When we start to plan our St. James’ Way, there are certain things we should bear in mind.
First of all, we have to decide how we are going to do it: on foot, on horseback, by bicycle… Usually pilgrims choose to do it on foot, because it does not require as much physical preparation as doing it by bicycle. And doing it on horseback makes us care not only about our maintenance but also on the animals’.That’s the reason why walking is the easiest way for most.
Once we decide how we are going to do it, we must make another decision regarding which route we are going to choose. It’s important to look for information about the routes available and their difficulty level.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to know the time available. Based on this we should decide the number of stages and days we want to invest, without getting too tired. The minimum required to get to Santiago are 100 kilometres, whether we do it walking or riding, and 200 kilometres if we choose to do it by bicycle.
It is also important to decide what season of the year we want to start. Depending on it we will need to pick specific clothes and belongings.
You must also request the pilgrim credential at the starting point, as well as seal it when beginning the route. On each stops of the Way, this document must be sealed. Only having this credential you are allowed to enter in public shelters and, moreover, it is the only document that accredits the arrival to Santiago and the distance you have done. It is the only way to receive your Compostela at end of the journey.
We must also have in mind our age and our physical condition. Not only a medical review is needed before starting, but also to be informed about points of assistance in case we would need them.
Finally, it’s important to be well informed before starting. Join internet, where you will find lots of tricks and tips. Also Brotherhoods and Associations of pilgrims can help us resolving our doubts and advise us when facing the Way.
Once our trip is planned, we are ready to start the adventure.
See you on the Way!