Saturday, August 16, 2014

See You Later! Off To Walk The Camino de Santiago

We're off this morning to walk the Camino, a pilgrimage through Spain - finally the day that I thought would never come. I would love to leave my phone behind but we need to stay in constant contact so I may even blog while I'm away. We'll be hiking for about seven hours a day for 29 days staying in pilgrims' hostels or churches (maybe cheating a little with a hotel stay).

Practising my walking with poles

Yesterday was shopping at REI. There are many people, especially in the Bay Area, who wet their swishy pocketed pants at the prospect of walking into this place. But for me it's full of stuff I don't care about. I tried on a selection of very ugly shorts. A nice man showed me how to walk.  Literally: we walked around with our hiking poles, opposite arm to leg. Good job, he said. Mrs Shirley Dibble, my old ballet teacher, would have been so proud.

You have to keep your pack to about 10lbs, so here it is. I have one change of clothes but snuck in three tops. (You already know from my posts about The Plan diet I'm a sneaky cheater, so best to be honest with you). I have that sewed-up sheet that you used to have when you packbacked around Europe. My sister advised us to take bed bug spray and apparently hair lice in a problem but we'll cross that comb-out crisis when we get to it.

Kevin has grown a (grey) beard in preparation and cut his hair. It's stress city this week with Kevin taking major exams, us suddenly realising Harley is going to college next year but we don't have one for him (college adviser round the corner, thank you!), massive spreadsheets for the activities and haircuts (and that's just Teddy!) and just a general feeling that's this trip will never happen.

By Day...ageing Peace Corps wannabe...

Uphill action. I look terrible hats, this is the only one that suited - what do you think of this Pistil one?

By Night... (Hobbit meets Mrs Roper)

Greeting fellow pilgrim,  I see you're admiring my Fanny Pack (if you don't know why that is hilariously funny, ask a Kiwi or a Brit) 

One of the things I want to do when I get back - besides arriving home fully self-actualised and knowing whether there is a God - is to go back to my old self - spending hours researching my holidays, counting down the sleeps, thumbing through the Lovely Planet. A huge part of the art of travel.

Cy, 10, must have got the gene as I found him the other day viewing holiday homes in Sonoma just in case his baseball team got in the play-offs next year.  He'd taken little notes: "well-apointed kichen. verdint hills. close to winerees."

Of course all the fuss and bother and stress was nothing when you considered the torment someone like Robin Williams, who lived across the Bay, had been through. The terrible, terrifying sadness he woke to everyday; a sadness that nothing could take away. Goodbye Robin Williams, Rest In Peace.


  1. Your trip sounds amazing!! You are brave. It is so terribly sad about Robin. Those who struggle with the Black Dog need our help, compassion and understanding. He was a joy to so many and will be missed.

  2. This is a trip I would love to go on one day. Please do post if you get a chance. You look the picture of health....on departure.

  3. Buen Camino!!!!! Enjoy and report back! Forget about everything but putting one foot in front of the other!!!

  4. Such an amazing trip, I can't imagine how organised you've had to be to leave the kids at home. Have fun, I hope you manage a post or two.
    So sad about Robin Williams , can't quite believe it.

  5. Enjoy. My former neighbour is just finishing on the trail and I've had a few pals go: they say it's amazing. Look forward to hearing the full report!

  6. Have an awesome time and good luck!

  7. I'm too old for this shit...more power to you. Hunter's dreams have been squashed after our trip to Wyoming. Couldn't catch a fish, start a fire or ride a horse. He now has a broken arm...hey, have fun now!!

  8. Some friends did the pilgrimage a few years ago and survived. I trust you will too.

    Robin Williams. Depression. Suicide. For those of us who have been through the cycle, and lived to tell the tale, just another day at the office. Which is a big part of why I spend a significant chunk of time trying to help fellow-sufferers stay away from the dark end which consumed Robin.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  9. Safe travels and have an amazing time. x

  10. Hair lice and bed bugs…. hmmm. Well, enjoy! I hope it all goes well, you arrive home having had some sort of epiphany, and that your family give you a good break.
    Love Cy's travel notes! Always important that accommodation is close to wineries. He clearly knows his parents! x

  11. Good luck! this is on my bucket list, so can't wait to hear all about it!

  12. Good luck earning your shell! You are certainly have the attitude, the gear and (above all) the physique to undertake such a journey! But if you should find the hostels, hike & hair nits to be a bit much then check into a hotel and self actualize there while you luxuriate. I will send you a shell and you will be no less the hero to me.
    I think you deserve a shell just for considering this episode
    Good luck-I'll be thinking of you!

  13. LICE!
    REALLY.............sleep OUTSIDE!
    Off you go...........ENJOY!DONOT post .........check in with family but NOT US your other family!!!CLEANSE DEAR CLEANSE...........That means chat with your husband and others along the trail.............SLEEP you will need it!!!
    Have a GRAND ADVENTURE then write about it upon your return............YOU wouldn't miss a thing here back at home!Almost certain of that!XXX

  14. Wow, what an amazing and exciting trip! Have so much fun. Can't wait to hear all about it. :)

  15. The trip sounds marvellous, enjoy yourself and be safe xx

  16. I'm really not sure I could do this but look forward to hearing how you do as I feel if you can, I probably could too with a bit of persuasion.
    Was reading about Susanna (A Modern Mother) and her trip to Sonoma. That does sound a fab place x


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