The Camino


Been a bit quiet here.

Mostly because I have been blogging here.

I’m off on a walk. In memory of the man in the collage above, Terry Anderson.

I’m not alone, I will be walking with friends. Laurent Gauduchau, Jean-Christophe Poussou and Stuart Smith. We all knew Terry through the Prague Barbarians Rugby Club. Last year, after a punch-up with cancer, Terry passed away at Our Lady’s Hospice in Blackrock, Dublin. If you have a pound or two spare, then I know those people would put it to incredibly good use. You can donate here.

Keen to show their support (or possibly to laugh at us) two more Prague Barbarians are coming to walk the first day with us. Franck Neel and Germain Gouranton.

The Camino, particularly the route that we are walking, the ‘Frances’, is a well-trodden route. We will be far from alone. The route is 500 miles give or take, and I intend to walk it all, but in stages.

This year, the four are starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France and walking hard for six days, staying in hostels along the way. With luck, we may get as far as Logrono; a hundred miles. We may not. We shall see what we shall see.

I set off on Saturday, less than 48 hours from now. I’m flying to Bilbao, where I’ll meet Stuart, who is coming in from Dublin. We will then transfer to SJPDP where the French contingent await us.

As the day draws nearer, I’m nervous. I have the gear, I have done some training, but I have never tried to walk 100 miles before. Will the knees hold up? Will I hold up the others? Will we grate on each other’s nerves in hours?

Truth is, I don’t know.

Along with the nerves, comes anticipation. It is something that I have never done before. It is challenging. It is different.

That’s kind of cool.

Maybe I’ll write about it.

On camino, I’ll be updating and @frontrowcamino


5 thoughts on “The Camino

  • Reply Jean-Christophe Poussou 6th October 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Dear Stuart,

    Brilliant text sumerising it all.

    I probably would never have dare walking on the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostella if you Stuart “tight head” and Stuart “loose head” didn’t lounched that amazing project in the memory of our friend Terry Anderson martyrdom.
    I am glad to help the fund raising process with my sweating and my feet and from the bottom of my heart.

    I am glad join the funny crowd of the joly Prag Barbarians and meet up again after 22 years not seeing eachother.
    I met up with Laurent and Gigi every 3 or 4 years and I heard news about their fates and success through comon friends.
    That Saturday evening diner and the 26 km walk will be one in a liftime dramatic event as when brothers come together again after war divide, or like the second story after Alexandre Dumas world famous “THE 4 MUSKETEERS”, since it is called “20 YEARS LATER”…

    If your knees can’t carry you at some point, I’ll carry you Stuart, as unballanced as a second row can be, is as true as when I pushed the scrum behind you 22 years ago.

    • Reply Stuart 6th October 2016 at 9:39 pm

      French for, “I’m looking forward to it”. I think.

      So am I JC, so am I. 😉

  • Reply Lil Anderson 9th October 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Just to confirm Stuart, the man in the bottom right hand corner is Tony Kilner, Ter’s walking buddy from his trip to Nepal. Hope ur is all going well.

  • Reply Marti 17th October 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Amazing to honour your friend in such a way. Massive respect to you and your squad.

    • Reply Stuart 18th October 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Marti. Lot of fun it was too.

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