To undertake such a journey one has sometimes to wait for the occasion. Or make this occasion himself. I was waiting, patiently, for my „occasion“ for good ten years! During almost a decade my will to go was there, smoldering. The „stars constellated“ for my Camino de Santiago de Compostela just then, in summer 2013. Maybe “Heavens” saw that I needed it the most now? Via de la Plata route is one of the longest (more than one thousand kilometers) and requires at least five weeks of time. Since I had a hard year on my workplace, with many overtime work, I had some credits asking for some extra days of leave. I was generously allowed time needed to undertake this venture and adventure. Was and stayed grateful to my company for allowing me that extra time off.

Other’s questions

After I told my friends and colleagues I will soon go to the Camino, almost all of them asked me those three questions: Are you going alone or in group?“, „Is it all organized?“ and „Why?“. Frankly, at first I couldn’t really understand why those questions but I must be honest and admit I was not even trying too much to understand. I think it was because I was too focused with practical preparations for my Camino. Yes, “my Camino” since everyone has his own, unique way. Departure was approaching and Camino and myself were… converging more and more.

First question:”Alone?”

I accepted my friends’ Andrej invitation to join him on this journey as he already he will go. Andrej is a friend from our childhood and a “veteran of the Camino”, best possible company for such a journey. A number of other colleagues and friends were also invited but couldn’t join us. That was not unexpected since this is a very demanding „venture“ in many senses. Maybe first of all – time. One has to invest a significant time slot – almost a month and a half in total (for Via de la Plata, other routes leading to Santiago de Compostela usually require about a month or less) and that is a privilege not available to many, especially in today’s world. Undertaking such Camino also requires a genuine commitment and readiness to accept the physical and much more mental challenges. To be ready to start and finish something that looks so big. Although it is safer and easier to walk with someone in the end it is always a walk with (and in the same time against) yourself! This is what I was looking for! Maybe this is why I like golf as well. Going with and going against your strongest friend and your strongest foe – yourself! So from this perspective yes, basically you go on Camino alone. On the way you will be joined by others, who will walk with you for some stages, then they will proceed on their pace and then again you will be joined by others. That’s usual for a month long walk through various (and ever changing) stages of this Way. Again, it’s like the path of the …real …life.


Is there a travel agency organizing your Camino? Are accommodations defined and reserved? Is there a fixed timetable? There are travel agencies offering tours for the Camino but we did not use those. We haven’t had accomodations reserved in advance and neither a fixed timetable for the Camino. In that sense our Camino was not organized. Camino it is a path from one of many starting points, from “your” starting point to – the tomb of Saint Jacob in the cathedral of Santiago de Campostela. Originally, the pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Jacob starts from your home. How will you organize your path in between those two points – it is totally up to you and… chance. We found convenient flights connecting our hometown Pula to London and London to Santiago de Compostela. Explored a bit the route and potential places to stay. Downloaded appropriate mobile applications and that was it. Usually we would make reservations (directly contacting the targeted lodging or over one of the booking platforms) day by day, as one can’t be sure how the stages will sort in the end.


The question “impossible one to answer“! Basically, every single person has his own reason(s). I will try to put down one of mines, maybe the most cognizable – to “empty out a little bit the glass” so there will be place for “new water” in my life. How this transformed me during and after the Camino …maybe will be reveal by the end of this record and testimony.


I started my preparations immediately after I decided to go. First of all, I relied heavily on my friend’s experience, expertize and knowledge. He “did it”, he walked Camino Frances on two occasions already, in 2003. and 2006. and as a „Camino’s veteran“ knew all one have to know before departing. Or at least some general, guiding instructions as this will be his first Via de la Plata Camino too.

First, I started with the easier part – physical preparations. „Walk regurarly every day!” so I was doing that. Then, procure yourself with the best, most reliable walking boots (and socks) for this long walk. Also, appropriate microfiber clothing. Microfiber as you’ll be sweating a lot. Since our local sportswear shop had a limited offer we went to neighboring Slovenia and Italy for better fitments. The best possible walking boots were now on my feets! Socks as well. Sun hat with neck cover, trekking sweatshirts, pants, poles …even those “so outdated” wrist bands (but proven so helpful)! Wind jacket, raincoat, water bottles, headlamp. Basic medicines like active carbon and painkillers were to accompany me along this journey.

I was walking in my new boots for the whole month before departing. Walked at least few kilometers per day. This was a good preparation since in August, in my home town of Pula, in Mediterranean Northern Adriatic, daily temperatures sometimes raise over thirtyfive degrees Celsius. Those conditions should be similar to what we were to encounter at least on the first third (or even half) of the Camino: in Andalusia and Extremadura regions. Yes, it was a good training but as later was shown – good just to some extent.

My adrenalin was slowly and constantly raising. Day by day, exactly as I was expecting it. Thrill, excitement, fluster… all of those can describe this wonderful feeling („it’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside“). I was so desirous to start, eager to make this first step in Sevilla but still remained somehow composed. In the same time I knew I was in front and before something so huge I almost could not imagine. Just thinking about the more than one thousands kilometers ahead… I like to walk but I never ever faced this… It looked almost impossible but “almost impossible” is not enough not to try…