A couple years ago, I walked the beginning of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way with my brother and sister-in-law. This May, I am going to try walking most of the rest of it with my parents.
We’re planning to walk between 7 and 11 miles per day for 9 days, with shorter walks on two additional days at the beginning and end and one rest day in the middle. Our plans are really taking shape and as the start date gets closer I’m getting excited — and realizing that I need to get more than just mentally prepared! I love walking but I’m always a little less active during the winter. Jumping straight into a multi-day walk is a sure way to get injured and have to stop early.
This walk won’t be as strenuous as something like the Camino de Santiago in Spain, but I’m finding this camino training program helpful for structure. As it mentions, any long-distance walking requires preparation for back-to-back days on the trail, hill walking, different trail conditions, and carrying a backpack. I’ll be adding more regular short walks to my weekdays and gently increasing my mileage on the weekends now that the weather is warming up a bit more.
Since I’m not starting entirely from scratch, I decided to tackle a 6-mile walk along the mouth of the Conwy river over the weekend. This was perhaps ambitious (4-5 miles wouldn’t have been so exhausting!) but I did it, even with a bit of light rain as I went. There was something beautiful about the rain combined with the crashing waves along the shore:
I was also rewarded with a stunning view of Conwy enshrouded in mist as I walked back toward town:
Walking in the rain isn’t always fun, especially when there’s a chill in the air, but moments like these make it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to get out into the more remote parts of North Wales and walk through places I’ve never been before. Over a week of moving through nature, putting one foot in front of the other, and being in the company of loved ones — that’s my bliss.