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What if I just showed up?

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#1
No worries about squashed bag in luggage..simply a folded up pack in a cheap gym bag conveyance
The clothes on my back
The shoes on my feet...

What if i got off the the plane and simply went on a small shopping trip,and bought all that i needed..there?

What would people say? Why..he is in Biarritz and has no...luggage!

E-gads! What a strange man?

Or..

There is a man on a mission
Imagine going down to the local shopping center where the locals go and buy your nessesaries?
Put them in your bag(if you brought one) and simply...
Going.

Out the door
Down the road

Goom by
Tootles
Fair the well
Vaya con Dios
By your leave
Que te vaya bien
See ya
Laters
Thats my cue
Brah..mind the place?
Duuude..and a smile
Aloha
Adieu
Arrivaderci
Ciao
Auf weid..wied..lederhosen..
Bon voyage
Sayonara
Salaam
Shalom
Vale
Zaijian...

And turnt face toward Santiago de Compostella.

Do you think you would pack less...lighter..smarter?
What if...

Such a heavy set of words
So much tied up with them..what if

You simply showed up and trusted to provenence that what you needed
Would be there..when you need it?

What if..it became less about what
And more aboot whome...?

You will really gain a perspective on yourself,who and what you are by winging it
As it may..you done got pushed out the nest
Now its all up to you
Fly
Fall
Bounce on your downey butt

Can you handle the rawness of who you really are?

Its a brutal look into a clean mirror.

What happens if you simply go and bravely face what comes
That is what if defined

Brave Pilgrim
There is so much more to you

Once out the door you are not the same person you were 5 min ago.
Memento Vivere
 

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Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#2
You are really considering the KIS principal (keep it simple). So if the budget allows go for it. Although I would be looking for a pair of solid walking shoes/boots that are well broken-in, comfortable on your feet and able to withstand the rigors of the Spanish countryside. Cheers
 

Dennis D

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2014
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2016
Francés - 2017
Francés - 2018
Francés/Primitive (2019)
#3
I agree with mike. It your feet can make it, the rest of you will follow.

Oh, and depending on the time of year, don't scrimp on rain gear. A two Euro poncho won't cut it.

Buen Camino
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#5
I've seen posts on this forum and elsewhere asking very detailed questions about booking albergues and such matters where the OP is planning for a camino two years or more away :oops: If there is nothing to tie you to home there is really very little forward planning needed. Last autumn I was sitting exactly where I am now - a chair at my kitchen table. The view out of my window was miserable - wet and windy. Not that rare an event in west Wales. From making the snap decision to walk the Via de la Plata to having my travel insurance, flight, ground transport to and from the airports in both countries and first night in a Seville hostel booked took well under an hour. I was in Spain and walking within four days. Disentangling yourself from your daily life may take a lot of time and effort - preparing yourself to walk the Caminos really need not!
 

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lt56ny

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#6
Before you get on a plane find a good pair of trail runners that will not need a lot of breaking in. You gotta GOTTA REALLY GOTTA take care of those feet!!!. My only other suggestion is when you get there, if you don't know too much about backpacks find a store where someone can help you. Get the quickest drying clothes you can and go on the cheap and burn camino!!!
 

RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#8
Well, seeing how the Camino (the great majority of the more popular routes) is far from being a wilderness, third world or far flung communities and outposts, one could very easily just jump on an aeroplane, arrive in say Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona and Saint Jean with absolutely no proper long distance walking (you notice I say walking and not hiking) clothing and equipment and simply just pop into the first outdoor equipment shop they see, break out the euros and literally within an hour be ready to go all the way to Santiago. If some of the stuff you initially bought at the beginning sucks and just is not working out? Bin it and replace it in the first town you get to with an outdoor shop.
It really is too easy and sometimes overthought.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#9
No worries about squashed bag in luggage..simply a folded up pack in a cheap gym bag conveyance
The clothes on my back
The shoes on my feet...

What if i got off the the plane and simply went on a small shopping trip,and bought all that i needed..there?

What would people say? Why..he is in Biarritz and has no...luggage!

E-gads! What a strange man?

Or..

There is a man on a mission
Imagine going down to the local shopping center where the locals go and buy your nessesaries?
Put them in your bag(if you brought one) and simply...
Going.

Out the door
Down the road

Goom by
Tootles
Fair the well
Vaya con Dios
By your leave
Que te vaya bien
See ya
Laters
Thats my cue
Brah..mind the place?
Duuude..and a smile
Aloha
Adieu
Arrivaderci
Ciao
Auf weid..wied..lederhosen..
Bon voyage
Sayonara
Salaam
Shalom
Vale
Zaijian...

And turnt face toward Santiago de Compostella.

Do you think you would pack less...lighter..smarter?
What if...

Such a heavy set of words
So much tied up with them..what if

You simply showed up and trusted to provenence that what you needed
Would be there..when you need it?

What if..it became less about what
And more aboot whome...?

You will really gain a perspective on yourself,who and what you are by winging it
As it may..you done got pushed out the nest
Now its all up to you
Fly
Fall
Bounce on your downey butt

Can you handle the rawness of who you really are?

Its a brutal look into a clean mirror.

What happens if you simply go and bravely face what comes
That is what if defined

Brave Pilgrim
There is so much more to you

Once out the door you are not the same person you were 5 min ago.
Memento Vivere
I love this so much. Because this is the advice I give people who now ask me about preparing for the Camino. Book your ticket, put a few things in a sack and go. Everything else will sort itself out. I am preparing to walk again in July on the Camino Luxembourg and will do exactly that.

People have been walking the Way for thousands of years without REI and in much less civilized and modern conditions than we have now.
 
Last edited:

Glamgrrl

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#10
At St. JPDP, you can get everything you need. There’s a great shop there. I would suggest taking an extra pair of tech underwear as I haven’t seen that yet, but everything from ear plugs, buffs, sticks and socks are available. It’s a tempting idea for sure.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#12
At St. JPDP, you can get everything you need. There’s a great shop there. I would suggest taking an extra pair of tech underwear as I haven’t seen that yet, but everything from ear plugs, buffs, sticks and socks are available. It’s a tempting idea for sure.
I think really the only thing that one would need to be careful about planning ahead would be shoes. Only because the cost of having the wrong shoes would be so high in terms of maybe not actually being able to walk and it would probably take a significant amount of time to replace them. Everything else is probably not nearly as important as people think it is.
 

J F Gregory

Preparing for the Norte
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished
October- November 2018 to walk the Del Norte.
#14
Actually it sounds good. That is how I lived in the 60's when I was hiking and hitching around. It didn't fit in my 12 Liter rucksack. As I have got older I like tried and true comfort while traveling. We have been traveling since about 98 several places around the globe, Africa, Europe, the middle east and central America. I always travel with a pack, now the latest pack is 38 liters and weighs 2 lbs. It will be with mw on the del Norte and has a life time warranty. I used to use cheap stuff do I wouldn't destroy my good stuff. But, you get what you pay for. The good kits are better. But each their own.
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#15
Beautiful.

Like all good poetry, this is not meant to be taken literally but, I believe, is meant to touch us in a way that we see ourselves differently. And for me, that it did.

It made me stop and remember a day shortly before my most recent time on the Camino. After my first walk ended in pretty much of a physical disaster, I became seriously obsessed with The Stuff. These shoes versus those shoes, this pack versus that one, hydration system versus water bottle, smart wool versus tech fabric, blah, blah, blah, blah... Blah, blah, blah.

Then, one beautiful spring afternoon, I decided to just go for a walk. No pack. No special shoes, no hydration system.

Just open the front door and go for a walk.

It was so nice. Soft sun, light breeze, clear sky. And I started thinking.... If I just kept walking, what would I absolutely need tonight? Some money to pay for a place to stay. A toothbrush. A comb. I could sleep in my clothes, I could stop if my feet hurt....

It turned my perspective all around. Why was I really going on this pilgrimage?

But, @William Garza, you say it so much more gracefully:

"What if it became less about what
And more aboot whome...?"

Yes. What?

Because...

"Now it's all up to you
Fly
Fall
Bounce on your downey butt"

I did them all. And loved every moment of it.

So nicely said. Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June 3 2017 to July 2017
#17
I took a 30L pack that had already seen better days and used quick dry clothes I already had. I took an old pair of Chacos and bought a new pair of Cascadias, which was my only significant purchase. The Cascadias pooped themselves, and I ended up walking most of the Frances in my Chacos. The Chacos are home and still worn, the backpack is with my wife (on the meseta in a few more hours), and Cascadias were deposited in a bin in London on the way back home.

I do second the gentleman above who suggested good rain gear. I took an old entry-grade North Face rain coat with me. It did get me to Santiago, but not without discomfort. I found a great deal through Sierra Trading Post on a higher-grade (but discontinued) raincoat that I'll wear on my next Camino. The Sierra Trading Post idea was something I found by another pilgrim who posted on here about how to get outfitted on a tight budget.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#18
Life is its most meaningfull at the point you think you have the least.

It puts things into perspective.

That its not...things

Its you
Its when you simply have to trust in yourself and step out into the world.

"To live is to fly..lows and highs..so shake the dust out from your wings and the sleep out of your eyes" Towns Van Zandt..singer-poet-traveler
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#19
Being short of cash this year, I have considered whether or not I could afford to go on camino and have been fascinated by my memories of early years of mountain hiking: new gear, if any, was never actually new, but always from a second-hand store. The one exception was a pair of heavy mountain boots, which did good service for many years, until the sole of one peeled off from the top while I was two days in on a two week trail. A helpful park warden screwed the sole to the boot top and I was off.
 

Altrenta

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk the Camino this fall
#20
I love this so much. Because this is the advice I give people who now ask me about preparing for the Camino. Book your ticket, put a few things in a sack and go. Everything else will sort itself out. I am preparing to walk again in July on the Camino Luxembourg and will do exactly that.

People have been walking the Way for thousands of years without REI and in much less civilized and modern conditions than we have now.[/QUOTE

I have dreamed of this for literally years and am finally at a place in life that I can go...and then I got scared...I’m still scared...terrified even....but I’m going. Your post and the one you replied to...as well as the other replies...have helped me be a little less fearful. I figure if I never try then I have failed already.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Muxia/Fisterra (Dec/Jan 2016) Way of St. James - Luxembourg (July/Aug 2018)
#21
You mean the one about crying all the way to Madrid? Yep, that was me. :)
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#22
It is the bravest of all,
Among the least of us all...

Who steps forth into
Their...unknown

And become he sun that warms us through.

Put on your flying shoes
Dream of things unsaid
Leave the ground behind and shake the cob webs from the mind.
Tis fearfull business for the timid
To step out unto stones among the rapids
Scurling wake
Your soul to take
The thoughts among the vapid

Tis a fearful business
With the ending out of sight
Once
Twice
Thrice away of madding..maddening crowd
They cling..become a crowd

Bourn you are...aiming for the stars
Ripples
Galaxies
The entirety...
Awaits

A simple river it is
A river flows in you
Wanting to join into the milky
Into the mystic
Into the Way

Freedom
Is a step away.

Its only a fearfull business for those who stay.

As for us..we'll see you on the way

Off you go!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
#23
No worries about squashed bag in luggage..simply a folded up pack in a cheap gym bag conveyance
The clothes on my back
The shoes on my feet...

What if i got off the the plane and simply went on a small shopping trip,and bought all that i needed..there?

What would people say? Why..he is in Biarritz and has no...luggage!

E-gads! What a strange man?

Or..

There is a man on a mission
Imagine going down to the local shopping center where the locals go and buy your nessesaries?
Put them in your bag(if you brought one) and simply...
Going.

Out the door
Down the road

Goom by
Tootles
Fair the well
Vaya con Dios
By your leave
Que te vaya bien
See ya
Laters
Thats my cue
Brah..mind the place?
Duuude..and a smile
Aloha
Adieu
Arrivaderci
Ciao
Auf weid..wied..lederhosen..
Bon voyage
Sayonara
Salaam
Shalom
Vale
Zaijian...

And turnt face toward Santiago de Compostella.

Do you think you would pack less...lighter..smarter?
What if...

Such a heavy set of words
So much tied up with them..what if

You simply showed up and trusted to provenence that what you needed
Would be there..when you need it?

What if..it became less about what
And more aboot whome...?

You will really gain a perspective on yourself,who and what you are by winging it
As it may..you done got pushed out the nest
Now its all up to you
Fly
Fall
Bounce on your downey butt

Can you handle the rawness of who you really are?

Its a brutal look into a clean mirror.

What happens if you simply go and bravely face what comes
That is what if defined

Brave Pilgrim
There is so much more to you

Once out the door you are not the same person you were 5 min ago.
Memento Vivere

I have thought of this often. Arrive with an empty bag and get what you really need, or even no bag and choose on the spot! But here I am on the Poetuguese, having sent a box to
poste restante in Porto, an still wondering how I need all this.......
 
Camino(s) past & future
(Le Puy- St Jean Pied a Port (September 2018 )

St. Jean Pied a Port - Finisterre 2008
#24
Bin it.

Nah, please don't throw it out if you don't want it. Someone else might. Find a prominent place in the albergue where discards and exchanges meet and trip the light fantastic.
My last camino I showed up in Roncesvalles wearing crappy Indian flipflops, and there on the exchange/discard shelf (a big one, by the way) was the perfect pair of runners, well broken in, right size and off we went. All the way. Still using them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2017)
#25
I spent a lot at REI getting ready, tossed a lot of it there and bought two pairs of shoes there before my feet were happy. You can get everything there that you need.
 

Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
#26
No worries about squashed bag in luggage..simply a folded up pack in a cheap gym bag conveyance
The clothes on my back
The shoes on my feet...

What if i got off the the plane and simply went on a small shopping trip,and bought all that i needed..there?

What would people say? Why..he is in Biarritz and has no...luggage!

E-gads! What a strange man?

Or..

There is a man on a mission
Imagine going down to the local shopping center where the locals go and buy your nessesaries?
Put them in your bag(if you brought one) and simply...
Going.

Out the door
Down the road

Goom by
Tootles
Fair the well
Vaya con Dios
By your leave
Que te vaya bien
See ya
Laters
Thats my cue
Brah..mind the place?
Duuude..and a smile
Aloha
Adieu
Arrivaderci
Ciao
Auf weid..wied..lederhosen..
Bon voyage
Sayonara
Salaam
Shalom
Vale
Zaijian...

And turnt face toward Santiago de Compostella.

Do you think you would pack less...lighter..smarter?
What if...

Such a heavy set of words
So much tied up with them..what if

You simply showed up and trusted to provenence that what you needed
Would be there..when you need it?

What if..it became less about what
And more aboot whome...?

You will really gain a perspective on yourself,who and what you are by winging it
As it may..you done got pushed out the nest
Now its all up to you
Fly
Fall
Bounce on your downey butt

Can you handle the rawness of who you really are?

Its a brutal look into a clean mirror.

What happens if you simply go and bravely face what comes
That is what if defined

Brave Pilgrim
There is so much more to you

Once out the door you are not the same person you were 5 min ago.
Memento Vivere
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2015
#28
>> What if i got off the the plane and simply went on a small shopping trip,and bought all that i needed..there?

Slightly off-topic but I hope it fits.
We walked the Overland Track in Tasmania earlier this year, (for the second time - harder as you get older), and there were two french youngsters on the walk. They were childhood friends who were in Australia and one of them found an opening/cancellation for two ppl on the walk. They flew down and spent AU$20 in a charity shop buy the extra treking gear (!!) and some similar small amount on food.
On one hand they were under-equipped/ on the other hand they were young, endlessly cheerful, they never put themselves in danger, and they were an asset on the walk. So glad they were part of our walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'
#29
Just think of the medieval pilgrims.....I can't see them stocking up on compeed and hunting specialty shops for quick drying underwear.
Open the door and walk
A few differences between them and us ... one of the main ones being that most of them didn't own a car nor did they use public transport in daily life and they knew what it was like to walk all day long, day after day. In fact, they often didn't measure distances in km or miles, they measured them in day marches. And quite a few owned just one pair of shoes and one coat anyway; and you could even have these shoes re-soled or re-nailed. IOW, they had their gear and were used to using it for days on end. Most of us don't and aren't, and that, alas, is why it's a good idea to prepare and not just turn up. Sad, I know .... :cool:.

My backpack is now 15 years old and shows clear signs of wear and tear; I just noticed a few days ago that I have walked off the Vibram sole of my right hiking shoe in one spot; it was several millimetres thick when I bought the shoes quite a while ago. Yep, I could grab a few things and just turn up nowadays but don't do this if you've never done it before and aren't particularly young. The thought makes nice poetry, though. ;)

And on a more practical level: there are plenty of gear shops that provide along the Camino. My main worry would be that they don't provide in my size on the day I pass through ... :D
 
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William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#30
I stress
About the little details.
What if
J.I.C
what if.....

Middle age folks didnt have much but a wing and a prayer I think
Here i sit looking at this pack and that
This clothing or that
Etc ad nauseum.

In my past..I finally stripped away the what ifs comfort level down to bare traveling essentials
Soap,water,a bit of kibble
In season a warm coat (my duster ;)
A GOOD pair of shoes.
Everything else became just supporting features.

Music.my camera has become the two extras.

If today i could?...

I learned that i usually let the journey decide what i needed and what is a "what if" that wont-didnt-happen.

Thats the beauty of travel.
You strip away that which isnt nessesary to be happy

After a while?
Silence in and out
Peace in mind and spirit
A quiet .
I think in life that we can get exactly what we need if we leave everything behind.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
#31
Out here now on the Portuguese and loving it but am lightening up even more. Sent a box of things from Santarem. And I have done the Frances and remember getting to no excess, yet still brought too much to start with this time. Feet not happy and the stuff is part of that - just too much at first.
And this is one of the reasons for being here! To be free to enjoy the countryside and people I meet.
At an Albergue just beyond Águeda now. Spectacular view of the gardens and houses in the valley below. Just heard a chicken. . There is traffic above too but still peace.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
#32
First camino I did. After a prayer to Saint Anthony, I found my passport which had been lost for 3 months, I booked a flight for 6 days later, made a trip out to my local Decathlon, bought a backpack which was way too big, filled it with way too much stuff (I didn't even know this forum existed and didn't have a guide book to advise me against being so stupid) and 6 days later rocked up in Saint-Jean with no training and a backpack weighing 20 kilos; I thought I was going to die walking over the Pyrenees. After dumping almost half my stuff, buying new boots in Decathlon in Estella, and a small visit to hospital I had the most wonderful camino. I am not sure in it is an approach that I would recommend but equally I had the time of my life.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
#33
I've seen posts on this forum and elsewhere asking very detailed questions about booking albergues and such matters where the OP is planning for a camino two years or more away :oops: If there is nothing to tie you to home there is really very little forward planning needed. Last autumn I was sitting exactly where I am now - a chair at my kitchen table. The view out of my window was miserable - wet and windy. Not that rare an event in west Wales. From making the snap decision to walk the Via de la Plata to having my travel insurance, flight, ground transport to and from the airports in both countries and first night in a Seville hostel booked took well under an hour. I was in Spain and walking within four days. Disentangling yourself from your daily life may take a lot of time and effort - preparing yourself to walk the Caminos really need not!
Me too, in almost the same timescale, when you gotta go you gotta go.
 


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