The last tour was a blast.
We all had a truly memorable time. And we’ve all become friends. More than friends. There is a bond between us which is hard to describe.
Jennifer and I are now starting to think of the next one.
Next year we’re definitely doing a walk from Florence to Assisi, then to Rome. That will be in April. We already have four people who have committed to that tour – and our maximum number will be nine.
We found on the last tour that keeping the number of people to under ten makes for a far more enriching experience. It’s best to keep the group small.
The last trour went smoothly because Jennifer and I did two full scouts prior to the tour commencing. We did our homework. We drove the route, and checked out every hotel, we went into bedrooms, examined their bathrooms, made notes of which had baths as against showers, whether they would do an early breakfast for us, whether the staff were pilgrim friendly etc.
We prepared as thoroughly as we could.
Financially, it meant we made a loss on the tour, but the prep work had to be done, and it had to be done properly. Just like making a movie. But now we have the infrastructure in place should we wish to do another Camino Portuguese tour.
It will be the same with the Assisi Tour.
Jennifer and I will have to go over there well beforehand and scout it fully, and we’ll even probably walk some sections. We will need to check out hotels, where to eat, and we’ll also need to find an Italian Catarina. That will be hard. She was fantastic. But we’ll need someone who speaks Italian, and who knows the region.
We will also start thinking about a Celtic Camino.
We’re thinking it will involve a series of separate walks around the West Coast of Ireland – possibly on the Beara Ring, the Kerry Ring, and the Dingle Peninsula. It won’t be one continuous walk – it will be four or five separate walks on those three peninsulas – taking the van between the different locations.
We’ll then fly the group from Ireland to A Coruna in the north of Spain, bus the 50kms or so to Ferrol, then walk the Camino Ingles into Santiago. That’s a short Camino – about 100kms or so. But it means we get a Compostela.
We’ll ask Catarina to do that one. She speaks English – kind of!
Again though, Jennifer and I will have to return to Ireland and set that up – figure out the walks, line up hotels, work out the itinerary etc. The Irish part of the walk would end with a long walk along the Cliffs of Moher – which are incredible.
That won’t be a cheap tour. Ireland is two to three times more expensive than Spain, and then we’ll have airfares too. But it should be an amazing tour.
As for when we’d do that – possibly September 2015.
More immediately, we’re thinking we might do another Portuguese Camino Tour in October. Catarina has put her hand up to say she’s available – but it would depend on whether we got sufficient interest. We’d need about eight people to make it viable.
Jennifer and I enjoyed the last tour so much, we’d like to do some more. But we can only offer a tour if we’ve fully prepped it. This is not stuff you can do on the internet.
And in the case of Ireland, it’s very important we check out the pubs!
Hooly Dooly! The pub crawling is of upmost importance!!
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Crawling INTO the pub? Or crawling OUT of the pub? haha – Irish pubs are unique, what with their live music etc… wonderful.
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Hey, the two of you are like the Energizer Bunny! 🙂 Boundless energy, constant Caminos! I hope all the tours work out as well at the Portuguese and I wish you luck with organising the Italian. A couple I (& Jenny and Janet) know walked that and found it a totally different experience to Spain, particularly with not as well developed infrastructure nor sign posting. Will be interesting to see what your experience is, compared to theirs.
PS – for some reason I couldn’t ‘like’ this post … but I did 🙂
They do seem to have an overabundance of energy. I have a hard time just finding time to go out for a short walk. They are living my dream though…. Travel, travel, travel
haha – Linda – we both are now at an age where our children are self sufficient (largely!) – which means we can travel, although work does require me to travel quite a bit. This next trip to the US is a work trip. I do love traveling though, particularly during winter in Mudgee!!
I wish I could see you and Jennifer when you are here, but you will be too far away. Any chance I can nudge you as close as Chicago? 😉 Been enjoying following along on your journeys, but not much time to comment. Son’s wedding is this coming weekend! My internal push to do the Camino is increasing by the day….Your posts are so encouraging!!!
Hey Julie – can’t see us getting to Chicago this trip, which is a shame because I love the Windy City! Best hot dogs in the world. Hope all goes well with your son’s wedding. They’re stressful things for the parents, aren’t they!! Bill
Thanks Britta. I don’t think we’re any less energetic than any of you others!! You’re full of energy too!! And yes, we’re expecting the route in Italy to be not so well signposted. Even more reason why we’ll have to do a thorough recce beforehand. Bill
Ooh I just love the idea of a Celtic Camino. I hope it comes together and I can make it.
BTW Bill, I enjoy reading your posts very much but for some reason am unable to ‘like’. Could be that I almost always read the posts on the iPad when in bed and can’t be bothered going to the desk computer.
Hi Deb – thank you for the kind words about the blog. Let me go into the WordPress Dashboard to see if anything has changed re the Like button. Sometimes WordPress has kinks which are totally inexplicable! Bill
So far so good with the wedding, Bill. Two ceremonies….Hindu in am and Catholic in pm. The pre-parties started yesterday and go through the week. We enjoy spending time with her family. Sending you prayers for good fortune on your business trip to raise money for your movie. Just the fact that you feel so powerfully about it being made tells me it will be. 🙂
Indian weddings are like no others Julie. Crazy. But amazing. And yes, I feel that the right things will happen on this trip… 🙂 Bill
Bill, please keep me posted on the Italy plans. If I’ll be home on April 20 (our 30th anniversary), I am definitely interested. Enjoy your time on the west coast. It was super hot when we were there last week.
Lovely to hear from you Cathy. Yes I saw the temps were over the 100F mark last week!
Happy 30th to you and Tim! I hope you have a lovely day. And yes, will keep you appraised of the Assisi tour.
Say hello to Tim for me.
Big hug, Bill
Love to hear more of the Irish walk (in my own backyard!)
Hi Mike – we’ll need to do another recce first, and get our costings worked out, but it will most probably be in the second half of next year. So keep checking in on the blog. With your name though, I can understand your interest!! 🙂 Bill