A thousand years ago they were not importing tactel socks from the UK, they did not have collapsible water bottles, ziplock bags, SPF factor 30 moisturiser or expandable walking poles. So how did the intrepid Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrims do it back then? I ask myself this as I pack the stretchy knee-guard in with the 5cm LED torch on top of the featherlight sleeping bag in the twin zip easy access lower compartment of my slim line, breather panel backpack. Geez! Must have been tough in those days.
The Black Death of the 16th century caused a drop off in numbers of pilgrims doing the walk from wherever they lived through to the Cathedral on the north coast of Spain where it’s said the remains of St James are buried. But by 1985 numbers had crept back up to 690, and by 2010, a Holy year, they peaked at a little over 270,000.
Unsurprising then that walking buddy O and I have had a lot of advice from people who’ve done it about what to take and more especially, what not to take. Guiding principle, Less is More. But of prime importance, plasters for blisters and lots of love from friends.