I have walked every day for excercise (and happiness!) for most of my life. Walking the Camino de Santiago was a MIRACLE! To walk every day, all day, well, that is just pure heaven! I haven’t ever had the opportunity to walk every day, all day for 31 straight days, so I did wonder what it would be like. I also wondered if I would be able to do it!!! I have a job Monday through Friday, so I was not able to “practice” the actual Camino before I arrived. Instead, I did as best as I could and walked every minute I could fit in during the work week and then at least one seven-hour walk day on the weekend and almost always a five-hour walk day on the other day of the weekend. I did this for about 5-6 weeks before starting the Camino. I also added climbing stairs and steep hills as much as possible during the week (2-5 times each week). I climbed stairs for about 30-45 minutes.
I still did not know what to expect repeating long days of walking in a new environment for 31 days in a row. I did have a few extra days to “play with” at the end of the trip before my scheduled plane flight home but was hoping to spend those days exploring and relaxing on the coast. I also knew that I could take a bus at any point along the route, but I was determined to “hike across Spain” and in my mind that meant from the eastern border to the western coast (EVERY STEP and NO CHEATING!). While I was hiking, I was so true to this “calling” that in one town, the reserved albergue gave away my bed because I did not call ahead 3 days to confirm and then insisted on driving me to another albergue. After arriving at the albergue, I walked back to the first albergue and walked the steps I missed. I can now genuinely say that I hiked every step across Spain! MIRACLE!