Camino De Santiago: One week down, three to go!

Back to Blog

The first week of the Wood for Trees’ Camino de Santiago is almost up and it really has been a fun start to the challenge. We’re extremely impressed to see all the teams getting stuck in and putting in some serious steps. There are a few surprises at the top – and bottom – of the leader board but we won’t be naming names just yet! Each team has shared their weekly update below but we must first say a huge well done, team; it’s already been a fantastic effort by all. 

Team Jefferson Perez

One week in and Team Jefferson Perez has started to find its groove – even though the week didn’t start all that well. One team member had a Covid test and was limited to laps of his living room and another couldn’t sync the hundreds of apps needed to record their steps for the challenge. However, with some technical support from Bean and a favorable swab result, the team was back to full strength and started to up their mileage in the latter half of the week. Despite the slow start, Geoff has led the way for the team. The one-man stepping machine seems to have been doing laps of Bristol to set the pace, and the rest of the team have got stronger each day in his footsteps. 

Aiming to at least match 7,000 estimated steps an NHS nurse takes during a shift, we have now done 525k steps between us. So, as we head into the second week, we have a new appreciation of the distance NHS staff walk each day. Our legs are definitely tired, but we’re working well as a team and looking forward to another week of fitting in all the steps and raising money for the great work of the RUH along the way.


Team WINO (Walkers In Name Only) got out the blocks well and logged enough steps on day one to top the leader board. However, basking in the glory of the top spot was short-lived. Team WINO has actually been languishing in last place for most of the week, and that’s in spite of having logged over 350km, almost half the total distance! We may be trailing behind the other teams, but it’s satisfying to see we’re approaching the halfway point.

Josh has been walking the dog in the woods.  Clare and Lotte have put in some good miles with each other by meeting for a (socially distanced) chat.  Alex and Andy have both been upping the ante by running as well as walking, and Rob has been labouring in the garden.  One of the welcome benefits of the challenge so far is how we’re reconnecting with nature.  Our walks and runs have brought us into contact with lots of wild animals, and so far the list includes woodpeckers, buzzards, pheasants, hares, cows, and alpacas… Not to mention umpteen neighbourhood dogs and cats!  

The daylight hours are getting longer and affording us more time outside too.  So far, we have only one injury to report – with Lotte injuring her foot getting out of the bath.  Early reports suggest surgery won’t be necessary.  Now, if we can only stop Andy from running backwards and somehow logging negative steps, we’ll be on to a good thing.  Onwards and (hopefully) upwards, into week 2.

Team Wambled

Team Wambled faced a hard start to the challenge, putting in a lot of steps but only ever briefly hitting the top of the leaderboard before being almost immediately usurped again. Good efforts each day across the team led to many tens of thousands of steps being logged, but an ever-increasing gap starting to appear between one team and the rest of the field. All this despite Matt’s bike being semi-ignored in favour of morning, lunchtime and occasional evening walks were starting to look a little like the battle for first place was a lost cause.

Everything changed at the weekend when the team collectively went mad, with Saturday more than doubling any previous daily efforts. Ordnance Survey was having to mark new paths on maps so we didn’t get bored repeating the same routes, again and again, spouses looked at their watches regularly, wondering when the sound of weary footsteps would be heard again, and dogs hid in dark corners begging not to be taken for another walk.

As we enter Week 2 the pressure is well and truly on to keep the pace up. Kudos to Lucy who is our current star walker with a grand total of 113,185 steps so far. We can smell the chorizo and sangria now, and we want to start the feast!

Team Walk This Way

It’s been a great start from the team in week one covering over 200 miles, we are already almost halfway to Santiago! We have all been encouraging one another and working together to drive us towards our goal. There’s a great mix of early morning dog walkers, lunchtime lopers, and midnight ramblers helping us clock up the miles throughout the day.

Each of us is gaining from the experience in different ways, Jon has been rereading Paulo Coelho’s “The Pilgrimage” to help set the scene, thinking about the thousands of pilgrims who have trodden these steps before us. A little pit stop in the Rioja region was needed before setting off for week two.

Nick has been enjoying some lovely seaside walks complete with stunning sunsets that have made him grateful for all that we do have despite lockdown, and giving to charity, especially to those smaller charities hit hard by the pandemic, is something that we are privileged to be involved in.

Lesley has realised just how much walking she gets done before 9 am from walking her dog Harry and doing the school run; her highlights in week one have been getting out and exploring with her little boy, she even took a dip in the Firth of Forth, brrr! Meanwhile, Tim has been enjoying getting out from the stagnation of Winter lockdown and is taking full advantage of the friendly peer pressure to get out and get active again. He’s been taking lots of mammoth late-night graveyard walks. Siobhan has found that breaking up the workday with lunchtime or after-work walks is helping her to feel more focused across the day and she is getting to explore more of Bath without the tourists (though she looks forward to welcoming them back soon hopefully). Aimee has been traipsing the Welsh hills and reflecting on life back at Wood for Trees supporting charities in many different ways.

We are all really looking forward to seeing how much more progress can be made in week two and how much we can raise for our chosen charity Penny Brohn UK.

Good going, team! Make sure to check back in next week for more updates.