I've received quite a few emails with questions about our upcoming hike.
For those interested in facts and details regarding the Camino de Santiago itself -- visit this excellent site.
As for questions regarding Hugh, the girls, and me...here goes.
Why the Camino?
We saw this movie.
Why hike for charity?
We're fortunate to be able to go on this hike, so why not do whatever we can to help others while we're at it? It's important to be of use in life.
Will the girls be okay hiking day after day after day?
I think so. Alex and Sage are hardy, experienced hikers who routinely handle steep mountain trails in all kinds of weather. They love getting out there and they are both looking forward to hiking in another country. That being said, we have not hiked day after day after day before. The most we've done is two days in a row...usually, we do a ginormous hike and then rest for a few days.
We are used to rougher terrain and harsher weather than we'll likely experience on the Camino. However, I do not underestimate our upcoming adventure. Our plan is to take it day by day once we're out there. If we feel we're doing too much too soon, then we'll slow down. Flexibility is key. If we need to take extra rest days here and there, then we will.
How will Hugh handle the Camino?
We don't know. He will not be with us all the time, but when he is with us, he will do what he can to hike. He'll rent a bicycle if walking day after day after day becomes too painful. Worst comes to worst, he'll take buses/cabs and meet us each evening in the next town. Again, flexibility is key.
Do you speak Spanish?
Alex has just reached an intermediate level and I'm at an advanced intermediate level. Sage speaks a bit of Mandarin, and Hugh doesn't speak anything but English. Alex and I will help Hugh and Sage in terms of communicating and getting around.
How do you have the time/money to do this?
We are a homeschooling family and thus have a lot of flexibility in terms of our schedule. As for money -- we live very frugally on a day-to-day basis. We don't subscribe to cable television, the girls don't have electronic games, we buy our clothing at discount stores (except for our hiking gear), etc. I budget our daily lives very tightly so we can afford to travel. When we do travel, we camp as often as possible. During this trip, we plan to stay in public albergues. We'll also do a lot of grocery shopping as opposed to constantly eating out.
What about the girls' education/schoolwork?
The Camino itself will be educational. I am not lugging all our homeschooling materials in my backpack. We will, however, probably do some math every day just to keep the girls' skills up.
What about your dog/cats/house?
We have an excellent pet/housesitter.