About us

Why are you walking the Camino?

This is the question every “peregrino” is asked, and it will be asked over and over again.

It all started for us in 2012, when our son Stephen set out to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA.  This trail starts at the Mexican border not far from San Diego, and is a continuous path through California, Oregon and Washington to the Canadian border some 2,650 miles away. For those of us who are metric, that is some 4,240 kilometres.  We started following his blog (http://www.stevehof.com/), and the blogs of those who were walking near him.  I became hooked by the idea, and said to Jane, “Let’s do it!”  Jane, being sensible, said “let’s try something shorter”.  She suggested the Camino. If our not-so-young bodies can manage, and if we are still talking to each other at the end, we can try something longer.

I was not convinced that the Camino was the thing for me.  Wild mountains and isolated places call me to adventure, and the thought of walking through villages and sharing bunk rooms with hundreds of sweaty pilgrims turned me off.  Then I spoke to some friends, Pete and Viv, who had recently walked a section, and I looked at their photos and I was intrigued.  It didn’t look too bad at all, and their photos were wonderful.  Pete even complained that being a talkative extrovert, there were not enough people for him to chat to each day!

We talked to others, and found many who had walked long or short stretches of the many Camino’s that end in Santiago de Compostela, and we were hooked.

So who are we?

We are young enough to still be able to walk, and old enough to be able to get away for six weeks and not worry about pets and children and unpaid bills. We love the outdoors, and have hiked, sailed, run, paddled and swum.

Our children inspire us.  Ross has been to Antarctica almost four times (see http://www.doctorross.co.za/ and http://wildmedic.co.za/) and persuaded his wife Fran to walk around Patagonia; Steve set out to walk 2,650 miles and will be back with his wife Kristin to complete what he set out to do but sadly had to interrupt; Laura is courageously tackling the education of young South Africans (a tough task, she says), and Kate is studying occupational therapy, and is the last to stay home to look after her parents (or the house when her parents go walkabout).

We hope this blog will inspire one or two readers as we have been inspired by the many blogs we have started reading.  Somewhere we will put in some links to some of them, particularly those whose information has helped us plan to walk.  Jane and I each hope to blog, and it will be up to you to decide who is writing, if this is important to you! I am a baby blogger, but Jane has some experience (http://dj-walkabouts.blogspot.com/.

Will this be a spiritual journey?  We are not setting out with this purpose, but we hope it will be.  Our Anglican minister, Rob Taylor, who has walked part of the Camino with his wife Sue, has encouraged us to become Catholics while we walk.  In just a few days, that’s what we will do!

17 Responses to About us

  1. rosshofmeyr says:

    Fantastic to see the blog up and running! Love the comment about ‘almost’ 4 times 😛. Keep the good posts coming and remember: slow and steady, left, right, left, right, wash, rinse, repeat ☺️

  2. Johan du Preez says:

    Great idea David & Jane. Will be following your steps from the comfort of my chair (maar ek is eintlik jaloers …). Vaya con Dios.

  3. Rachel B says:

    I will look forward to following you on your travels. Thanks for sharing it and, no doubt, inspiring a few more of us!

  4. Linda Muggleton says:

    well done for beginning this blog – first time I have ever written on one – your blog was really well written – loads of love xxxxx

  5. Jenny says:

    Wishing you loads of fun, a few hard times and no blisters. It will be an amazing journey.

  6. Lloyd Martin says:

    Great….enjoy…is on my bucket list…

  7. Denise says:

    I a thinking of you two every day blessings

  8. Peter Williams says:

    Haha David, thanks. To anyone out there contemplating the Camino, my wife and I would do it again in a heartbeat. You can make it as physically challenging as you want to or as in David’s and my case, as one’s age dictates. Cycling is also an option. We did the last 215km of the French route to Santiago over 7 days, starting in a town called Ponferrado. We are already planning to do the beginning of the French route sometime in the near future. Have fun David and Jane!

  9. Roger Cameron says:

    May it be a wonderful experience,rich with blessing and not too much heartache.
    God bless
    Roger Cameron

    • dgmhofmeyr says:

      Many thanks Roger. No heartache at all – it is a wonderful holiday to have together! Apart from a few blisters, our feet, legs and bodies are holding up well, and we have cast off a bit of unnecessary body weight.

  10. Jeremy says:

    Wow, David & Jane. This has been such an experience for you. We have really enjoyed following your blog — we look forward to the in-person presentation back in Cape Town. Your descriptions are tantalizing! Enjoy the last few days, and safe travels home. See you on the road soon, too. Jeremy

  11. Judy says:

    I was happy to come across your blog when Googling “Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas.” That section will be the greatest distance walked in one day when my husband and I undertake our first Camino early in September, and I was curious about what it would be like. Your post and photos helped answer our questions. I will be interested to read about your experience in its entirety to get a feel for it. Thank you for sharing.

    • dgmhofmeyr says:

      Hi Judy, thanks for your comment. That day is a lovely one, especially the feeling you get walking on a road that was built 2000 years ago and is still in daily use by foot and tractor traffic. Jane and I marvelled at the engineering skill of the Romans. Its a rare day without villages, so you need to carry water and food. There is a delightful tiny shop in Calzadilla that stocks just about everything – just ask directions, and knock on the door. The shopkeeper will come, if not in his shop.
      There are two places that we were not sure which way to go. There is a large modern but disused canal a little while after Arroyo Madriz de la Cava that is not marked in the Brierley guide (or the Chinese guide of the couple we found scratching their heads) – just go straight across onto the path on the other side. The other is when you see the radio mast. The map shows the path as going straight on, but you do need to turn right as described in Brierley’s narrative, unless you wish to go to Reliegos for some sustenance.
      Have a great walk! Let us know if you have a blog, so that we can follow your progress.

  12. Judy says:

    Thank you so much for your information. I enjoyed reading your entire blog and will read it again as a refresher, closer to the time we go early in September. I have just finished setting up my blog, using the same WordPress Theme you used: http://www.throughourlookingglass.ca. So far there are just three posts regarding the Camino: “What is the Camino?”; “Why are we walking?”, and “Getting Ready.” I hope to write every day as you have done, including the photos of the day.

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