Friday, 9 September 2016

The camino pack list!

 With many many  days of procrastination, only 3 left, I finally put all my belongings together in my backpack.  Inside my Osprey KYTE 36 L,  this is what I will be taking on my adventures on the Camino to Santiago .  total weight with water bottle full is 15lbs.
ultralight packing cubes.  All clothes go into white. all socks and undies in a green. and one green for dirty laundry!
This is my clothing list,  from top left to right.  1-lululemon sports bra 2-lulu tshirts (1 purple one grey) 1- long sleeve light merino wool shirt, 1-firmawear tank top (to sleep in as well) 1-northface fleece zip up hoodie, 1- unlined lulu pants, 1-merino wool long underwear (to possible sleep in as well) 1- under armour track shorts (fitted to below the knee) 1-bicycle short (these may get tossed if I'm not feeling like I need them)  2- short merino wool socks 2- long merino wool socks.  (1 of each are double layer which means they have a built in layer on the inside to keep blisters at bay, and 2 icebreaker), 3 pair ice breaker merino underwear (each a different color), 1 very  light weight pj shorts (if its too cold for these I'll toss them as well),  1 light scarf (alpaca from equador),  1- bucket hat,  1-blue hat, cut off pair of merino sock to pull over shoes to keep the grit and stones out, 1- north face rain pants, 1 north face rain jacket, 1-hiking gloves,

The non clothing items include: 1 ultra light north 49 lil pup 80 sleeping bag, 1- light pillow case, 1-tennis ball (I need this to roll on to put ribs back in place on a regular basis), 1 bathroom bag (item listed below), 1 first aid bag,  1 set black diamond distance z poles.

I think I am most proud of this baby!
the first aid bag consists of items such as muscle relaxants, pain killers, antibiotics for a just in case, 6 immodium, 6 gravol, moleskin, 2 polysporin blister patches, the last of a small roll of medical tape just in case I need to tape any toes up. 

The bathroom bag is an ultra light "pack it system" bag with 3 sections.  section 1 holds 1- summit to sea travel towel (sz M) and soap leaves.  these are actual leaves dipped in soap.  After test trying one I realized it would last 2 showers so I cut them in half.  That way I don't have to use shampoo for soap until the leaves run out.  Section 2-  a tiny bit more moleskin, 6 denture tablets to clean my mouth guards with, a needle and thread, band aids, laundry leaves and a lg zip lock (this is my washing machine) , baby nail clippers (they weigh less), 8 safety pins (good for many uses but good to pin freshly washed clothes on top of your back pack for the day to dry).   Section 3 , deodorant that I rolled all the way out of the plastic applicator and taped lid to to cut down on weight.  I hope this isn't going to be a disaster), 2 small body glides for in between toes each day, tooth brush and mini tooth paste, spf 30 lip balm, razor that I unattached the handle from (tried this out.   Its not as hard as you think), some prescription sleep aid, and my thyroid medication, small floss, tweezers, 20 q tips (1 for every 2nd day), mini shampoo and cond 30 ml, mini hand lotion 50 ml, I put some day cream and night cream and vasaline (for rubbing on feet if needed to prevent rubbing during walking) in mini craft containers.  and last but not least for vanities sake a tiny bit of under eye make up that I put in a contact lens case.  With out it I get asked how I got my black eye or eyes.  Its 0.8 of an ounce...  Im making the exception for myself.  I put all my meds (in pill form) in mini ziplock bags with the prescription label on them.  They weigh far less than the plastic bottles they come in. 
under eye make is a must.
Check it out in the contact
lens case!!
Just look at the size difference you can make
if you down size your creams!!
Soap leaves!!! Genius

Missing from this list are my "Keen" hiking shoes, my sketchers "go walks" which will also get tossed before I get home. My iphone, cross body purse I am still in the process of trying  to brutaly sew, sun glasses, visa and debit card, I pod, ear buds, extra blistex lipbalm,water bottle,  passport and plane tickets.  Im all set, right?
Except that I have nothing broken in.....    
I need to make a couple things clear before I leave.  Here are some statements and questions that have been asked to me  in the past few weeks that I would like to answer.
#1.  Are you excited?  Are you nervous?  Oh you'll be fine your a traveler. 
I get anxiety before I go anywhere, whether its driving to Alberta with the kids, or flying to ANYWHERE. Not because Im afraid of flying. Because its scary for me to THINK about being in a place or city that I've never been to.  For some people its easy.  For me its an anxiety build up.   But one thing I have found out is that once I put that first foot forwards, once I get on that plane, or get to the place of destination, the fears just melt away.  Because I am there now, I am on the plane and can't turn back.  I cant be lost because I am where I am and in  any adventure you are a NEVERLOSTPILGRIM.      Just because Ive been to a couple places out there in the world doesn't mean its not scary to take that first step out the door.  Mindset is everything!  Let yourself be free.
#2. How can you leave your kids for 6 weeks?  (With a huge Disapproving tone)
It all comes down to one question.  What is important?  It is important for a person to not loose who they are entirely  just because they have a family.  Putting yourself first once in a while enriches your soul.  I always put my family first.  If that means that I need to take a bit of time for myself so I can be a better Mom, Im in.  There needs to be no guilt.  I would never ask my husband to never go on a hunting trip because he has a family.  Hunting is what he loves.  I believe having that outlet makes him a better husband, father, person.  Because it makes him happy.  (Did I really say that?)  What is important to me is to show my children that the world can be there for them to see if they so choose.  It is important to me to show my kids that they can do whatever they set their minds to.  That you can overcome fear and anxiety to try something new whatever that may be for them even if it scares them.  Yes I will miss them terribly.  There will be tears.  Lots of tears. But it is that important to me so I am putting that foot out the door.  They will be just fine tucked away in their own beds at home, playing with their dog, going to school, maybe getting their own breakfast and packing their own lunches for once. (Ive been an enabler for too long and it has to stop) This will not traumatize them.  It will teach them to be strong and a little bit independent and maybe a little inspired!
Thanks family for being supportive.  Love you kids!!

Friday, 5 August 2016

     It all started with the movie "The Way" .  We watched it about 4 years ago and ever since I have wanted to do SOMETHING, like that.  It was so inspiring.  In my head I loved the idea of this type of travel, but my lazy nature, out of shape and slightly overweight physique told me I this wasn't going to be easy. 1000 kms or so, walking with all you take on your back across the country of Spain doesn't seem like just a walk in the park.  It seems a bit more like torture.  Watching Martin Sheen in "The Way" made it look like a great thing to do.  Blisters and all. (Which you know his weren't real because IT WAS A MOVIE). You know he didn't really sleep in the Alberque's at night.   So this idea has just roamed around a bit like a lost dog in the back of my very scattered brain ever since. 

Then a month and a half ago my Mother asked me to go walk the Camino with her in the same manner she would ask you if you needed anything from the grocery store.  Whatever my answer was going to be, I know that with or with out me, she would be going.  So in the same fashion, like can you grab some milk, I said "Sure".   
    My Mother is One of her own kind. Determined, Strong, and Stubborn.   The Queen of travel, has done it all.  She is known for sometimes coming home from a 3 week trip and flying out in less than 24 hours off to the next big adventure.  She loves a good hike challenge.  She has succeeded in the West Coast Trail 3 times, Topped Kilimanjaro within a 9 month trip from Iceland to Africa, Survived 4 months in India, Hiked Machu Picchu, Queen Charlotte track, 3 years ago walked the Camino de Santiago, and just this past Feb climbed to Everest Base camp with her sister.  So many more I haven't mentioned.  She is forever looking for places to go, walks to take.  Her forever Motto that rings in my head is "Id rather fail trying, then to never have tried at all"  She likes a good challenge.  She like to work hard.  She is my inspiration.  She is constant reminder to me that you cant wait for things to happen for you, you have to make them happen.  She has taught me that you don't have to spend your money on the fanciest hotels, or the fanciest food, or 1st class to experience things and see everything there is to see.  You can end up having a better holiday, meeting better very cool people, eating off the streets food rather than fancy cuisine, will open your eyes to the culture happening around you that you may miss.  Like the people you might meet on a bus that are just like you, travelling just like you, you wouldn't meet if you had a private taxi and private accommodations. Will Walking the Camino De Santiago will prove this theory?  If one can let go of their everyday comforts and daily routines, and just let the Camino affect you, you are bound to learn a lot about who you are and be influenced by the people you meet and places you find.

      So Cold Turkey, I will walk this Camino.   Why I say "Cold Turkey" you ask????  Well, to begin with I really don't know a thing about it except its a great big walk.  Starting in Pied De Port France in the Pyrenees all the way to the Santiago de Compostella, and if you finish right to the Coast this walk runs you approx 1000km.   I am going against all recommendations and will be starting off in brand new un-broken in boots, and back pack. I will not have trained one step.  I don't work out, I don't walk much at all.  I have never done a real hike in my life.   The one thing I know I do know for sure is I can absolutely master the art of light packing.   List and pics of my contents coming soon.
Its a long time to be away from your kids.  When you take me out of the picture, the taxi, the cook, the tuck ins, the getting ready for school, doctors and dentist appointments,   .... If I'm not here My husband will have to do what I do in a day.  Will everyone survive????   I  believe they will.  I all the confidence that they will not only survive my being gone for 6 weeks, but that they will rock it!

Sept 12 I will head out towards the Camino, Cold Turkey!

In 1995 there were 19,821 people to make the  Camino De Santiago pilgrimage walk.
In 2005 there were 93,925.
In 2015 there were 262458.