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Jo's camino blog - winter 2009

Hi everyone,

I've just posted my first post on my blog for the camino in November/December this year. I'm hoping to be updating regularly from now (two weeks to go!) until I reach Santiago and Finisterre, and maybe even afterwards. The blog's mainly for keeping up with friends and family, but if anyone's interested (I hope so!), here's the link:

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Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I'd love to follow you on your journey Jo! Is it possible to add a 'Flollow Me' functon to the blog?


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Hi Jo,
I am sure that you are going to have a wonderful Winter Camino and that you will find many who will follow your blog with anticipation of hearing all about your experiences. I know I will. Buen Camino.


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Buen camino, Jo! Hopefully we will will meet up in a month or so along the way. Best of luck to you!
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I've been following your blog closely and it sounds like you are pushing yourself too hard too quick. Don't judge your aches and pains with Ari's lack thereof. Take a day's rest. Seek some attn to the rash and blisters. Buy some compeed for the blisters. And most of all, dont give up. The Camino has lots to offer in the days to come.

Buen Camino,


Veteran Member
Jo, You have tackled an amazingly difficult journey in winter, and at age 17, you are way below the average age of perigrinos.

Here is an interesting fact about mental and physical toughness. Ironman Triathletes don't peak in their performance until age 29 or 30. At age 17, you may have strength and determination but lack that magic ingredient that Ironmen don't get until age 30. Not your fault, just human nature.

I started my Camino (at age 50) with 4 perigrinos I met on the internet. For our first week we started with a 27 km day to Roncesvalles, and then walked less and less until day 6 when we only walked 22kms. The others wanted an even shorter day the next day. That is where we parted because I was wanting more distance.

You are having considerable difficulty, and you have just finished two 30 km days. A huge accomplishment, given your circumstances. I encourage you to take a day off, to dry all your things and rest your feet. Then cut back your distance each day to between 18 and 22 kms.

I wish I could offer you advice on the rash on your ankles and blisters.

Think "Poco a Poco" Spanish for "little by little"
and good luck.

David, Victoria, Canada.


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skilsaw said:
I wish I could offer you advice on the rash on your ankles and blisters.

Hi Jo,
as well as the question 'Are you allergic to wool?' I would want to ask 'Do you rinse your socks thoroughly when washing?' The only time I had problems was when I neglected to do so. :oops: I know because they made the water frothy next day without any soap :shock:
If you are washing by hand, you need to rinse and rinse again. Any soap / washing liquid left in material next to your skin can cause irritation. See this thread for more details and ideas:-
Take things a bit easier - Santiago is used to waiting!

Every Blessing and Buen Camino
Tio Tel

Tia Valeria

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Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
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Hi Jo,
When I was at college and handwashing clothes a friend gave me this piece of advice.

Always have the water for the first rinse at the same temperature as the wash water, if it is colder it will 'set' the soap in the clothes rather than rinsing it out. Then cool or cold rinse until the water is 'clear'.

Also use as little soap as possible and try to add it to the water not direct onto the clothes (thinking soap leaves here), it is easy to over-soap otherwise.
For the rash at present:- might a pharmacy have something like Sudofed (nappy rash cream) which you could use overnight and would help heal your skin.
As others have said, hopefully a rest day will put you back on your feet and enable you to walk on refreshed.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
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It is too late for Jo's feet, but future pilgrims should note how important it is to PREVENT blisters. Painful feet detract from a pilgrimage, turning discomfort into misery and depression. Your feet have to last the entire pilgrimage, so treat them as important essentials, not accessories just along for the ride.

For Jo: take care of your nutrition. Bread is not a good diet; you need protein, too. "Hitting the wall" will result more from nutritional depletion than tired muscles. Soreness can be ignored, but low energy from not eating properly will only get worse. Rest and eat.

And if it is not too late, HAVE FUN!
Jo, just to share with you my experience with blisters and rashes, hope the info may be of help

I started my camino thinking I was prepared for blister prevention; socks liners and all. My little toe started having a conversation with me from day 1. As the days progressed, she recruited most of my other toes, soles, and heels. Walking with blisters (on both feet) was agony, but walk I did, everyday.

I eventually found the right formula - (1) vaseline my feet each morning and night. (2) each evening drain all blisters, and allow feet to air, and allow the wounds to dry up - this may mean sleeping without socks even when it was cold (3) my socks liners were not working for me - so out they went.

(1) & (2) an absolute must. (3) depends on individuals and materials of liners. It was almost 2.5 weeks before I could walk blister free, but I did, for the rest of the journey.

As for rashes and allergies. I suffer both from ezcema and uticaria, and am reactive to a number of things and situations, including weather conditions. I had been on trips where I had rashes covering almost my whole body and any clothing was painful. I had to be treated with steriod injections everyday to keep the infections down. It tooks me years to find the right formula. I now work on prevention and started my course of antihistamines on the same day I leave home up to the day I return.

I am not suggesting that you do this but you may wish to try to drop by the pharmacia, or the hospital, and have the rash tended to. And see if it is necessary for you to go on a course of antihistamines. Keep the rash covered with light gauze when you walk, to prevent dirt from getting into it, and leave it to air when you sleep (if possible), after cleaning it out with alcohol swaps or hot water.

I am allergic to wool. I get weeping rashes from almost within an hour the wool touches my skin. If you are allergic to wool you may need to drop by a shop and buy a new pair of socks. No cotton please.

And Falcon is absolutely right about nutrition. Try to have a good breakfast before you start your walk. For dinner, protein is important; for muscles to heal and restore itself in the night. Lunch, carbo and protein will give you the energy to continue. Carry a fruit/some chocolates with you to munch at mid morning and mid afternoon.

And dont forget to drink. Even if it means needing to use the public toilet along the way. Dehydration = fatigue

Rest well, eat well, hydrate well.

Small changes will make a world of a difference :)

Trust things will get better and you can enjoy the rest of the journey.

Keep well. Buen camino.


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Camino de Levante 2009
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Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016

my first week on the Camino de Levante (in September and October) was tough. If I could have come home without anyone noticing, I would have. But it got better - looking back on it now, it is the best thing I have done. Take it easy and stick with it if you can. Have rest days. Don't be afraid to get the bus or train or taxi if you need. Can you afford a night in a hostal or hotel to get pampered? What is there you enjoy and which helps you at the moment? (in the tough early days for me it was the kindness of people on the Camino and at home - it was fantastic to realise that I was in such a web of love). Can you laugh through the pain at all? My blisters all had names.

Ultreya y buen Camino

Aww, thanks for all the advice? There are countless times where I have to ask myself 'am I doing this right???' and you guys are so awesome. I'll be taking it easy for a while (even though I feel amazing today!) and will look into everything else, about the washing and all that. As for food, I'm making sure I eat plently healthy, we seem to be finding more and more shops now which is great. Tonight - potatoes, beans, eggs and chocolate. Chocolate pretty much goes with everything. It's like a staple. (Kidding... a bit).

Again, muchas gracias!


Veteran Member
A Camino isn't a camino without daily cafe con leche with extra sugar and pastry. Particularly those rectangular ones with chocolate on the inside.

And Jo, you already know chocolate goes with everything.

Grasshopper, you have learned the first lesson well.
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Hello Jo,

Just read your blog. Amazing what you already have achieved. And so many people giving you advise. Wonderful this forum. Unfortenately I can not give any advice, because I myself are walking 2011. But reading about it is great.
Jo, be safe and eat proper!
I have a daughter nearly your age, and you do have to eat well. You will benefit by it.
Jo have a Buen Camino!

Many greetings from Hedwig. From Holland


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SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Jo,
Its compelling to vicariously share your peregrinations, and blister stories are much more enjoyable when they're someone else's- (blister schadenfreude!)
I always get blisters but by using the Compeed blister stick or vaseline to rub on the sore bits succeeded in 'managing' the severity on the CF this year.
Turning my liner socks inside out really helped, as any little seams or thread tags were then on the outside and the inside was super smooth. My niece Kirsty, who at the age of three insisted wearing her knickers inside out as a seamless/ softer option, was the inspiration for this idea.
Keep your daily chocolate ration up and you will be fine.

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