Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Tea Room Revelation

Last week I bumped into a colleague in our tea room at work.  Rachel and I not only knew each other from work, but had initially met when Brendon took me along to one of his Tri club social get-togethers.  She had recently returned from a hiking tour of Italy and I had a question for her about her trip.

I had been thinking about doing the European Peace Walk (after another friend posted about it on Facebook), however I had read that it wasn't particularly well organised and that something called the comino was better.  I googled the comino and was interested in finding out more.

My question for Rachel was whether she had walked any of the comino.  She said that she had walked on some parts of the Italian paths and it was on her bucket list of things to do.  I casually mentioned I was interested in doing the hike and things escalated very quickly from there!

Within the space of a week, we had firmed up when to travel, who to travel with (we are leaving our respective husbands at home) and the type of trip we would undertake.  Personally, I had ordered moleskin blister kits and a backpack, and parted with my hard earned cash to buy some serious hiking boots.

So what is this adventure we had committed ourselves to?

The Camino de Santiago are the paths travelled by pilgrims from across Europe to pay homage to St James, whose bones are said to rest in the Santiago Cathedral in Spain.  The trail we are planning on hiking begins at St Jean Pied du Porte and travels over 800km across the Pyrenees mountains and east to Santiago.  Each year, hundreds of thousands of 'peregrinos' (pilgrims), follow in those medieval footsteps on pilgrimage to the cathedral.  People take the journey for a myriad of reasons, not just for the religious aspect, but also as a form of self-discovery.

Future blog posts will cover my reasons for walking, but in the meantime, we have begun our training and are eagerly anticipating the majesty and the beauty that awaits us.

Until then, buen Comino x

Sunday, 2 July 2017

CQ17 - Goondiwindi to Brisbane - the countdown begins

Here we are again, a new month and only 10 weeks until my favourite part of the cycling year.  Year seven sees a route similar to year one, with CQ travelling from Goondiwindi through to the Gold Coast, with stops in Yelarbon, Texas, Stanthorpe, Woodenbong, Kyogle and Murwillumbah.

It promises to be an interesting ride - crossing the range twice and travelling through so many different landscapes.  The last time we did this ride it was a cold and frosty time of year, with temps in the single digits.  It certainly made for some chilly morning rides and some wet and cold pack ups each day.

So with ten weeks to go, I thought it best to commence my training this weekend.  The last six months is probably the most cycling-poor period I've had since 2011 - I could count the number of rides on both hands in that time.  I wish I could blame it fully on my knee problems, but let's face it, it's not so much the knees as the mind that needed a good, stern talking to.

While I've been walking a lot, the bike has been neglected.  I gave myself any number of excuses not to ride and will now pay for that mindset as I work to get myself back into some semblance of bike-fit to tackle the ride.

Two rides this weekend, including some multiple Gateway crossings have made for tired, heavy legs. However with a training plan now firmly in mind, the way is open to get some of my previous fitness back and begin the slog to conquer the Texas to Stanthorpe ride - a particularly hellish memory from 2011.