Tag Archives: Backpack

Take it Off? Leave it On? Whatever…

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Things to Remember to Take Off or Not Put On ( and other things that bug you)

June 15, 2014

*Toe rings- your feet swell in the hot weather when you are walking. The toe ring cuts off circulation until your toe becomes numb. When you discover the toe purple in color, the ring band embedded in the flesh, you remember too late that the pain you were feeling in your toe wasn’t due to a hot spot, but the ring. Removing it is quite an undertaking. Your toe will turn back to flesh color in a few hours, if you are lucky. If you are not so lucky, your toe will blacken and it will need to be snipped off.

*Make-up. Why bother putting it on in the first place. It will drip off with the sweat and sting your eyes. Plus it is one more thing to pack, along with make-up remover. No one cares what you look like.

*The over-the-shoulder- boulder- holder. Also known as, The Bra. Take it off as soon as you come to the place you will rest for the night. Air out your wares. This contraption helps to reinforce The Girls, but it also is very binding when rubbing on you under your backpack straps. Hint: wear your bra when buying your pack in order to see how the two will fit together. Go buy a bra that fits with your backpack shoulder straps.

* Trying to decide if I can balance with my pack on or if I have to take it off in order to pee.

* Being aware of the direction the wind is blowing when peeing and then it changes on you.

* How to scratch an itch when you can’t get to the bug bites- on the bottom of your foot ( who wants to take off all the socks and the shoe in order to scratch it?) and on
your backside ( good luck trying to reach around your pack to take care of the itch). It drives me mad…feels like the way a dog looks, chasing its own tail trying to nip that flea.

* Pulling a wedgie out. Ahhhhh!

Stay tuned. I’m sure there are more things I will discover as I walk.



Sing Songs of Praises

Rainy Sunday morning

Rainy Sunday morning

June 1, 2014

“I Will Lift You Up”

We have made friends with two pilgrims, one from Holland, Danielle (age 22) and Pierre ( age 30 something) from France. We met them at the Pilgrims office as we were sitting there waiting for our clothes to dry. They have been walking now for 7 weeks. They both started further up in France. Anyway, Danielle has a fungus in her boots due to the constant rain. Both have knee and feet issues.

We sat and talked and I told them where we planned to stay the next night as we were not going back to Banshee French woman’s place. We all decided to stay together for the next 2 nights at this wonderful, absolutely beautiful donativo ( donation) called Kaserna at 43 Rue d’ Espagne. The place is ran by Catholic volunteers who have all been on the Camino and come back to serve for 2 weeks on their vacation time. The people are friendly, sweet, nice, pleasant, helpful. Our meals ( breakfast and dinner) are cooked by them. The meal…oh…delicious! For 15€ a person this is a wonderful place to stay. We had a great evening listening to all converse in French, and then translated to us in English.

The French language is beautiful. You could be calling me a fat cow, softly speaking and I wouldn’t know it and it would sound nice. When one yells in French, there is no better language to be chewed out in…it still sounds beautiful…though the tone of anger leaves no disguise as to the anger.

Abby is feeling a lot better. We both took a 3 hour nap before dinner. We had spent the day meandering around St. Jean Pied de Port looking the village over. The architecture is amazing. The cobble stone roads worn smooth over the thousands of years of use are beautiful. It is everything that you imagine France should look like in the country. Green fields and hills doted with white sheep and yellow cows and black& white heirloom pigs ( there is a whole shop in town dedicated only to their meat!).

We are glad that plans changed and we stayed here to rest these past three days. We will go to mass inside this beautiful chapel this morning. We didn’t locate a LDS service, but we look forward to listening to mass in Basque language. It will be an adventure.

My backpack will be picked up on Monday to be taken to Orisson and it will be picked up to be taken on to Roncesvalles on Tuesday by Express Bourricot.
It is all working out.



Final Countdown

Time has ran out!

Time has ran out!

May 28, 2014

Oh my goodness. What can, will go wrong.

The debit/ credit card that was supposed to have come yesterday, showed up at 10:30 am today
I am a failure with keeping my pack light. Hindsight is 20/20.
We packed what we thought we needed. We weighed the packs and went crazy.
Time was running out. How do we ditch the weight?
We halved things. We are sharing soap, the hair stuff. We condensed and took out items from their containers and re packed them into lighter weight ones.
We did this and we did that and I was getting upset. So frustrating trying to pack it all and make the weight we wanted.

I am off by 8 lbs. I don’t care. But I do, because I have failed to meet the mark. My bag weighs 22 lbs and Abby’s is at 14lbs. We will just equalize the contents when we make it to the airport or wherever we can in order to redistribute the 36 lbs of weight so we both will carry 18lbs. BUT…this doesn’t include water nor the ponchos. But, to assure everyone, 4lbs and 3 lbs are our packs weight empty. However, that is STILL weight!
Next year, I will do better. I will be smarter. In the meantime, I’m resigned to hire the guy to carry my pack over the mountain…I will spend money doing that instead of breaking myself early on.

There was no time to reconfigure anymore. The plane was leaving at 6:pm it is 2:pm and it takes an hour to drive from our home to LAX if traffic is good.
I dump the organized packets of stuff into our bags. I dump the compressed sacks of clothes into the bags. I’m sweating like a horse in the Kentucky Derby. I have to take a shower and change into the Camino clothes. I have to write down info for my husband. The time has ran out. I am now freaking out! I have lost it.

We get to LAX only to find out that our plane has been delayed for 3 1/2 hrs. It will leave at 9:45 tonight. We won’t get to Bilbao until 11 pm Thursday night. We have made arrangements through Couchsurfer to have a couple host us and instead of showing up on their doorstep at 6 pm we don’t even know if we can catch the public bus into the city and find our way to their place let alone if they want us at 12 am!
We just might sleep in the airport.

They won’t let us carry on our bags…even though this other woman with a 70L and a 30L backpack is allowed to carry her bags on! But we didn’t see her until we were through security check and saw her with her backpacks. She is flying Quntas.

So we reconfigure on the floor of the airport. Take out the important stuff to pack in my spare lightweight pack ( bought it along for “just in case”) in case the checked in items get lost all of our main important equipment won’t be gone.

And now we sit and wait and watch others with much more carry on items than what we had, walk around.

And so begins the Camino. Let things go and just go with it.