After spending two nights in Porto, Portugal, Kevin and I are embarking on a hike on El Camino Portugués route of El Camino de Santiago. We are traveling with two of my uncles (my dad’s brothers Denny and Rog), their wives (Inge and Polly), my sister Annie, and my cousin Mike who is the son of Denny and Inge. Since I have five cousins named Mike, three with the last name Collins, I have to distinguish the Mikes by their parents’ names!
Our group includes an emergency room doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, a lawyer, a baby, and four who work in sales. With those backgrounds, we should be well-equipped to deal with a wide range of situations! Our group also includes Camino veterans. Denny has done El Camino Frances route twice, once with Inge and once with Mike. Denny and Inge have also done El Camino del Norte together.
For this particular trip, Denny and Inge started three weeks ago in Lisbon at the beginning of El Camino Portugués route. They will have walked over 500 miles by the time we finish! Over the next ten days, together our group will hike 150 miles from Porto, Portugal to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
To get ready for this trip, over the past two months I trained by taking long walks, some by myself, some with Kevin in a carrier, and others with one of the kids in a stroller.
While walking in Asunción, I saw scenic things like dead rats, garbage messes, overgrown fields, flooded street, sidewalk celebrations, and street vendors.
But ‘Kevin from Heaven’ is steadily turning into ‘Heavy Kevy’ which complicated my plans. It is generally recommended that hikers carry no more than 10% of their body weight. With Kevin bulking up and nearing 15 pounds, it would have been pretty tough for me to carry him and a backpack with all our gear. Instead, I’ll be sending our suitcase ahead every morning to that night’s hotel which will be a huge help. My plan now is to have just a day pack on my back and push Kevin in a stroller.
Danny ran around wearing my poncho and telling me, “Look! I’m a priest! I’m a witch!”
Kevin seemed excited for the adventure. I’m not sure we’ll have cribs at every hotel along the way, so I think this suitcase will occasionally serve double-duty as Kevin’s bed.
Fingers crossed for a great adventure and a good Camino. “Buen Camino,” as they say in Spain or “Bon Caminho” as they say in Portugal!