I was lucky to have a friend named Bridget who helped me start by introducing me to a workshop about the Camino held by the Southern California chapter of American Pilgrims of the Camino. This workshop was instrumental in giving me the resources and information that I needed about equipment and what to expect on the Camino. It also helped fuel my enthusiasm for my pilgrimage!!
Another avenue for preparation is reading. If you look at the list of books listed here you see the books that I read to prepare myself. The guidebooks especially are indispensable. The accounts of those that have completed a pilgrimage I find especially helpful for tips about what you may expect to find on the Camino.
I walked in my neighborhood and also early on I did some other walks with my wife and friends to prepare myself. Below is a sampling of those walks:
Eaton Canyon Walk
Finished Walk: May 20, 2012 10:59:21 AM
Walk Time: 2:59:13 Stopped Time: 46:29 Distance: 13.53 km Average: 13:15 /km Fastest Pace: 10:03 /km Behind Best Walk: 1:05:32 Ascent: 465 meters Descent: 480 meters Calories: 1017
Tad Williams Trail (Lower Arroyo)
Finished Walk: Jun 23, 2012 10:40:01 AM
Walk Time: 1:22:54 Stopped Time: 5:20 Distance: 6.44 km Average: 12:52 /km Fastest Pace: 9:37 /km Ascent: 30 meters Descent: 9 meters Calories: 474
East Village to CV Midway & back (San Diego)
Finished Walk: Jul 7, 2012 1:31:41 PM Route: East Village to Midway & back (San Diego)
Walk Time: 1:36:27 Stopped Time: 1:29:51 Distance: 7.60 km Average: 12:42 /km Fastest Pace: 8:44 /km Ascent: 38 meters Descent: 21 meters Calories: 540
Southern California Chapter – American Pilgrims on the Camino Walk to the San Juan Capistrano Mission
Finished Walk: Jul 15, 2012 2:26:01 PM Route: Lake Forest To San Juan Capistrano Mission
Walk Time: 4:02:33 Stopped Time: 28:00 Distance: 19.52 km Average: 12:26 /km Fastest Pace: 8:35 /km Ascent: 29 meters Descent: 161 meters Calories: 1407
American Pilgrims on the Camino
I joined American Pilgrims on the Camino and attended their March 2013 Gathering in Santa Barbara, California. In addition to the many excellent workshops that prepared me for my pilgrimage I was able to ask questions of pilgrims that had completed the Camino. Everyone was very helpful. At the end I received my scallop shell in a shell ceremony (see below) and felt ready to begin!
I highly recommend joining your local chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino (http://www.americanpilgrims.com/) because of all the expertise and encouragement that they so willing share with all.