Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Four More Sleeps Until Barcelona!

Well, it's just four more sleeps until I leave for Barcelona and there's a flurry of activity in getting ready.

My youngest son, Cameron, visited last weekend. I was so happy to see him and it was sweet of him to care enough to come for a visit before I leave for 5 months.

I'm packing, weighing my pack, unpacking and repacking.
I think I'll send a box to Wales to await my arrival there.
A friend has given us an excellent price on a flat for two months between Camino treks.
That way I'll have fresh clothes and shoes for the second Camino trek in September.

I picked up my last September walker yesterday. She is from Australia and I almost fell off my chair when I saw her full name. She has the exact same first and last name as my childhood best friend, Pam. This must be a good omen!

Yesterday, I made two items for my trip, a bedbug sheet and a new bath towel.

The bedbug sheet was made from a sheer curtain, sprayed with Permethrin.
Measuring the curtain fabric

We hung it on a line outdoors

We mixed the permethrin in this bottle for spraying

I was hoping I'd be able to use this, but even though I had Joe do the spraying and I only handled the sheet once it was dry, I had a reaction. My face felt like it was on fire and no matter how much I washed, nothing helped. This lasted until I went to bed.

So I don't feel I'll be able to use it and I don't want to infect the other items in my pack. Even though the bedbug sheet is in a ziplock bag, I'm afraid to use it. So if anybody wants a home-made bedbug sheet, let me know. You can have it for the price of the permethrin plus postage ($10 plus postage). Better let me know quick, though, as I leave on Monday for Barcelona.

The bath sheet turned out nice!  I read about using muslin on the Camino forum and thought, "Wow! What a great idea!"  I had a few yards of muslin here for quilting, very lightweight. So I measured off a piece about the size of a regular bath towel and hemmed it on the machine.

It works GREAT!  It's very lightweight, absorbs water like a sponge, and dries in less than an hour.
The dark spot is my shadow. The towel is cream color.
I embroidered my name on the edges so it doesn't walk away, and I'm very happy with my new backpacking towel.  A person could make it even smaller, but I wanted to be able to wrap it around myself like a regular towel.

Today, I have to do last minute budgeting. Then I need to weigh and repack my backpack again. I'm trying to keep it 10% of my body weight and this is difficult because I'm taking an iPAD, which weighs about 14 ounces plus paperwork I'll need on the Camino.  I think my pack may be overweight this trip.

Here's a photo of what I need to pack!

I bought a cool new iPad sleeve and hard case for my camera.

I bought this waist pack - I like it because it is compact

I pack my clothes in these waterproof nysil bags so they stay dry

My  old Tilley Hat goes along. Ugly as sin, but works for sun or rain!

I bought a new rubber clothesline. Couldn't find my old one.

This opens out to a full sized day pack!

Plug adaptor for Spain

The good news is that if the backpack is too heavy, I'll only have to carry it for the first 2 weeks. From that point on, I have hired bag transport for my group, and I can probably share the cost with one of them for some of the heavier items, and carry less weight on my back.

We set up the screen tent in the backyard yesterday and made the decision not to take the tarp cover.  We plan on using this on the Pelgrimspad in the Netherlands in places where there are no convenient hostels.  If it rains, we'll taxi to a hostel.  The tarp is just too heavy to deal with until we begin the Pelgrimspad.  If we get to Amsterdam and it's raining we will buy a tarp there.  I also take this tent because of my chemical sensitivities. If the sheets are too perfumed in the hotel, I can just pitch it in the yard and sleep without getting a migraine.

I've almost decided NOT to take my Pacer Poles this year. Just too many flights to have to worry about. Some airlines allow them, some don't. I can just buy a walking stick along the way. Not positive.. have to decide today for sure.

So.. I guess that's it. Today is a busy day tying up loose ends. Taking mom to get a fireplace insert and going to a street fair with her tonight.

I'm getting excited!
Are you?



  1. Hi Annie - I bought an impregnated sheet here in South Africa, which seems OK. I will be following your journey with interest. I fly to Barcelona in September and will probably start at Somport. Presumably you are catching buses from Barcelona? I will be interested in how long it takes from Barcelona airport to the bus station. Buen Camino

  2. Hi Jenny. We will spend two nights in Barcelona. We want to see Monserrat. We bought tickets from Barcelona to Toulouse. We'll spend just one night there, then take the train to Moissac, where there is a wonderful priory and Cathedral. We'll spend one night at the priory, then take another train back to Lourdes (25 Euros each). We'll spend two nights there, then begin walking to Pamplona. I've checked the weather and it's looking great! Maybe I'll run into you on the Camino in Sept/Oct. Buen Camino.


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