Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

I’m excited about an 800km walk

with 3 comments


I’ve just had a blinding urge, not sure exactly why, to go and walk 800km. This isn’t normal I know ……but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while and had begun (in my head) to plan for … next year. Then suddenly this weekend I realised that this year might be my best opportunity to take this walk as next year I still don’t know what I’m doing and I may just as easily return to Oz as stay in Saigon. I’m not usually given to such bold spur of the moment decisions (although I’ve hardly shirked from big decisions in my life) but I honestly feel like this is something that I need to do.

The 800km walk I’m talking about. Well, it’s called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and is something I’ve always wanted to do since a good friend of mine waxed lyrical about it after he’d done it a few years back. A quick synopsis of the trip is that I will, if I can arrange flights at such a late stage, fly from Saigon to Paris, take trains from there down to Southern France and to a town at the base of the Pyrenees called St. Jean Pied de Port. From there I will walk across the Pyrenees into Spain. Crossing Spain I would hope to be able to walk through the towns of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon before finally arriving, some 30 days later, in Santiago de Compostela. The trip is an old pilgrimage route that still serves pilgrims. Not being religious this isn’t my reason for going, though I do enjoy religious symbolism and have some affinity for Catholicism, I’m going because it sounds like a test of character and, dare I say, something that sounds good for the soul.

I know I’m crazy. I’ve done no training. I have no real trekking gear and little chance of finding it in Saigon in six days. I have no real plans beyond getting to Paris and then figuring it our from there. I may not even be able to book the flights ….. but I am stoked (that means excited for the non-Australian’s amongst you). I cannot wait …..I will genuinely miss not going back to Oz to see family and friends this holiday but I will see them at Christmas. A pilgrimage calls …whooo hooo.


Written by backpackingteacher

June 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

3 Responses

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  1. “We must always respect our own instincts. The day we cease to struggle against our instincts, on that day we will truly learn to live”

    Buen Camino
    Tu amigo

    Marc Casanova

    June 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm

  2. Gracias … you know your waffling on about your Spanish sojourn are why I suddenly feel myself compelled to walk 800km ….. I’m excited .. thanks for the quote … i’m certainly following my instincts right now…


    June 23, 2009 at 11:35 pm

  3. Hi there – I’m looking for your email address on your blog and can’t find it! I’m writing an article on Vietnam-based bloggers and would like to interview you (by email – sounds like you’re away?). Anyway – please email me (! Thanks, Liz

    A Girl in Asia

    June 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm

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