I may never get to blog about it now, but one of the things I thought of doing, which might be endearing (I dunno, you decide) is to post a record of the SMS conversations I had with my mum while I was on the trip; this was the only conversation I had with my parents throughout my journey.
11:15PM, 28 Mar
Ok have a save trip n take care
11:17PM, 28 Mar
Boarded the train. All went smoothly.
2:24PM, 29 Mar
Just crossed over to Spain. Will spend the night in the border town of Irùn.
1:16AM, 31 Mar
Ok so far you are still on schedule so hopefully everything will be fine with you. Do you see a lot of people walking with you?
9:08AM, 31 Mar
So far I am the only person I know walking this route. The hostel was closed, had to find a pension to stay.
9:48AM, 31 Mar
If that is the case then you might have to change the route and find one that have more people. You can ask around and take a bus to the nearest town and join the route that have more people walk
10:11AM, 31 Mar
Started meeting people on the route now, so will continue.
4:13PM, 31 Mar
For your sore feet you can soak your feet with hot water n lavender
If you are too far behind schedule then just take the bus on some of the day
7:13PM, 1 Apr
Two days back I soaked feet in hot water because I had a bathtub to use. Anyway I'm now in the city of San Sebastian.
7:14PM, 1 Apr
Foot was hurting in the morning, but I took Arcoxia and now is no more pain but I will still rest half a day before continuing. Caleb say might want to join me on Friday; I have no internet so ask Rachel to let him know I will most likely be in the city of Bilbao by Friday, so he can plan for that but wait for me to confirm I can make it there first.
3:22PM, 2 Apr
If you don't have internet you can sms him. His hp XXXXXXXXXXXX. Anyway I will ask Rachel to inform him too
3:32PM, 2 Apr
Now resting in the town of Deba. Past two days haven't been walking great distances, but tomorrow need to walk 30 km because nothing in between, will rest early tonight. An experienced old German man walked 40 km in one day. Been meeting some pilgrims along the way, mostly Spanish and German.
11:43PM, 3 Apr
How is your leg? Don't exert yourself too much. Try to soak your leg in hot water whenever possible
1:18AM, 4 Apr
Foot is getting better, don't need to rest as much and no longer painful, just tiring only. Not possible to soak in hot water because now staying in hostels.
1:20AM, 4 Apr
Managed to make it to destination, tiny village of Zenarruza. Now staying in a monastery, they have lodging for pilgrims, quite interesting.
1:12AM, 5 Apr
so tomorrow you will be meeting Caleb in Bilbao as planned. Did Caleb sms you to let you know his time of arrival?
1:09PM, 5 Apr
Have been communicating with him on Facebook when I have internet. He mentioned his arrival time.
1:12PM, 5 Apr
Have met up with Caleb, now in hostel in Bilbao.
9:46AM, 7 Apr
Ok hope the two of you enjoy yourself the next few day. Do you think the money can last till end of the month. If you can use the card for accommodation or places that accept card
10:20AM, 7 Apr
The money is still more than enough even accommodating him for a few days. Yesterday went to a Chinese buffet, €13 per pax; many Chinese here.
4:04PM, 7 Apr
Currently in a town called Laredo. Staying in an albergue tonight; accom prices halving each night. Caleb likes the food here. Today walked the coastal path.
2:22AM, 9 Apr
So how was the weather now is it still raining? Did you meet alot of people on the way nowadays?
12:39PM, 9 Apr
Rained a lot first day, then getting less each day. My poncho now quite unusable, will take Caleb's waterproof suit. Not so many people on this stretch.
1:47PM, 9 Apr
Sent Caleb off yesterday, then continued about 18 km. Now in a comfortable hostel in a halfway point near the highway. Knee and feet were hurting a little in the early morning, though lessening now, but wondering whether should stay here and rest one day without walking before walking again.
2:54PM, 11 Apr
If you are tired you better rest or take the public transport for some of the journey. You must always try to soak your leg for pain or gout if no bathtub can use a pail. If it rain too much you shouldn't be walking in the rain. You have to take good care of yourself if you want to complete your journey
3:08PM, 11 Apr
Yesterday I soaked the feet in the bathtub as the water was quite hot at maximum and dropped a few drops of lavender oil. Unfortunately it will be raining for the next few days. Maybe it's best I stay one more night here to rest then.
3:11PM, 11 Apr
You can soak your whole body not only your leg because you will sleep better n also much relaxing.
3:19PM, 11 Apr
Soaked whole body in bathtub with lavender for 20 min yesterday. Right knee got slight gout but suppressing with Nurofen. One day rest was very good. Today managed to walk 23 km without any problem and not much pain at end of day. Now in a medieval town with cobblestone streets called Santillana del Mar.
12:30AM, 13 Apr
I'm glad to hear that you manage to walk better after a day rest. That's why I told you to take public transport if you are too tired or far too behind schedule. You can try your best but don't tired yourself too much.
8:31AM, 13 Apr
Took a few buses today, to leave the current route and go inland into the more mountainous parts. Have planned the rest of the journey out, with a spare day just in case or can use as another day of rest. Today staying in a monastery in Valdedios, near Villaviciosa.
4:33AM, 15 Apr
Since the route you will be taking are mountainous you will be slower so you better bring some food along just incase you cannot find food when you are hungry.
11:58AM, 15 Apr
Took the bus to the mountains yesterday, this will be the last bus trip I have to take, now 200 km from the end. Was worried because on the way on I saw snowy mountaintops, but I wore two layers of long sleeves today under the jacket and kept warm. It got very foggy and rainy when I was at 1100m but there were people passing by who helped. Now in an albergue that is full of people, not very convenient for washing up, and a bit noisy.
11:57PM, 17 Apr
Why suddenly so many people? Is it bcos more people taking this route. How come you didn't know you will be taking the mountainous route n also the weather will be colder then you should have brought the thermal wear. If you are too cold then try to buy the thermal wear if you can find a shop that sell clothes. Since you will be nearing the end of your route then you shouldn't be any problem in completing your route then. You just have to take good care of yourself for the rest of your journey.
11:18AM, 18 Apr
Actually this route has less ppl because it's difficult, but also has smaller albergues. Was full that day because only 10 beds. As I get closer to Santiago there will be a lot more people but also more albergues. Have been staying in albergues for the last ten days so staying in a nicer hostel tonight.
4:34AM, 20 Apr
Staying warm in the rain and wind with what I have and Caleb gave me is not a problem; after today won't be going near 1000m again. Didn't expect it will have snow, in fact it's only half the height of Genting. The only problem is I don't have proper gloves, so hands can get quite cold in the rain. Anyway at this point I have more than enough days; tried to see whether can come back earlier but the Santiago-Paris flight alone costs €200 more, no point.
4:41AM, 20 Apr
If you have more than enough time then you can just take it easy and stay or rest in a place which is nice and more comfortable for a day or two instead of coming back earlier and paying £200 more for the flight.
8:06AM, 20 Apr
Have had to walk 25 to 30 km past few days, because nothing in between, as a result might actually reach Santiago by the 26th, if my feet is okay all the way. Now considering flying to London for the 3, 4 days before flying to Paris to go back, asking Caleb to check if it's possible/not too expensive.
1:53PM, 21 Apr
If you are flying to London then you might not have to stay in Paris for one night so see whether you can cancel the hotel n get the refund. Also check and see whether you can fly from London instead of Paris. Maybe you have to pay penalty but if the cost is not too much than you might as well fly from UK instead of flying up and down and also wasting the time to n from airport
2:13PM, 21 Apr
The hotel is not refundable. Neither is the Santiago-Paris flight actually, have to forfeit it if I go to London. I see there is a London-KL flight same day same time. I'll try to email and see how much they charge to change. But it means giving up roughly €200 for the Santiago flight and hotel.
4:19PM, 21 Apr
If you fly from London then you will save the last few days accommodation and also you can do some shopping in UK. You better get yourself a new pair of shoes if you are in UK
4:26PM, 21 Apr
At this rate, will be arriving at Santiago by 25th or 26th. Asked Caleb to book Santiago-London 27th morning, and Luton-Paris 30th evening, total cost is £170.
11:11PM, 22 Apr
I know because I just talk with Caleb on Skype. Actually it's cheaper if you fly from UK instead of Paris but you already bought the ticket so just go ahead with your plan.
11:22PM, 22 Apr
It's cheaper by RM200 but seems a bit of waste to give up Paris hotel, plus only gain an evening and morning in London, can't do much. Stayed in a comfortable pension in a nice town called Lugo yesterday after walking 30 km, did not compress but feet still tired today so checked in at an albergue earlier today. Also one of the strap of the backpack broke. I managed to superglue and sew it back and so far it holds, but will sew more tonight to make sure.
11:29PM, 22 Apr
Have arrived in Santiago. Got my certificate. Managed to find a room in town itself that's €16, might stay another night here as well since it's quite cheap.
12.45AM, 26 Apr
Good you manage to make it earlier than expected. Since the place is cheap and in town you might as well stay another night before you fly to UK. I ask Caleb to give you one of his luggage if your harversack strap cannot last. Leave the sleeping bag with Caleb and the raincoat and shoes give back to him. Get yourself a new pair of leather and sports shoes if possible. Change some £ when you are at the airport.
6:49AM, 26 Apr
Landed this morning 5.40 am. Now in office, have gotten apartment key from colleague.
11:18AM, 2 May