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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Leslie, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Hindfeet,

    Thank you so much your kind words and warm welcome. I have been lurking on this forum for a few months now and am so glad I finally jumped in, everyone is so wonderful and supportive.

    Wow - love all your advice and thoughts. Especially about your experience with being able to find alone time on the Camino. I too am a morning person, so I hope I will have a similar daily schedule that you describe. Your description of arriving in Santiago just gave me goosebumps... what a lovely way to arrive.

    Your training sounds similar to mine... although my work schedule does limit my ability to walk a ton during the week. I am about 9 months away now so I will stay the course as it seems your training worked out well. As you say nothing will fully prepare me for the back to back to back to back... :) .

    Thank you so much - you have comforted me a lot on my concerns about over crowding on the Frances. THANK YOU!

    Cheers
    Amy
     
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  2. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Wily

    Thank you so much for your warm welcome and thoughts - especially on training. I especially appreciated your thoughts on adding other forms of fitness outside of walking. I have run a few marathons and done some long distance cycling but have not been as active in the past two years due to a heavy work schedule. But I like your idea of having some variety. You certainly are in great shape!

    I will probably add some morning running to my routine... as you say it is the most efficient (time wise) way to get in shape. But walking and running work different muscles so I still intend to do lots of walking. I am 56 years young, with a history of achilles issues mostly due to running on hard surfaces. Have you heard of anyone having achilles problems on the Camino?

    Thank you again for your thoughtful reply - I have enjoyed all your posts here and am reading your blogs as I have time to get excited!

    Cheers
    Amy
     
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  3. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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    Hello All, and welcome newcomers. I too was going to do The Camino this fall but an unexpected knee surgery and some nerve stuff going on with the other leg I will not be doing it this fall but probably spring of next year???
    Apr/May or May/June??? Any suggestions as to the best time and I want to do France so travel to and from??? Thank you all in advance and hope to hear from you soon.

    Thanks
    Mike
     
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  4. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, I agree with all of it. Follow your heart and listen to your body!
     
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  5. Kevin Gibson

    Kevin Gibson New Member

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    Hi Mike

    I did 300km of the Frances this April/May and alberges were filling up even then. The weather was great for walking, not too hot. I'd go as early as you can to miss some of the crowds, knees permitting. I've had surgery on knees and feet and got on OK, so just take it gently and enjoy. I flew into Biaritz and out from Madrid (from the UK). Booked late December and flights were peanuts.

    Good luck with the surgery.

    Enjoy.
     
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  6. Kevin Gibson

    Kevin Gibson New Member

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    Hi Amy

    I did 300km of the Frances in April this year. I'm 58 (57 then) and reasonably fit, though I hadn't walked any distance for years, generally preferring to cycle.

    From December to April I walked to and from work 2 or 3 times a week, 15 mile round trip, crossing the end of the North Downs in Kent UK. I was concerned about getting over the Pyrenees, but when I got there they were no bother at all. Just listen to your body and go at your own pace.

    I enjoyed the build up greatly, and it gave me lots of time to plan what to take (or more importantly, what to leave behind).

    If you are already fairly fit you can probably just walk it anyway, so don't get fazed if your training doesn't go to plan.

    Enjoy.
     
  7. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Jose

    Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I appreciate your advice... it gives me confidence that the right decision will come to me in good time.

    Cheers
    Amy
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Amy - I think that any of us who run regularly have had to deal with an Achilles problem at one time or another. In fact, although mine still lingers, I’ve been dealing with Achilles Tendonitis for the past 6 month (it’s so hard to take time off and rest). Nonetheless, I walked the Inglés this past spring with this tendonitis. Although I noticed it when I’d run, it posed no problem on our Camino. We had the time so our leisurely pace put us doing about 20 km a day. Nonetheless, I love the Ibufren cream one can buy in Spanish pharmacies and I generously rubbed it into my Achilles a couple times a day.

    Since you run marathons and do long distance cycling, you already know how to train. I’ve found the cross-training the best way to exercise many muscle groups efficiently. With a lot of variety, exercise can really be enjoyable! Yikes! I know how work can interfer with what we’d prefer doing (retirement is great)! Ease back into it and as I said above, you’ll be all set for next May. The preparation is almost half the fun. Buen Camino!
     
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  9. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Michael - As I mentioned to Amy above, I walked the CF beginning late-April through the month of May two years ago. I agree with Kevin about starting as early as possible or maybe think about doing a fall Camino. By late-April, the crowds were already there. But, it was still manageable. As the Napoleon Route doesn’t open until April 1 (usually), it’s tough to start much earlier than this unless you walk the Valcarlos Route out of SJPP. I’m heading back to Spain to walk in October this year. Based on what some folks here on the Forum have said, I’m really looking forward to hiking in the fall.

    I’m not sure where you’re flying from, but from North America, I flew into Paris and out of Madrid. From Paris, I took the high speed train to Bayonne and then transferred to a secondary rail-line into SJPP. It was very easy to make my connections after arriving at CDG. For the trip home, another high speed train took me from Santiago to Madrid. I choose the train over flying just so as to be able to see the countryside. After a couple nights in Madrid, the very modern metro system wisked me out to the airport for my return flight. There are of course even more options. Check out some of the threads on the Forum to see other possibilities. Buen Camino.
     
  10. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Amy

    Sorry to hear about you recently losing your Mother, my own Mother is very poorly now and although I have had time to prepare myself for the inevitable, I know it won’t be easy :-(



    I have been fortunate enough to walk both The Camino Frances and The Camino Norte, and also the main variants of The Camino Norte, The Camino Primativo and I know what you mean about it being a difficult choice which route to take as although The Camino Frances is certainly the most crowded, it also has the best facilities – The Camino Norte is a harder walk, but I preferred it as it was much quieter and I Loved The Camino Primativo, but there again I live in the English Lake District – So I guess the mountains are in by blood.

    Just pop up a post if you need any questions answered, there are some very experienced walkers on here that will be able to offer and advice that you might need.

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  11. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    Hi Hindsfeet! I remember when you were sending me encouraging words as I trained and I know Amy will appreciate this support as well. What does amaze me is how very uniquely we each experience this adventure/search. Life is just such an impressive event!! We are so lucky to get to share it. Be well
     
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  12. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    Hey Wily. You have made such I press I’ve Camino trips. You certainly helped me as I pondered equipment and gear choices. I loved walking the Fall. I walked Sept and October and while there was some heatnin afternoons, it was lovely. I never found crowds at any point...except the auberges where the snoring masses sometimes confounded me. Have fun!
     
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  13. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    Amy, It has been a long time since I have been on the forum. It is such a lovely connection for prepping and planning and sharing the adventure. I loved hearing your approach and questions and concern. I walked it last year (The Frances) in Sept and Oct for my 75th birthday celebration. It was wonderful. I am fit as well, but not freakishly so. I walked mostly to check out my distance capabilities when I was training. I walked some hilly trails with my pack full and once when I felt like I was just beginning to burn out, I simply cut back. You already know the basics. You know how to walk!!! Some days you will walk like a crazy person for long times and other days you will quit when you sit down for breakfast and just decide to stay where you are...and that’s what will define the camino as your own.

    You will find as much solitude or cameraderie as you might want and it is simple to step from one to the other as you feel best. Good human beings walk this path and you will be the richer for meeting and sharing time with whoever you find. Pace yourself. Get the best shoes you can as hammy says...get good sox as well and make sure you have quick drying wicking underpants!!!! I wore Injinji toes sox as an under sock, for my multi-directional toes and then a nice comfortable pair of medium weight hiking sox. I wore hiking boots simply because my joints welcomed the support at the ankles, knees and hips and the boots were a reassurance. I got Vasque and will love them forever. I can still make a good hike in them even after the 550 miles the carried me.

    I encourage you to think about walking sticks. I was not a big one on them until I did the Camino and they were just something I would not think about doing without on any long hike again.

    Some days were full of mindful bitching. Some were filled with pure joy. I spent the first week trying to figure a way to just leave and go back home without generating personal shame I could not live down - but I didn’t. I would get up, wishing I didn’t have to and then start walking and find myself just delighted to be seeing the sun rise and the path unfolding in front of me. Nothing about it was perfect and it was the imperfections that made it seem most real and wonderful for me. I loved all the days even the ones that were unloveable. You will too! Have a great Camino.
     
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  14. dalebob

    dalebob Member

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    Hi don’t post much presently, but still read regularly and enjoy the threads and opinions and experiences of others on the Way. However must thank you for this post it resonates so much with my memories and experiences of the Camino Frances of 5 years ago it just took me back to the good and the “ muck” days that I got through and now cherish all of those times and all the people and experiences we went through together with such great fondness.
    Going back in September to walk the Camino Ingles alone for the second time it’s a loverly gentle 5 day stroll to SdC and 3 more to Finsterre.
    Go bless you all that walk the Way as words will never convey how it feels to to do the Camino and what it leaves you with afterwards ! Not everyone gets it I know ? But if you’ve felt it it stays with you for a long long time.
    dalebob
     
  15. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    Use the forum as part of your guide. For me it was one of the most intimate and informative places to start my Camino and I will be ever grateful to it for that!
     
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  16. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Kim - So good to see you back on the Forum. Your words of advice to Amy and all the others is spot on! Great ideas and observations from a veteran! Helping others with insights or tidbits of information from our experiences is what the Forum is all about. It is an informative place, as you point out, because of the pilgrim spirit that lives on well after the walk is completed.

    Thanks for your comments about the fall. Almost have my route nailed down and my enthusiasm is no less than it was two years ago anticipating the CF. As always, my earplugs are already packed so as to tune out the snoring masses. Take care and Buen Camino Peregrina!
     
  17. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things

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    Kim!!! I was just thinking about you yesterday!! So great to see your posts once again. I just want to say thank you. Your last paragraph was so raw and honest. I felt like you saw my first 1 1/2 weeks on the CF. It made me laugh out loud! But I wouldn't change a thing. All part of the Camino experience. It is what binds us together, to create a community. Gee, right now I feel like going in the garage, taking my pack out of the plastic bag, loading it up and heading out again....I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!! Thank you Kim! :D
     
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  18. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Rob
    Thank you so much for your kind note... my mother's passing was quite sudden and unexpected. The good news was I had taken her on a trip to Spain just 4 months prior to her passing. In hindsight I was so glad we had that last trip together and she could visit my favorite country.

    Oh I envy you and your living in the Lake District. Although I have never been there I have pined to go for so long. After the Camino I may write you and ask more questions about a visit there... it has been on my list for a long time. But first - the Camino!

    I appreciate your thoughts on the different routes. I am still doing my research (which is half the fun right?!) and will let everyone know what I end up doing. This community is amazing.

    Cheers
    Amy
     
  19. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Kim says...You will find as much solitude or cameraderie as you might want and it is simple to step from one to the other as you feel best. Good human beings walk this path and you will be the richer for meeting and sharing time with whoever you find. Pace yourself. Get the best shoes you can as hammy says...get good sox as well and make sure you have quick drying wicking underpants!!!! I wore Injinji toes sox as an under sock, for my multi-directional toes and then a nice comfortable pair of medium weight hiking sox. I wore hiking boots simply because my joints welcomed the support at the ankles, knees and hips and the boots were a reassurance. I got Vasque and will love them forever. I can still make a good hike in them even after the 550 miles the carried me.

    I encourage you to think about walking sticks. I was not a big one on them until I did the Camino and they were just something I would not think about doing without on any long hike again.

    Some days were full of mindful bitching. Some were filled with pure joy. I spent the first week trying to figure a way to just leave and go back home without generating personal shame I could not live down - but I didn’t. I would get up, wishing I didn’t have to and then start walking and find myself just delighted to be seeing the sun rise and the path unfolding in front of me. Nothing about it was perfect and it was the imperfections that made it seem most real and wonderful for me. I loved all the days even the ones that were unloveable. You will too! Have a great Camino.[/QUOTE]


    Kim - Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts and advice. Since I have been waiting so long to do the Camino (over 20 years) I do worry that my expectations are too high... thank you for expressing so wonderfully -that there are bad days and bad moments, but that is part of the experience. I worried I might be romanticizing it too much. I know I will remember your words every day when I wake up and do not want to move...

    This forum has been wonderful... I have lurked for a few months without introducing myself but now that I have "jumped in" I have been so blessed with everyone's kind welcome and wonderful thoughts. Is this what the Camino is like? I imagine so.

    Thank you Kim -

    Cheers
    Amy
     
  20. Amy Brooks

    Amy Brooks Active Member

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    Wily

    My original plan was to walk the Camino in the Fall of 2019. That coincided with a major milestone at my work, and I knew I could take the time off after that milestone. But after my mother passed away, and multiple other things, I felt I had to do the Camino sooner than later. I don't know why and I cannot logically explain it but I have to go sooner than later. Has anyone else had that feeling?

    From what I have read from others, intuition has played a huge part in the Camino experience. So I am going with my gut on timing and figure the Camino will provide. I will do my second Camino in the fall!

    I am sure everyone has thoughts on the best time of year - there are always advantages to each time of year... the new growth of Spring, the colors of Fall....

    Thank you Wily for your thoughts and advice!
    Amy
     
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  21. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Amy - First, greetings from a displaced Oregonian. I grew up in Roseburg and spent my university years between Corvallis and Eugene. What a great state!

    I wholeheartedly believe that you’ll know when the exact time is to go. I retired three years ago and planned to walk the Camino, but not immediately upon taking down my shingle. I spent the better part of a year planning and getting ready. Everything was in place and when spring came, off to Spain I went. Most of us have excellent intuition and we sense when are stars are aligned in order to embark on whatever it is that calls us. The Camino is no different. If you feel it will be sooner rather than later, that’s most likely how it will turn out. Trust your gut and go with it!

    I have come to believe that the Camino will provide, but never as you think it might happen. It’s quite an amazing trek where the unexpected and the discovery that comes along with it can be life changing experiences. Buen Camino!
     
  22. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    No Problem Amy – Pleased to be of help – And with your route selection, yes, researching the differing Camino options is All part of the Fun + Whichever route you choose, you can always go back and try another as Camino Walking is Definitely Addictive :)



    And I am More than Happy to try my best to answer ANY questions that you have about the English Lake District – Or indeed the UK in general :)

    But, as you say, first your Camino and if / when you have any more questions there, as you can see, we have a good community here that are both willing and able to assist.

    Have you come across Mundicamino - http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos/ as I find this a very useful online resource to help with your research in choosing your route.



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  23. Bearded Peregrino

    Bearded Peregrino Unshaven Member

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    Howdy Everyone,

    My name is Lance and I'm planning on walking the Camino Primitivo next year. God willing my friend and I will arrive in Santiago de Compostela on 24 July 2019. This would mean our pilgrim's Mass will be on the Feast Day of St. James. In the meantime I'm doing a lot of walking and reading in preparation.

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom and experience and I hope to contribute what I can for the benefit of other peregrinos.

    Buen Camino!

    Lance
     
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  24. Kiwi

    Kiwi Member

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    Hi folks, My name is Kiwi, I am from New Zealand. Three years ago when I was just a young lad of 73 I set out from St Jean and got 622 kilometres into the Camino but got a bad blister which turned into Celulitis. I got a bus to Santiago and into hospital for a week. I then managed to get to London and into hospital for three weeks. After three days they wanted to take my leg off as it was so bad. I said NO. When I was stable enough to fly I returned to New Zealand and into hospital for another three weeks. Three months later I was able to walk again. I was very disappointed that I did not finish the Camino. The Camino kept calling me (you know how it is). Last week my daughter asked me if I would come with her on the Camino. So next May I will be having another go, starting from St. Jean and doing the whole Camino (hopefully to Muxia) with my daughter. I can not wait.
    Buen Camino,
    Kiwi.
     
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  25. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things

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    Kiwi.....that is quite the ordeal you went through. Excited that you are heading back to the Camino. Wow, the human spirit is absolutely amazing. Wishing you the very best!
     
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  26. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello Kiwi Terry here from Palmerston North . Go for it my friend. I am going back in April and like you with my daughter starting St jean,,
    You are right it does call you dose it not. I think the camino teacher you to get back up off the canvas. This time I and my daughter are going through the valley Valcarlos. Where are you in NZ? I am 70 this month. Good luck and God bless.
     
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  27. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Wow I'm glad that you have decided to try again and have kept your leg. I have a question about your medical problems and that is how about the costs. It seems that members of the EU have complete medical care, outsiders don't. Did your New Zeland medical system help you? Or did you plan ahead and get special medical care insurance?
     
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  28. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Kiwi, so sorry to learn about your horrible medical condition. Glad your leg was saved and you are headed back with your daughter.

    Any feedback from your medical doctors why your blister progressed to Celulitus ? Absolutely frightening and a warning to all of us to take care of our blisters. Bob
     
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  29. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Kiwi - So sorry to hear that your blister problem develop as it did. I, too, struggled with blisters along the CF. Luckily, no progression of the problem as you experienced it. Wow! Your post reminds me of how important it is to take care of your feet when walking day after day. There are a number of good threads regarding foot care/blisters on this Forum. Experience is a great teacher! Since that first Camino, I’m learned a great deal about caring for blisters and it makes all the difference in the quality of the walk. Happy feet make for a happy pilgrim! I wish you the very best of luck when you head out again in May with your daughter. Although I was short on time and didn’t get the last stage in up to Muxia, the trek over to the coast and Finisterre was well worth it. Buen Camino!
     
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  30. Kiwi

    Kiwi Member

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    Hi folks, Thanks for all of your good wishes. Terry, I live about 20k from you in Feilding. (Yes, I did spell Feilding correctly for you foreigners.) (323 8111). Uncle Hammy, I got comprehensive medical insurance before I left as I have also had a four-way heart bypass and wanted to make sure that everything would be covered. They paid for the hospital in Spain and transport to England. There is a reciprocal agreement between England and NZ that we get free hospital treatment if we were actually born in NZ, which I was. Insurance also paid for an upgrade to business class for me to fly home as I had to lie down all of the way. Treatment in NZ is free of course. Wily, I followed advice from people in these blogs about treatment for blisters where they say to put a needle with cotton through the blister and leave the cotton so drain the blister. The doctors told me that this method can be quite dangerous if the cotton is not thoroughly sterilised just before putting it into the blister and kept sterilised while in place. This is possibly how I got the infection. A question to Americans, what is a fleece? You talk about wearing them on the Camino. In NZ a fleece is the wool that comes off the back of a sheep when it is shorn. I gather it is some kind of jacket.
    Buen Camino.
     
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