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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Enjoying an active retirement walking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Route

Updated: Feb 15

"Hi Gary,

we left Pamplona on Thursday walking 12k from a height of 400m to Zariquiequi at 600m. Then today we walked from Zariquiequi to Puenta La Reina 15.8ks from 600m to 750m then back down to 400m.

Hope the action shots come out ok. The first two shots are from Pamplona. The next three shots we are surrounded by wind mills, it was overcast and very windy, and at the top of the 750m.

Liz and Ken"


If you wonder why we are so enthusiastic and passionate about what we do for a living, its because of people like Liz and Ken.

Both are in their 70's and having a ball of a time with life in retirement.

Liz and Ken came to see us earlier this year, after reading about us in a back issue of Walking New Zealand Magasine. They came seeking our assistance with getting fit and healthy for an adventure, including help with getting free of their prescription meds. Their plan was to walk the 800 kilometer Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Route later in the year and had even purchased their plane tickets. They sure were a determined pair!

I did not say this to them; but my immediate reaction was, "you have got to be kidding me!" and "you people are deluded!" Instead, managing to keep a straight face, I said something along the lines of "that is a wonderful challenge - good on you!" I'll tell you this, back then they were far from being fit or healthy enough to take on such a challenging and prolonged hike. I'm sure they will laugh about this when they read this now.

Anyway, without any questioning, they enthusiastically took my eating plan advice, took our pills and potions, got their boots on and began daily hikes. Both steadfastly put up with their aching muscles and joints and battled on to overcome the fatigue over ever-increasing hiking distances and higher peaks. The results are amazing. Both are now medication free and in excellent health. They are lean and mean! They are walking the Camino right now!

It is with great envy that we are now following them from afar, while they undertake this amazing adventure. I did offer to carry their packs as their "Bag Boy" and to give them a daily massage, if they would take me with them; but they politely declined my generous offer.


Update (20 October 2016):

Hi to you both. You never know what you will see next. The dogs are either tiny or huge, this dog came up to me and then walked with us for about a kilometer, just as I was thinking how do I send him home he just turned around and trotted off.

In some of the villages (maybe three houses) you hear the toot of a car horn and the bread man has arrived, they just hang the bread on the door knob and drive on. The pictures of Liz & I with the statue are at 1270m a bit further on we climbed to 1350m the highest hill to climb into Galacia.

Yes we are almost done. We are having a day of rest in Potomarin before we walk the last 94k to Santiago. We will finish the walk as planned on the 29th.

We are both well but still get sore legs or feet but then we are walking 15k to 22k a day, we try to stay under 20k but the distances suggested and my (map my hike) are not the same so have gone over 20k a few times.

Regards to you both Ken & Liz



Hi everybody, we arrived safe and sound in Santiago de Compostella on the 29th as planned.

Heather, Pacer poles were admired by many as well as the gloves and camera attachment, we gave people a trial of them and a number said they would contact you. We found them to very user friendly and we used them every day and all day long, then at night they became our clothes line to dry our clothes. Great design and we fully recomend them.

Aarn, Marathon Magic packs are absolutely the choice for the El Camino both the 22 & 33, at times I could have put more in mine, but this allowed for me to carry fruit to eat thru the day. No snags or rips. Interesting to see people watch us put the packs on then you see them talking about the pockets at the front, we had many ask us about the packs so we hope we spread the word that they will buy them. One guy from the USA was looking on line but was unsure of the quality, having now seen ours he said he would buy when he got home.

Karen, Thanks for preparing our old bodies for the walk, we have a brand new first aid kit and a full roll of strapping, proves what a great job you did. Liz did not have any problems with her hip till we got to Leon, then we checked out her shoes and she had worn the outside of the tread totaly away. Lucky find in a shop was a pr of Ecco shoes her size and within two days they were worn in and the old Tevas were left behind.

Gary, Thanks for your health remedies, we believe that being healthy inside gave us a huge advantage for the walk, we were strong in health except for our colds, but had no tummy upsets at all, we tried lots of different foods and even the font water, thanks for all your help.

Attached is a picture of a huge TBone steak they have over here (Liz's hand shows you the size ) and a picture of us having arrived out side the Cathedral.

Regards to you all

Ken & Liz


A Guide to Walking the Camino:

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