Here we go again!

plata_1Now, only 3 months after returning from Spain, I’m about to go again. Tomorrow I fly from Toronto to Spain with my sister-in-law MB, and on Monday we begin walking north out of Merida on the Via de la Plata*.

Why so soon? Having been several times on the Camino Frances in late autumn, I wanted to try another route and do it in the spring. That meant either waiting a year and a half, or going in spring 2016. This is a bit early in the spring, but some other commitments limit my choices. As the map above shows, there are quite a few more routes to go through, so I’d better get on with it!

talon33_side_onyxblackMB has never done a long distance walk so she’s feeling a little uncertain. I have done several, so I’m feeling uncertain too. We’ve put in many hours of equipment discussion and preparation and are as ready as we can every be.

I was searching for a new backpack because my trusty Osprey Talon 33 wasn’t looking right. I had put it in a hot tumble dryer a few times back in 2013 and it developed an unhealthy curvature of the spine. I wasn’t able to find a better one. Since Osprey have a famous “All Mighty Warranty” (no fault), I called the distributor to ask if they could send me a new panel for the back. (It’s removable, but I hadn’t noticed before I destroyed it with heat.) They said No, but would send me a new backpack. I paid to mail it to Montreal, and 9 days later a new one was waiting for me at my brother’s house in Toronto. In fact, my sister-in-law liked it so much she went out and bought one too. At least she got a different colour.

My updated packing list is now posted on a different page of my blog (see the menu tabs at the top). I tested my layers yesterday in -10C in Toronto I was warm enough!

* An interesting fact I’ve learned recently is that “The term Vía de la Plata is commonly thought to [derive] from the modern Spanish word for silver, plata. The name actually derives from the Arabic word al-balat, which means cobbled paving and describes the road as engineered by the Romans.”  (Wikipedia)

7 thoughts on “Here we go again!

  1. We did our Caminos in the fall of 2013 and 2015 and are considering the Spring of 2018 as our next Camino. We look forward to read of your travels.
    Can you please mention the weather as you write.
    We are looking at the Osprey Stratos 34 Backpack.

    • Sure – I’ll comment on the weather. I’m confident my gear is good for-10C to +30C. If I were going in mid-winter, I’d probably take a warm hat in addition to my buff. If I were going in mid-summer, I’d take a loose long sleeved shirt instead of my down vest. Otherwise it would be the same. My backpack in a size Small only holds 31 L, which is quite tight at times, but I wasn’t able to find a better one to try out at this time of year.

  2. Clare,
    It surely is addicting isn’t it? I’ll be headed for my 9th Camino in July, hopefully next year I can get on Camino more than once. I think St. James must have much for me to learn as he keeps having me return.

  3. Buen Camino Clare! I have enjoyed following your Caminos, and look forward to seeing the Via de la Plata route through your eyes.

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