Well, I think I have finally decided that my Camino will begin in September of this year. After all my research and listening to the advice from the Forum, September seems to have the nicest weather and the least rain. The temps have been in the 80’s in the past with the nights a bit cooler. I am told the hostels are not overly crowded in September since most students and vacationers are finished with their Camino and are back to school and work.
I was a bit concerned with doing the Camino alone, but after mentioning it on the Forum, several members assured me it was safe and a few even shared their plans and offered to assist me along the way. Now that the timeframe is set I no longer have to worry about when and can concentrate on my training.
One day this week, on a recovery day, I walked in Aqua Caliente Park (http://www.dotcomtucson.com/tucson_arizona_attractions/agua_caliente_park.html).
The park is truly an oasis in the desert; palm trees, three spring fed ponds, ducks and other local wild life. Fortunately for me, I didn’t run across any rattlers like I did in October last year. This walk is relatively flat and is great for recovery every once in a while.
At the end of the walk I was rewarded with the peacefulness of one of the hot spring fed ponds.
Today was my “walk longer and harder” training day. I climbed up Ridgeside Drive (paved with sidewalks) turned left onto 22nd Street and walked to Melpomene Way. I turned left on Melpomene Way (a winding private dirt road) and walked that all the way down to Freeman Avenue. On Freeman Avenue (a main road with a dirt shoulder) I walked for a mile to Calle Catalina. I walked up Calle Catalina (another hilly private dirt road) back to Melpomene Way, then onto 22nd Street and back down Ridgeside Drive to home. All in all, the walk was a bit shy of 8 miles. It felt good, but truthfully I was exhausted by the time I got home and jumped into the shower. I was walking for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Oh, I neglected to mention I have purchased a walking stick. This stick is giving me confidence against any desert wildlife I may encounter on my training expedition