More and more people are deciding to embark on the adventure of walking the Way of Saint James. Usually, almost all the new pilgrims share the same doubts and concerns about it: how should I prepare, what should I take with me, will I be able to do it, etc. We show you the best advices.
At present there is also uncertainty or fear associated with the coronavirus. Many of you are debating whether to make the journey or not, because you are not sure if it will be safe to do so. This feeling is perfectly normal. Therefore, in this post we are going to point out the advice to follow in order to walk the path with total security in times of coronavirus.
Just like an athlete or an opponent, we pilgrims prepare ourselves physically and mentally to make the journey. Advices:
It is very important that you prepare yourself physically before going on the route. If you are a regular exerciser, we recommend that you focus your workouts on walking several days a week – if you can get out there and do a route, you’ll find it better! For sports people, preparation means including walking or leg strengthening exercises in your weekly exercise routines.
If, on the other hand, you are a person who does not exercise frequently, do not worry, you will be able to do so! However, you will have to make an effort and train a little more. We advise you to set up daily walking routines, which you will gradually extend over time, lasting at least 5 or 6 weeks, before starting out on the trail. As a complement, the mountain routes are also very beneficial and the leg and gluteal exercises to strengthen the muscles.
It’s crucial. Again, if you’re a sportsman, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Many times, the key to reaching the finish line in an athletic race is in the head. It’s all about attitude. If you think, “I’m not going to make it, I’m not going to make it,” you probably won’t make it. On the contrary, if your thoughts are positive: “Come on, it won’t be long now, you can do this and more”; morale and optimism will help you to go on and reach the end.
So, you know, it’s very important not to get frustrated and to have an attitude of always going forward.
“When you are ready, you will have to choose your path and plan the stages. The most important thing to keep in mind at this point is to choose an itinerary that is within your means. Do not set yourself very ambitious goals and this way, you will avoid frustration. Measure the stages well and choose a route that is adapted to your physical condition in terms of difficulty”
-Advices on clothes, shoes and backpack-
We like to comment on these three things at the same time because they complement each other. You should never overdo it with “just in case” clothing, a pilgrim always wears just the right thing. Think that, all the extra things you put in your rucksack, will translate into weight on your back during the stage. They say that experienced pilgrims differ from novices in the size of their backpacks. So you know, just enough and necessary. Of course, the backpack must be suitable for hiking and your size.
This is about the best advice anyone can give you: watch your feet. Your feet are going to be your means of transportation for the whole time you are on your way, so you have to take good care of them. How do we take care of our feet? Starting with the right footwear, the best thing is a hiking shoe or boot. Never new! When you grow up, seamless socks that prevent chafing. And of course, Vaseline and creams to prevent chafing and blisters.
Be careful on your way
Hydration and nutrition are key to walking. You should always carry plenty of water and snacks with you. We recommend nuts or fruit for snacking while walking, as they provide a lot of energy. Of course, it is very important that the meals you eat after a walk are well-balanced.
Advices to prevent COVID-19 on the way to Santiago
Santiago’s way, thanks to its character of outdoor activity in nature and in small towns, is a safe activity in itself.
However, there are a number of tips that are important to take into account to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the way. As you can see, it will be nothing that you do not already apply in your daily life. The key to being protected against the coronavirus is to strictly follow health and safety recommendations.
*Mask ALWAYS: Even if you are walking, if you can’t keep the social distance, put your mask on in the meantime. If you are going to enter an establishment or accommodation, always wear a mask in the common areas. In bars, always wear it when you are not consuming.
*Social security distance: avoid walking next to other pilgrims. Always keep at least 2 meters away.
*Disinfection: carry hydroalcohol to disinfect your hands after touching things. When you enter the accommodation, take off your shoes, disinfect them and store them in a self-sealing bag. It is recommended that you access the interior with other footwear such as flip-flops that have already been disinfected.
*While walking: avoid touching common things that are in stage and if you do touch, remember to pour hydroalcoholic gel on yourself afterwards. Be careful with your waste, do not leave masks or gloves lying around in the rest areas. Don’t spit on the floor and don’t throw away cigarette butts.
*If you go to the hostel: bring your own sack
As you can see, the recommendations are based on individual responsibility. If we all comply, we all win and we all protect ourselves. If you’re really thinking about going down the road and have doubts about your safety on the road, we hope we’ve helped you clear up your doubts. Remember, as long as you follow the health recommendations, you will be protected. If you are going to make the journey with your pet, in this link you will find all the advice.
We hope you’ve been helped by the advice we’ve given you. Ultreia!