My Biggest Fears for Walking the Camino

caminoWhat the fuck is wrong with me? I mean seriously WHAT THE FUCK?!

I’ve got this hairbrained idea to walk the (shit, hold on, I’ve got to look up how to spell it)… to walk the Camino de Santiago.  Specifically, I plan to walk the so-called French Way i.e. Camino Frances – a 500 mile trek that starts in southern France, crosses the Pyrenees, stretches across northern Spain and ends up at the “end of the world” – a small Spanish village perched above the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll be joining the righteous and the wretched who have walked this trail since the 9th century (hell, even some Hollywood stars – I’m talking about you Andrew McCarthy – have done it).

I watch one stupid movie with Martin Sheen and the next thing you know I’m telling anyone who will listen, “I’m going to walk the Camino!” And I kind of sound like I know what I’m talking about when they ask me if I’ve lost my mind.

I smugly tell them Camino de Santiago actually means in Spanish, “Way of St James” and it’s one of many routes that leads to Catedral de Santiago de Compostela where the apostle St. James the Great is said to be buried. I go on to tell them those who walk the walk are actually called “pilgrims” not walkers. I’m so dedicated to doing this that I even joined a Facebook group (Camigas A Buddy System for Women on the Camino,)   

I’m so ready, right!?

Yep, one sappy movie and I’m making plans to walk non-stop for 40 days across Spain. I’m a pilgrim in training.

But, here’s the rub – I mean seriously, the rub.

I’m a huge sweater — and not from my underarms. Am I the only woman in the world who has a major case of ass sweat? How the hell am I going to hike across Spain with swampass? How am I going to prevent chafing? I hope they have a really experienced sales person at REI who can answer this. 

Before I even begin my training, I’ve put some rules into place for my walk; I’m not staying in any of those dorm-like hostels where “true pilgrims” sleep (in addition to ass sweat, I’m a big-time snorer – Jesus, why does my husband stay with me???). Nope, I’m going to stay in hotels and I’m not going to carry a big ass backpack, and I’m definitely going to drink wine – a lot of it. I’m going to start researching Spanish wines tonight!

So in addition to snoring and sweating, my constant worry right now: what am I going to do with my hair? You know those women who can pull their hair back into a ponytail? I’m not one of those women. You know those women who can wear a bandana or sweatband and look fabulously chic? I’m not one of those women. I’m 58, overweight, short with a big ass, bigger thighs, and a big round Irish face. My hair is super fine, has no shape, no body, and no pizzaz – worrying about how to look presentable while schlepping through Spain is, right now,  my biggest concern; not the 40 days of walking by myself.

Snoring, sweating and lack of curls, God I hope the folks at REI are ready for me.

Here’s a clip of the movie that launched this hairbrained idea.


-November 3, 2016

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