At this point in our training, my #CaminoTwits pal Lori and I consider ourselves advanced amateur walkers. After the previous week’s 32km effort, we decided we needed to stretch ourselves further and sought recommendations from our hiking friends at AvoidingChores.com for a shorter, yet hillier route. That’s what brought us to the Admiral Lake Loop on the Musquodoboit Trailway.
For those unfamiliar with Nova Scotia place names, “Musquodoboit” is pronounced “Musk-uh-dob-it.”
We are not gluttons for punishment, except when we are. My #CaminoTwits buddy Lori and I had a pretty simple rationale for this adventure: we have a couple of days on the Camino where the walks could be 30+ kilometres and we thought it might be a good idea to see what that feels like.
Short version: looks good, feels terrible. It was a good test for what a long, long day of walking on easy terrain may feel like – for better or for worse – and we saw a porcupine in a tree.
As part of our efforts to get lots and lots of kilometres on our legs and be Camino-ready by September, my friend Lori and I are quickly burning though our 20-kilometre walking route options in Halifax and Dartmouth. So, we started looking for new trail ideas a short drive from Halifax in the 10-kilometre range or a 20-kilometre loop/return. One that jumped out connects two of my favourite spots on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, the Bay to Bay Trail connecting the towns of Mahone Bay and Lunenburg on an abandoned rail line.
When I visited Spain in 2011, I immediately fell in love with the country and knew I’d return. In Madrid, I encountered a couple who had just finished their second Camino de Santiago, this time from Portugal. At the time, I knew nothing about it and asked them enough questions to know this was something I’d have to do. On the flight home, I was decided: I will walk the Camino de Santiago in 2014. On paper, it’s a big year for me. I turn 40. And while 40 is the new 29, or some hot nonsense like that, it’s also a good time for me to go somewhere I really want to go, enjoy what comes my way and meet people from all over the world while I’m doing it.
Walking, eating and meeting. This is what I want to do in 2014. As the months tick by, I’ll provide updates with my progress, planning and preparation. At best, it will be one person’s definitive guide to fulfilling her dreams. If you find it helpful, have questions, or even better, want to offer advice, let me know in the comments! Buen camino!
My friend Lori and I are planning to do the Camino at the same time and have been pursuing our planning with great, shared enthusiasm. She’s also blogging her Camino prep, and we’ve created a hashtag - #caminotwits - to tag information in our Twitter conversations. Needless to say, it’s quickly becoming the theme of our adventure and a source of amusement among our friends.
If you enjoyed last week’s visit to the wine harvest in Tuscany, my wine adventures in Italy continue with my visit to the Cinque Terre. This part of the trip involves even more grapes and wine, with the added benefit of hiking straight uphill for many hours and kilometres. I joke because I love.
Hiking through the villages of the Cinque Terre has been something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years. While I am definitely a walker, I wouldn’t call myself a “hiker.” When I found the dreamy sounding Cinque Terre Coastal Walk through G Adventures, I knew right away I found what I was looking for. “What could be more lovely than a leisurely walk among brightly-coloured villages next to the Mediterranean?” Ha!