Backpacking

 

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“Focusing on the whole person to maximize health and wellness for life.”

 

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Backpacking for Baby-Boomers

 

Backpacking is one way to keep within one’s budget. One might think that this form of traipsing around the world would be more for the younger generations, but it is actually quite popular amongst all age groups – including Baby-Boomers.

 

A Few Important Tips To Keep In Mind:

 

  • Pack Light. A good quality light-weight back pack is the foundation for your journey; you will be carrying it with you pretty much everywhere you go.
  • Hand wash your clothes every night
  • Staying at hostels, and couch surfing are a couple of methods of keeping your accommodation costs down.

 

One backpacking experience I would love to do is the Camino Walk. Physically, with fibromyalgia, I’m not sure I’d even be able to walk that many miles each day and complete it in the suggested time-frame. I know several people who’ve done it and actually have a friend doing it right now – Spring 2019.

  

The Camino Walk

 

Apparently there are several different routes to walk the El Camino. The most common route, the El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) is a rather flat, paved path alongside busy roadways.

Thriving-Baby-Boomers - Backpacking - Map of the Camino de Santiago route through Spain

Map of the Camino de Santiago route through Spain

(Source – Jim’s Camino de Santiago walk 2012)

 

According to a Traveler website, The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route ends at the town of Santiago de Compostela,  believed to be the resting place of St James the Apostle… it has no real starting point… One of the main strands of the trail runs through the city of Le Puy en Velay in France’s Massif Central, and this is a popular starting point. From here to Santiago, de Compostela takes about two months on foot, and therefore many walkers do a shorter section.

According to the website Follow The Camino:

“There is no one route or way to walk the Camino. There are nine main routes to reach Santiago. The Camino Frances is the most widely known and popular route into Santiago. Second in popularity is the Camino Portugues, which also ends in Santiago and has been expanded into a second route, the Camino Portugues Coastal Way. The other routes reaching Santiago are the Camino Ingles, Camino Primitivo and the Via de la Plata. The two routes that don’t end in Santiago are the Camino del Norte, which covers the northern coast of Spain and ends in Oviedo, and the Via Podiensis which traverses France from Le Puy en Velay to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The final Camino route, Camino Finisterre, is the only one to begin in Santiago and extends out to the coast and Cape Finisterre – also known as the end of the world!

To receive your Compostela (Certificate of Completion) you simply need to show the stamps you have collected while walking or cycling the Camino.** (see note below.) Walking it will be a physical challenge as most people aren’t used to walking 20km a day, and even rarer to walk 20km day after day!”

**NOTE – Blogger, Francis Tapon says that it’s important to get stamps from the various hostels along the way whether you actually stay in them or not, as this is used for verification that you’ve traversed the Camino.

 

The Follow the Camino website says they can tailor your Camino trip to suit any level of fitness.

Thriving-Baby-Boomers - Backpacking - Lush green fields; backpacker walking the Camino

Lush green fields; backpacker walking the Camino

(Source – Sometimes She Travels)

Blogger Francis Tapon, gives 10 reasons why walking the El Camino ‘sucks’

It took Francis 25 days to walk El Camino de Santiago from St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Fisterra through a much more mountainous variation of El Camino Santiago. It took him through Los Picos de Europa and Asturias.

 

I don’t know if physically I could do any of the El Camino routes, however it is nice to know that the walk can be tailored to one’s level of fitness,  but it is definitely something I’d like to try – to challenge my beliefs and perceived limitations.

 

What backpacking experience have you been on, or would like to try? Leave your comment in the message box below.

 

 

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