Even though the Camino seems simple enough, no one really talks about what a typical day looks like. I’m frequently asked- is it just walking?- and while it is mostly walking, I think it’s important to understand that this is more than a hike or walking trip.
The journey that travelers take while walking the Camino is spiritual and meaningful and so much fun.
In fact, I fell in love with the Camino and Spain so much that I quit my previous job and dedicated my life to this wonderful trip.
For travelers with Hike the Way, a typical day starts with breakfast around 7am. We have a simple breakfast, meet together and the tour guide gives some pointers and highlights about the days walk. These pointers could include “look for the Roman ruins that are easy to miss around marker 89” or “if you want to stop for a coffee, Paula at Café Peregrino at marker 71 makes a great café con leche”. Then our group begins walking. Sometimes we walk together, but normally everyone eventually breaks off and walks at their own pace.
The van will meet the travelers every few kilometers and they can check in and get any help if needed. As travelers begin their walk, they carry their pilgrim passport with them and every so often get a stamp. Many hikers stop for coffee, or a rest at a café and it’s fun to socialize and meet people along the way.
About ¾ of the way through, or after about 3-4 hours walking, we have lunch. Lunch is a Spanish picnic with local cheeses, meat, olives, salad etc. The group travelers come in at their own pace and usually our whole group is together within an hour. Travelers can stay as long as they like and rest and recharge before they finish the days walk. Once the travelers reach the end of their daily stage, we head to the hotel. Sometimes our hotels are in the city we’ve walked to and sometimes they’re in the city we just left, but our luggage and rooms are waiting for us when they arrive.
A common complaint for walkers is sore feet, and it’s great to get to the hotel and soak our feet in cold water to reduce the swelling and help with the soreness.
It’s not a difficult walk, just long, and many poor feet aren’t accustomed to walking so much. Usually travelers have a few hours in the afternoon to check out the small city, take a nap, phone home or spend their time how they like. We meet again for a communal dinner, wine included!, and talk about our day and how our adventure is going so far. Normally go to bed fairly early (9-10pm) and then we start all over the next day. Buen Camino friends