Breathe, we have put together some tips for you to give you the means to live your trip serenely and that it takes place in the best conditions.
1) Equip yourself lightly!
You guessed it, the equipment is an essential point in your preparation. Many of us have a habit of taking many things that we will call “just in case”, “you never know”, “what if...”.
Yet this surplus of non-essential equipment could also be a hindrance to your trip. Indeed, although reassuring, all these objects have a certain weight in your backpack... that you will carry for several hours every day! So learn to let go, and take only what will be really useful for you.
2) Prepare yourself physically!
And yes, having very often a sedentary life, it is essential to gently prepare your body to avoid too violent a shock during these days of hikes of several kilometers.
The path is therefore prepared upstream with three habits to put in place:
- Daily or at least regular longer and longer walks
- Gymnastic exercises to strengthen the muscles of the legs, back and neck
- Stretching exercises before and after daily walking
3) Anticipate and treat minor sores
And yes, when you are an adventurer, you sometimes have to know how to manage a few minor injuries. However, there are tips to avoid them or to treat them quickly so that everything gets back to normal quickly.
Provide several pairs of socks and change them several times a day to avoid the humidity that causes the appearance of blisters. If, despite this, blisters end up appearing, disinfect them then apply a Compeed-type dressing.
For muscle pain
Remember to warm up and stretch well before the start of the hike and to stretch at the end of your day. Massage your legs with arnica in the evening to relieve the muscles.
Plan sunscreen factor 50, apply every two hours. In case of burns, apply Biafine.
For foot pain
Massage the arch of the foot with a tennis ball.
4) Organize in advance
And yes, in order to live your trip serenely and avoid some mishaps, think about anticipating your basic needs:
Most of the time there are water points regularly on the way, but sometimes for technical reasons, some areas do not have any. Look carefully the day before if you will often access water, in which case, plan at least 1 L and a half of water in order to be serene.
Locate our water points on the destination Cahors Lot Valley in our pilgrim guide.
Santiago de Compostela being a route of great renown, many people take up the challenge each year. Remember to book your accommodation in advance so as not to have any unpleasant surprises during your trip.
When you arrive in certain towns/villages at the end of the stage, you will certainly want to visit a bit or go do some shopping. You will then want to put down your backpack while you realize everything you have to do. Then see if it is possible to put it in a safe place to relieve you!
Destination tourist information offices Cahors - Vallée du Lot will then be happy to look after your belongings for a few hours.
It is sometimes difficult to carry your backpack daily. If this proves to be a difficult load to bear, or if you wish to take full advantage of your hike without having to suffer from the imposed weight, you can resort to the postal box. This service allows you to transport your luggage from one accommodation to another as you go.
5) Determine your milestones in advance (and don't be too ambitious)
As indicated in the previous advice, it is important to book your accommodation in advance, which implies prepare your stages early enough also. Nevertheless, we suggest you don't be too ambitious, especially if you're just starting out!
The road to Santiago de Compostela is not a race, quite the contrary. It's a moment of discovery of yourself and the environment around you. The goal is not to suffer and come back traumatized by this great adventure, so don't plan too daring steps. Start with sections of about fifteen kilometers, then adapt according to your feelings.