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!