Volunteer Julie prepares to walk the Camino Way

Volunteer Julie prepares to walk the Camino Way

11 July 2022

MindSpace Volunteer Julie Lunt is getting ready to walk an epic 400 mile seven-week walk to raise money for MindSpace Stamford, starting on August 25. Follow her regular blog here.

Kit & Kilometres – Julie’s Blog part 1

If you are in the streets, meadows or woodlands around Stamford and happen to see a slightly dishevelled woman, wearing a skirt and carrying a backpack with a large MindSpace poster on the back, do say Hi! It will be me attempting to reach my weekly training target of 30km for my Portuguese Caminho pilgrimage walk. Overall, I am making good progress, I feel fitter with less aches and pains.

 Although I haven’t weighed my backpack recently, it must now weigh at least 6kg. I have added a 2.5 kg water bladder and an odd selection of other items including a first aid kit and a rather fetching neon blue cape. My target is to be able to carry 8kg comfortably.

I really wanted neon orange MindSpace cape but unfortunately, they were sold out, so neon blue is the next best thing! It is rather ridiculous, but I am sure to be seen, it has the advantage of going over a backpack and it’s cooler than a jacket. Pilgrims can take their pack off and root around in it underneath the cape without getting anything wet. This is a huge advantage, as Santiago de Compostela is situated in Galicia on the far Northwest coast of Spain and is notorious for it’s rain!

 A cape, along with a staff, has been standard pilgrim garb for centuries, often with the shell symbol of the Camino on the back. It would have been used to keep pilgrims warm and dry in bad weather and double up as a blanket in the ‘refugios’. The tradition remains, although modern cape fabrics are breathable and waterproof and the staff is often replaced with walking poles, although some pilgrims still use a wooden staff.

The water bladder is a strong plastic bag incorporating a tube with valves to aid suction and stop leakage and from which I can drink if I bite on the end valve to open it. The bag sits in a pouch inside my backpack and the tube threads out through a hole made especially for the purpose and attaches to my shoulder strap with the aid of a couple of magnets. It all seems rather wonderful and easy to use, avoiding the need to take the pack off and fish out a water bottle. However, there is a significant flaw! At the moment the water tastes of plastic which is rather unpleasant and I am working my way through recommendations from the various blogs I follow, to try and rectify it. So far, I have tried filling it with water and putting it in the freezer with a modicum of success, added ½ a Milton tablet, which was more effective but I have a lemon lined up ready if that doesn’t work. I am pretty sure it is just because it is ‘new’ and I will let you know how I get on.

Hiking in a skirt! I hear you gasp! It’s OK, thin Lycra cycling shorts are just the ticket!


To sponsor Julie, click here to visit Go Fund Me.