I am a middle aged lady thinking of doing the Porto-Santiago trip either in September/October this year.
Originally, I started travelling in 1967 when I drove through Europe and into Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Kashimir. I spent two years on this trip and then returned to the U.K., to marry and have a family. Many years three children and a divorce later I returned to India this time without a car and travelled most of the country by train and bus. From there I flew to Thailand and then on to Australia where I spent six months hitch-hiking around the outback. Since then I have lived in Spain for the past 8 years and am now feeling the pull of the road again.
Although rapidly approaching old age I am extremely lucky in that I am healthy and fit - perhaps a little overweight at the moment (due to boredom and lack of exercise) and have decided to do the Camino choosing this particular route because I think it's the easiest and hoping to work up to the big one.
I am used to sleeping under the stars, bathing in a litre of water and eating whatever the local menu entails. I am a seasoned traveller with lots of experience, have a good sense of humour and would enjoy travelling in a small group. I speak spanish fluently, enjoy others' company regardless of age and do not have anything to prove or axes to bear.
I would very much appreciate if you would let me know if you would be interested in my joining what I am sure will be several travellers.
My name is Claudine and I am from California. I am also middle aged, traveled the world, going west.... yep, also to India, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bali, Iran, Middle East and finally arriving in Europe in the spring of 1970. I had many wonderful quieter years raising two sons and we managed to travel quite a bit. On April 28. 2008, I left Porto and arrived (as planned/hoped) in Santiago on May 11 (Mother's Day in America). I chose the coastal route to Vila do Conde for my first day of walking. My journey was rich, challenging, safe, quiet, spirited, spiritual, connected, friendly....and I could go on and on! I walked six days in Portugal and six days in Spain, taking one day to rest, which was 13 days overall. This was a fairly ambitious schedule and fairly consistent with John Brierly's guide which I found very helpful. I went alone and by foot as he recommended and I never felt alone. I met mostly German Pilgrims...lovely people, fun and intuitive AND they had a great and more updated guide book!
You will not need to sleep under the stars unless you choose to do so as there were Pilgrim accommodations along the Camino Portuguese or inexpensive hotels. I found the updates on the internet to be accurate and was able to determine if and where I might need a hotel. The refugios were not full and I always found a bed when using Pilgrim facilities.
I can't say enough for the wonderful journey you are undertaking. It is rich in culture, history, topography and friendship. I plan on walking the Via la Plata next (as I do not like crowds) but have not firmed up my dates, maybe fall of 2009 or spring of 2010.