Claire writes: “As you read this I will be somewhere west of Bilbao, walking the Camino Nortes and heading towards Santiago de Compostela.  It’s been a year of preparation. What’s the least I can possibly take given that it will be on my back for almost 6 weeks. It’s the shoes that have been the biggest headache.

I’ve had a pair of fell running shoes for walking for 3 years and have loved them to bits. Literally. We probably walked over 2000 miles. By Christmas they were splitting so badly that everyone who walked with me anywhere told me I had to stop wearing them.  But in spite of the ever growing holes, they were forgiving and comfortable.  My shoes.  And waterproof socks make anything possible.  So I bought a new pair – same brand – similar model. The first time I wore them I got a blister so I was back to the old shoes straight away.  And the splits got bigger. In the end, I compromised and wore them for one 3 mile walk, popped a plaster on the blister and kept walking every day for 3 miles.  Within a week, we were friends.

What I learned was that some change needs a gentle handover. There was no way my soul or my soles would manage a quick end or a hasty beginning.  For the sake of healthy feet, it had to be a slow handing over.  And that’s true of lots of change – even when we change habits. For some things, a slower move from one thing to another is the thing that makes it possible to embrace the new.”

[If you are on Facebook, and want to follow Claire’s walk, they have a Facebook page Caminar Con Amigos… and you can keep up with their mileage on their fundraising page CaminarconAmigos600]

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