We’ve been asked this more than once, usually along with, “How many times HAVE you done this?”
Here’s the answer to the second question:
We all – as in all eight kids, Mum and Dad and Grandpa all did the blue route in 2012, partly as a “probably our last trip together as a family”, partly to see if we liked long distance walking (and if it turned out we didn’t it was only two weeks sandwiched in between weeks in Paris and London, which we knew we’d love). Turns out all of us enjoyed it at the time and some liked it enough to continue.
The four youngest and Mum did the red route in 2014 – a 1,500km fundraising walk for charity: water. We enjoyed it, but that does not mean there were no hard times. Days on end slogging through rain and mud, and the occasional times with Youngest Child screaming along the trail come to mind.But it wasn’t meant to be easy. It was meant to be sacrifice as we thought about those without access to clean water every day we walked.
Last year Rob and I did that little green route in Portugal to celebrate 25 years of marriage.
And now, God-willing, we are about to hit the purple one.
Why do we go back to Spain? Why not trek in the Himalayas or do some hikes in England or Scotland?
You can only walk one trial at a time. I’d LOVE to walk them all, I really would. Right now the Camino calls as it is an easy option – easy in the sense that there is very little planning to do ahead of time as there are reasonably frequent and inexpensive accommodations along a usually well-marked trail and scrummy food to boot. It’s also good for practising Spanish, and this trip in particular will be an educational field trip with a special focus on architectural history.
Even the youngest kids are probably strong enough now to manage enforced long days (40km or more) that seem to be part and parcel of less structured hikes, so maybe Canterbury to Rome along the Via Francigena or Rome to Jerusalem – or even Canterbury to Jerusalem could be on the cards next. Or the Iron Curtain Trail, 7,000km along the border that started disintegrating nearly 30 years ago (I’ve got my sights on that one for a thirtieth wedding anniversary adventure – back to the place we started our newly-wed adventure!) Or the Himalayas…or South America…or North America…or Africa to visit our sponsored children…or the Great Walks of New Zealand. There are lots of places to walk.