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Recent content by mikebet

  1. M

    Canadian Alternative for 2020

    I hiked the West Coast Trail (Port Renfrew to Bamfield) on Vancouver Island some years ago. It's a really nice walk, with both beach and forest alternatives -- depending on the tide in some cases. One of the best features is camping on the beach and building a campfire from driftwood, which is...
  2. M

    Deep_Puncture_wound_right foot. What helped you w/ similar experience?

    Back when I was in Army training near Boston I took a walk in the woods wearing (stupidly) just sandals. Stepped in a stick and got a puncture wound in the arch of one foot. It hurt quite a bit so I went on sick call after a few days to see what was wrong. The medic probed around in the hole for...
  3. M

    Camping Can you camp along the Camino?

    Times may have changed due to the virus, but just last year a lot of popular tourist meccas were complaining vociferously about the negative impact of hordes of visitors overrunning everything. It seems to me that camping -- especially outside the very rare designated campsites -- risks...
  4. M

    A leisurely start from St Jean Pied de Port

    You can do what we did a few years ago: stay in San Sebastian (a great place!), take an AM train to SJPdP in time for the pilgrims's lunch at one of the many restaurants, get your passport at the pilgrim office, and then start off for Orrisson. It's only a couple or three hours walking after all.
  5. M

    Monkey Butt. . . Prevention, Care, and Treatment

    That's a new one on me. I've ever heard of monkey butt outside the context of motorcycling, where sitting on a plastic seat for a long time in hot weather can bring it on. Now crotch rot, that's another story. LOL
  6. M

    COVID Anyone in Spain now have a guess on the planned opening of businesses again?

    Wow, I feel whipsawed reading those articles from Spain: 1) no hope for this year; and then 2) well, maybe. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver once said," You are either part of the solution or part of the problem." Let us hopeful pilgrims not fall into the...
  7. M

    Ancestry DNA Explains it all !

    I did one of those ancestry tests a few years ago, knowing that my paternal grandparents immigrated from Germany in 1909 and my maternal precursors (surname Baker) had probably come from England originally but had lived in the US for many generations. My DNA result: Indonesian. Well, heck, I did...
  8. M

    Walking from Sarria

    It's a personal decision of course, but I much prefer walking well before or after peak season. If you shoot for late March-early April or sometime in October (my personal choice) you will have less competition for accommodations. And whenever you or your husband start fretting about making a...
  9. M

    COVID Corona Virus...

    As Walkerooni said, about 30,000 Americans die every year from the common flu. If the same level of panic and paranoia were applied to the annual US flu outbreak the discovery of a few flu patients in Boston would result in quarantining the city, shutting down schools and stopping all air travel...
  10. M

    Via Francigena

    At 14 or 15 euros per bag per stage that's a pretty pricey service. If you could get together a group of four or five walkers you could probably get a taxi and split the cost for bag delivery cheaper than that. An alternative method would be to designate one member of the group each day as the...
  11. M


    I'm in the same boat with regard to a service-related hearing deficit but I didn't know that the VA provides orthotic services as well. I've got plenty flat feet which have plagued me on log hikes. What did you tell them when you sought help?
  12. M

    Outdoor Gear, Backpacking Consumerism, and the Marketplace

    Yeah, this is one of my favorite hobby horses to ride (or beat when dead). I became a member of REI back in the late 70s when living in Bolivia and climbing in the Andes. It was one of the few sources (outside of Europe) for high-quality climbing gear -- ice axes, ropes, crampons, etc. -- and...
  13. M

    Who has packed the lightest pack?

    Whatever happened to drinking from the bottle? Dang, this Camino is getting too civilized! What's next...canape forks? LOL
  14. M

    Colle di Val d'Elsa stop?

    Thanks to all...some good info here, as always on this forum. It looks like Colle is now on the itinerary. I probably should have mentioned this in my previous post but I was surprised on a day visit to San Gimignano recently (as a side trip from Florence, not walking) that I did not see a...

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