or not? Do the peseta

Guidebook or app?  both

Was the Camino everything you thought it would be?

Yes and more.  Even her colleagues at work now call her Camino Kim.  I no longer carry stress as a badge of honour.  I have changed a lot, I just let stuff go.

Kim shared a passage of courage with us. 

Courage is not a lack of fear.

Courage is moving forward in spite of fear.

When you show up with courage you are making a statement that i’m terrified but I am going to do it anyway.

Here is the thing. When people act courageously they sometimes get hurt. When we respond to the calling in our hearts, when we open ourselves up to our authentic lives, we also open ourselves up to url and pain and rejection and disappointment and grief and yet we persist.  That is why there is no courage without vulnerability and there is no vulnerability without courage.  The two attributes are inseparable and together they will lead you into a more authentic life.

When you move towards the type of life that demands courage and vulnerability you journey into a space that costs you deep inside.  You journey in something that is greater than the sound of should.

So here is my question.

What scares you?

What idea sounds bold and terrifying and exciting all at the same time?

When you move in that direction, you move into a space that is more authentic and that is more truly you.

And that is how I would summarise the Camino.

(I love this!).

Is that how you now feel?  Do you feel like the true you now that you are home?

I do.  What I realised is that there is the business Kim and there is a personal Kim and I kept the two very separate.  When I came back from my Camino trip I thought that I need to let the two merge together. So the people at work now see the fun side of me.  I was quite surprised that my Camino blog almost went viral around my job.  I wanted to keep it quiet, but no.  I think people were just trying to figure out who I was.  When I came back I was happy to be Camino Kim.

Kim mentioned her future travels.

  • She is off to Korea early 2019.
  • Camino, Porto to Santiago in September 2019
  • A walk in Australia
  • Le Puy in France in 2020

I am allowing myself to say yes!

Ep16 - THE CAMINO TALK SHOW WITH TAMSIN GRAINGER (SCOTLAND)

Ep16 - THE CAMINO TALK SHOW WITH TAMSIN GRAINGER (SCOTLAND)

February 14, 2019

TAMSIN GRAINGER

QUOTE: Walking itself is the intentional act closest to the unwilled rhythms of the body to breathing and the beating of the heart 

This week I have a very special pilgrim with me. Tamsin Grainger is a true free spirit who loves to walk and discover new places.  She has a fantastic blog which you can find over at walkingwithoutadonkey.com.  Tamsin is a Shiatsu teacher and travels the world to sharing the shiatsu love, although her home is based in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.   Today we are going to explore why the Camino was such a special place for Tamsin and how it differs from other backpacking trips.

Visit: www.walkingwithoutadonkey.com

Welcome pilgrim!

Where are you right now?  I am back home (Edinburgh). 

How did you first hear about the Camino?  A really long time ago!  I had a friend who lived nearby and she started telling me that she had been to Spain and completed the Frances route in three sections.  The friend then published a book about her travels and I was very lucky to get a copy.  That was my first chance to hear about the Camino.  Then other people that I knew walked and interest grew from there.

 

What routes have you done?

  • Frances - Pamplona to Finesterre in 2016
  • Villa De La Plata (backwards) from Santiago to Seville 2017 (people would stop her and say “hey, you are going the wrong way!”

What is the history of the Villa De La Plata?

It is also known as the Silver Way and is 1000km from Seville in Andalucia, and running northwards through the provinces of Extremadura and Castilla y Leon to Salamanca and Zamora.  Plata is Spanish for Silver.

How did you feel about the Compestella, as you did not get one for the Villa De La Plata?

 

The first time it was great, but for me, it is very much about putting one foot in front of the other.

What is the terrain like on the VDLP?

It is one of the attractions that you walk through so many regions of Spain on this route.   You start in the hot, hot, hot south in the city of Seville.  Listen to the way Tamsin describes this route.  It is fascinating.  She describes the mountains, the natural parks, the archaeological sites and you can hear her passion for the nature around her.

 

Do you blog as you go?

I have tried three different ways.  I had notes on my phone. Handwritten notes are a nightmare.  When I did a long stretch I wrote the blog each evening, but it was really difficult to keep up with it all.  Sometimes there is very little wifi.  It also highly unsociable, which I found challenging. 

Going back, pre-Camino, had you done any backpacking before this trip?

Nope!   

 

Tamsin talks about Yoga and how this has really helped her with regards to being able to walk as far as she has.    

 

Tamsin was really lucky.  She didn’t do any training and also walked with a pair of borrowed boots.  The key is to not do too many KM’s.  You don’t need to do the stages that are in the book, just start out slowly and see what happens.   If you force yourself to go faster and farther than you should then you will cause yourself an injury.

 

Tamsin explains about https://www.blablacar.co.uk/  which is a car-sharing system that was set up for people looking for companions to keep them awake on a long drive.

 

Did you have a reason for walking the Camino?

 

I was taking a sabbatical from my work. Some reasons I won’t go into, but other reasons were to do with probably mid-life, and children leaving home.

 

We talked a lot about seasons of life and transitions from one season to the other.  The Camino is a great facilitator of change.

 

Do you use walking poles?

Yes, but I have trouble with them at airports!   They say it takes a third of the wear and tear off your knees and hips.

 

What languages do you speak?

I stayed with people in Spain for one month before I started walking the Camino and this is the best way to learn a new language.  I walked with a French man, so ended up speaking French as well (I hadn’t spoken French since school days!).

 

What do you think to apps such as Google Translate?

I use Google Translate all the time although I probably shouldn’t as its apparently it is terrible.  I also spent lots of time on Duo-Lingo the application to learn a new language.

 

What is the infrastructure like on the Villa De La Plata?

 

It was very similar to the Frances route.  I can only remember one time when a hostel was full.

 

There was a lot of flooding on the Villa Plata which was quite an issue. 

 

QUICKFIRE ROUND

 

Did you bring anything that you didn’t need?  I sent home a swimming costume three times! 

 

What was your luxury item? 

A kindle.  I don’t really do luxury items.

 

Sleeping bag or sleep sheet?

It depends on the season that you are travelling.

 

Did you have a favourite section?

Yes - Tamsin told lots of stories about her favourite areas of the Camino.

 

Tamsin talked about a couple that were walking the whole Camino every weekend. 

 

What guidebook did you use?

Gerald Kelly, Villa De La Plata Book

Important: Download the application called Camino Alert, which is a great app that notifies the local police if you activate it. 

 

How did you find the Spanish Food?  Especially for a vegetarian?

Listen to the stories that will either make you cringe or laugh!

If you are travelling out of season then take your own cutlery and plate!

 

What is next on the list?

Tamsin explains how the invitations flood in and then she walks wherever she accepts an invitation.

Lessons learned on the Camino

There are more good people in this world than bad! 

Ep15 - PILGRIM JANE WALKER FROM THE UK

Ep15 - PILGRIM JANE WALKER FROM THE UK

February 8, 2019

Jane was walking the Camino in memory of her late husband.  This episode is full of tips and advice for new fresh pilgrims who are considering walking this trail. 

QUOTE:

It is not good waiting for the storm to pass, you have to learn to walk in the rain.

 

How did you find out about the Camino?

There was a newspaper article in the Saturday Telegraph.  When her husband Barry passed away, she decided to walk the Camino in his memory.

She then realised that she was unable to take 6 weeks off her own business, so she walked the French Route in stages.

Her first week walking was Autumn in 2013 and she finished in 2016.

Jane's friends were not comfortable with her walking this trail, so good friend Liz walked with her on the first week and then another friend walked on the second week and then they realised that it was safe, so the rest she completed on her own.

What was your favourite part of the trail?

The Pyrenees and also the very end part (which Jane describes as Cornwall on acid!).

We talked about the Michelin Guide Book which Jane would highly recommend.

Camino buddies are made at the Orison.

What did you make of Spanish Food?

Jane lived in Spain for a while.  The Pilgrim Meals were “ok” but not a true sense of Spanish food.  You don’t have to eat the pilgrim menu.  Pilgrim meals are about €10

Have you walked any other routes?

Yes, a little bit of the Norte route.  It is super scenic but steep.  There are not as many hostels, but there are enough to cope with the pilgrim traffic.  That coast can be a bit wet, so the weather is a bit unpredictable. 

Are you a poncho person?

Nope - rain cover and rain jacket.  Julia talks too much about her trekking umbrella.

Breathable clothes are essential otherwise you sweat!

Did you walk for spiritual or religious reasons?

Not really, I wanted closure on my husband passing.  I was not expecting any great spiritual experience, but I was walking on my own through the Meseta and in the distance, there was snow-capped mountains, green fields, ploughed fields - for once I felt a moment of pure joy. 

A lot of people skip the Meset, don’t they?

We talked in detail about this section of the trail. 

Jane: I was walking along this road and I was listening to a very strange noise.  I stopped and took my headphones out to figure out what the noise was and it was very loud frogs! 

Did you change when you got back?

I met a lady whilst walking the Camino who did an air B&B - when I returned I decided that I was going to launch a B&B!

Do you need to speak Spanish to walk the Camino?

No, not at all.  Half the fun is doing sign language.  We did talk about signs on the Camino such as “Don’t poo here”.

 

How was it when you got to Santiago?

It takes a lot longer to get into Santiago than you expect.  It seems to take forever! Jane booked a nice hotel and enjoyed a bit of comfort.  She then set off to get her Compostela.  Jane thought that this was a bit like being in a bank “Go to cubicle 2!”.  When she was awarded the certificate she was quite overwhelmed and needed to take five mins.

One day Jane hopes to go back and do the whole trail in one go.

Did you stop the tech?  Have a digital detox?

I had no emails or any business transactions, but I did log onto Facebook and I also read my kindle.  Her mum is 98 and loved Jane’s updates on Facebook!  Yes, a 98 year old on Facebook!

Wifi was not brilliant.

Do you stay mainly in hostels?

Yes, a few times I treated myself, but mostly I stayed in hostels.  Some were great some were ropey! Jane then explains her favourite hostel in Hospital De Something.  Jane stayed in a hostel run by hippies.  They showed Jane to her bunk which was super clean.  There was a yoga session in the garden which was free of charge!  The whole place was a donation.  The pilgrim's meal (with no alcohol) was totally vegetarian and it was amazing.  We had a bit of a sing song with the guitars out and it was just lovely and the best meal.

 

Jane talked about a house on the edge of Pamplona.  The Camino gives you what you need.  We walked into a town which was about 5km before Pamplona.  It was run by two gay guys - they had a swimming pool and Jane indulged in her underwear.  There were only two people eating there.  They cooked the best food ever!  The next day, they left their rucksacks at the same place and walked into Pamplona - then got the bus back and stayed another night!

 

Was there anything you took but never used?

Um.. can’t think of anything off hand. 

Did you have blisters?

A few small ones but nothing too dramatic.  I learned how to thread a needle and then leave the thread hanging through the blister which helps to drain the blister.

Jane had a bad knee (called housemaids knee). Stretching is important.  The Pharmacies are great on the Camino and they sorted her out - along with the luggage transfer service.

Did you see any “oasis” or little men selling things?

The Camino provides!  Yes, these were like a little bit of heaven!

Did you have many snorers?

Not really. 

Did you have anyone sleep naked?

Jane tells a funny story about some cyclists!

 

Music - is there a type of music that you listen to on the trail? 

If I am walking on my own then I may listen to all sorts, Queen, Billy Joel, Classical.

Did you do much training for the Camino?

About 6 months before we walked on a regular basis and built it up to about 8-9 miles.  It was more important to wear your boots in, and build your muscle memory. 

Are you a bladder or a bottle person?

Jane prefers a hydration bladder, but she gives advice on how to manage this process because if they are not cleaned properly.  There is plenty of places to get water on the route. 

Toilet discussions on the Camino…

No need to go in public (maybe a wee on occasion). 

Is there anything that I have not asked that we should talk about?

Yes, the weight of your backpack is super important.  Don’t carry more than 10% of your body weight.  Don’t carry too much!

You can buy anything that you need along the way. Please be sensible.

Jane carried about 7.5 kg.  Every day you wash the clothes that you have been wearing all day.  Jane washed hers in the shower.

Julia talked about the Lush Shampoo Bars for washing clothes and the body. 

Tip: Don’t have a shower in the morning as it softens your feet. 

Did you journal?

Yes, I made notes on most days.

Jane’s parting words are… Just do it!  You will take from it what you want to take from it.  You may do a week and think that this isn’t for me, but after a while, you may change your find. 

We live in such a fast-paced environment now that just being able to take a week and clear your head for a short period of time is worth it.

Bye! 

Ep14 - CAMINO TALK SHOW WITH PILGRIM TED LIAO

Ep14 - CAMINO TALK SHOW WITH PILGRIM TED LIAO

January 25, 2019

Ted is a tour guide in his day job and has walked the Camino a few times now.

QUOTE: As you start to love the road, you hate the thought of getting there!

Whenever Ted has a chance he plays a 20-minute video to his passengers so that they know what the Camino is.

How did you hear about the Camino? In 2014, he watched the film The Way, with Martin Sheen. He then became obsessed with Google searches about the Camino.

Did you plan your Camino is detail? Nope! His wife booked his flight and he literally finished work one day and was flying out to Madrid the next. He had no idea where he was going!

Ted walked the Frances route in October 2016 and then went back to walk the Portugal Route from Lisbon in November 2017. Is there a difference between these routes? yes, HUGE! On the Portugal route, Ted did not see one single pilgrim on the trail for the first week - not one! His first night on the Portugal route was in a fire station!

And it was free - they wouldn’t even take a donation. His 2nd night was spent with people from the church in a house. He tells the emotional story of how strangers gave him hot food.

You can hear the passion in Ted’s voice when her talks about being on his own on the Portugal route, and how amazing it was to spend time in nature and with himself. Was it not lonely on the Portugal route?

At first yes, but after a few days, he did not feel lonely at all. After Porto it got busy. The French Way is more like a party every night!

Was the Camino everything you thought it would be? You will have to listen to the answer on that one!

Food - we have a long discussion on food, along with photos. Ted was surprised at the price of wine (and the volume of wine!).

He can still remember the flavour of the goat's cheese in his mouth! €10 for a Pilgrim menu was just brilliant. Ted ate that much on the Camino that he certainly did not lose any weight!

Are you a spiritual person? No, not really. Ted is not religious or spiritual, he just enjoys an adventure.

Did you finish into Santiago with friends or on your own?

Did you feel the same sense of achievement the 2nd time in Santiago? Yes, he was very emotional both times.

A dream come true? Did you do the Pilgrim mass? Yes, even though I am not religious, I enjoyed the experience.

Did you see the big swingy thing?

How many times have you seen the film The Way?

Just the once! What was your most memorable story - you need to listen to this story, it is amazing!!! He learned a valuable lesson about sharing on that night.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of walking The Way? Go for it! It is much easier than you think.

Ep12 - THE CAMINO TALK SHOW | WITH CARMEL FROM ISRAEL

Ep12 - THE CAMINO TALK SHOW | WITH CARMEL FROM ISRAEL

January 18, 2019

Carmel walked the Camino in October 2016, the French route.  She is from Israel and was walking on her own.  Her main camino lesson was to learn to spend time on her own and to build courage.  After just three hours she was not on her own.  Hear her spiritual journey, especially the one with an encounter with someone who had passed away.

 

QUOTE: If you truly believe in the way, YOUR WAY, then things will fall into place.  The Camino Will Always Provide.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

 

  1. We start to conversation with a talk about spider bites and bed bugs.  Carmel has some great tips to help with bed bugs.
  2. Can you believe that she was carrying 30llbs on her back.  Yep, 14kg!  How crazy is that? She soon found that shipping half of this weight to Santiago was the right things to do.
  3. What was your favourite part of the Camino - The Meseta.  It was where the healing began and the proper thinking time.  Find out what sort of things Carmel thought about on those long days of walking this vast area of open, flat land.
  4. Food - Carmel is a vegetarian and found it quite difficult sometimes to find food that was catered for veggies.  Especially in the Galacia region.  She lived on bread, cheese, rice dishes etc.  Carmel does not eat fish either.  Find out more detail in the video.
  5. Carmel bought food in supermarkets along the way.
  6. Are you a religious person?  No.  Carmel is Jewish so the christian part did not appeal to her, but the spiritual part certainly did.  Walking is so powerful.  Carmel believes that the Camino has a special energy about it. 
  7. Did you know that the churches along the Camino are built on energy balls.
  8. Did you think of the Camino in the way of the Afterlife?  Yes, I had an encounter with someone who had passed away. I do believe in souls and that they are walking with the pilgrims.  We then discussed “Thin Places” where the spiritual world meets the physical world.
  9. How did you feel about Le Cruz De Ferro?  It was a really important part of Carmel’s camino.
  10. If you watched last week’s show, then you will know who Bubba is.  He gave Carmel a viking stone to leave at the cross.  It was a special moment for her.  This was one of the most spiritual moments on the Camino - a burden was released.
  11. What do you tell people when they are you about the Camino?  She tells people that they won’t get it until you have done it themselves.  Only people have done the Camino can understand the camino. 
  12. Carmel has no regrets - everyone should do it!
  13. How was Santiago? We wanted to walk in the morning, so we had a short day.  It was the only day on the Camino where I did not speak to anyone all day.  I came on my own and wanted to finish on my own.  It took 4hrs, and I took my time.  I just had the day for me. When I walked into Santiago I thought I would be overwhelmed but I felt disappointed.  I didn’t feel that it was the end.  I felt more closure when I got to Fisterra. 
  14. At Fisterra Carmel had the feeling that she was restarting.  It was a fresh new start. She had pressed the reset button.
  15. What advice would you give to a new person thinking of walking the Camino?  Just do it.  And bring another pair of shoes.
  16. Carmel shares a few stories about the Camino - her favourite moments, and we have photos to accompany the stories in the video.
  17. Carmel got a tattoo of the Camino after her journey - like many other people.

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