Frequently Asked Questions
How fit do I have to be to walk the Camino de Santiago
The good news for most of us is, not very.
You will find that after a relatively short time your body will get into the routine of walking the road with a rucksack on your back.
Although this really does depend on the weight of your backpack. I can’t stress this enough, your bac pack, ideally, should not weigh more than 10kg and take into consideration any food and water you may need to carry on the day. So 9kg would be the ideal weight of your pack when setting out on your walk.
You really do not need that much stuff with you, the less the better. See this article for a list of recommended equipment.
After a few days of getting up and getting on the road to walk 20km – 30km (depending on what you are comfortable with) your body will very soon get into good shape and you will be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel when you arrive at your final destination.
You will definitely return home from walking the Camino de Santiago feeling much better physically and mentally, although your feet might tell a different story.
So if you are concerned about your level of fitness, don’t worry. Just pack up and go for it and on the first few days walk at a reasonable speed and cover a distance that you are comfortable with. And most importantly if you feel any sign of blisters or problems with yor feet, stop immediately and fix the problem.
What type of footwear is best for walking the Camino de Santiago?
Footwear is a very important factor to consider. Do you really need a pair of walking boot? Not really. I have found over the years that a good pair of walking shoes do a better job considering the terrain that you will be covering.
The Camino de Santiago is mainly along dirt tracks, some more rocky than others and the weather, again depending on the time of year is usually dry, with the exception of Galicia where it tends to rain more. So I would recommend a good pair of walking shoes with a water proof lining. See this article about footwear for the Camino de Santiago.
Will I need to be able to speak Spanish when walking the Camino de Santiago?
For the most part you will be able to get along fine without being able to speak much Spanish. Most albergues are run by people, hospitaleros, who can speak a number of languages or are indeed volunteers from different countries.
I have stayed in albergues where the hospitalero has been from France, Ireland and England.
Most restaurants and bars will understand what you want, although I suppose if you walk in to a restaurant or a bar there is only a few things that you really do want.
My father is now fluent in pub spanish, he very quickly familiarised himself with the Spanish for ‘large beer’ , ‘cerveza grande‘ and ‘red wine’, ‘vino tinto‘
Saying that the Spanish people really do appreciate it if you even try to communicate with them in their own language, no matter how bad your Spanish is.
I have written a few articles with some basic Spanish, hopefully enough to get you started, you can read and download these Spanish lessons here.
If you would like to learn a bit more I highly recommend a course Spanish foundation course by Michel Thomas, this course is made up of 8 hours of audio lessons on 2 CDs.
I have listened to this course a few times and can honestly say that I learnt more in the 8 hours than I did over 2 years going to evening classes.
I recommend getting the course and putting it onto an mp3 player and taking it with you on your walk.
If you have any questions please get in touch and we will do our best to answer you as soon as we can
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