Category Archives: Via Francigena

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

We are now into week 5 of our training. As a treat to ourselves on our long walks on Sundays, we have been exploring different brunch venues in Victoria. So far, we have walked to Jam Cafe, Blue Fox and Fuego, all excellent and highly recommended (and worth the lineup)! This week, our 20 km walk will be celebrated  with brunch at Bear and Joey with friends Helen, Wayne, David and Kate.

Apart from the long walk, our training is not exactly rigorous. We are walking with an empty pack a couple of times a week and searching out hills to include in our routes. We are both doing  our daily (more or less for Lois, always for Paul!) stretches and strengthening exercises and Lois continues to practice yoga twice a week.

Footwear has been the subject of further discussion and debate. Lois ordered a new pair of Lowa Explorer II hiking shoes, when she discovered she may not be able to get her old ones reheeled in time (there appears to be a shortage of shoe-repair services in Victoria). After ordering the boots, Oak Bay Cobbler was able to repair her old ones quickly, after all. Now, it’s a matter of deciding whether it is advisable to use the  new boots, which are a half-size larger than her normal size (as recommended on hiking blogs), or her old ones, which are already broken in…

Paul’s concern has been the development of a pain in his heel after a long walk in his Lowa’s. He has now purchased a new pair of Blundstones, with a  hiking sole, which appears to be solving the problem.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Planning is well underway for our latest adventure! We have booked our flights to England (arrive April 3) and have arranged to spend a week visiting with family and friends, before beginning our walk in Canterbury on April 10.

We will be following The Lightfoot Guide to the Via Francigena.

We have started preparing physically, using the  Camino de Santiago 12-week training plan. As we are currently in the practice of walking 5 km/daily, we will continue to do our daily walks, while increasing the distance on one or more walks a week. Eventually, we will also have to start walking with packs fully loaded. Our goal for the trip will be to average 20 kms/day.

In terms of gear, we will be using our 30L backpacks ( Lois’ is a Deuter Futura women’s fit and Paul’s, a Tatonka) and our trusted Lowa hiking shoes. We are still sorting out clothing, bearing in mind that the ideal weight of our backpacks without water is 10% of our respective body weights, including the weight of the backpack itself (i.e., no extra shoes for Lois!)