Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Friday, June 30, 2017

Where Do I Start My Camino Frances?

So you've decided to walk the Camino Frances.
You've heard the stories, read the books, seen the movie.
Now it's time to start planning and the first thing you need to think about is where you will begin.

Luckily you have some great choices.

I have flown to Paris and taken the train to Bayonne.
I've flown to Madrid and taken the bus to SJPP.

But for the Camino Frances, I have two favorites!

From the United States, I find it's easier to fly into Madrid.
I make my plans on arriving morning or afternoon.
I walk out of the Madrid airport and onto a bus to Pamplona.

I book an inexpensive hotel in Old Town, Pamplona.

Flying to Madrid and grabbing a bus to Pamplona makes sense for many reasons.

Depending on where in the US you're flying FROM, you're going to need a day or two to adjust to the time change. This may not be as important if you're flying from the East Coast, but from the West Coast, it takes me at least a day.

Once you're in Pamplona, you can take a few days to SEE Pamplona! There is so much to see there, from the Cathedral to the Museum to the many wonderful tapas bars. It's just a wonderful, festive place!

In Pamplona you can drop by Vodafone and get a SIM card for your phone.
You can find any gear you forgot at home.
You can meet LOTS of other pilgrims.

THEN, you can walk over to the bus station and grab a bus to SJPP or Roncesvalles. If there are a few of you, you can get a taxi for about the same amount of cash.  Another option is booking your first night with El Corazon Puro. They will pick you up in Pamplona, usher you to their albergue, where they will feed you dinner and breakfast, and drop you off at the beginning of the route in SJPP or Roncesvalles, your choice.

You can also just start walking from Pamplona if you aren't interested in crossing the Pyrenees.

Why stay in Pamplona if you plan on starting in Roncesvalles or SJPP?
Because then you have SEEN Pamplona.
Then when all the pilgrims in the world are walking from Roncesvalles to Pamplona and filling up the albergues,  you can either STOP in Trinidad de Arre and stay at the lovely albergue there, right on the beautiful river. Or you can walk right through Pamplona and on to Cizur Menor.  And THEN you are out of the HERD of pilgrims that walk the Brierley stages like they were the Holy Book.

Now, you can walk BETWEEN the stages and have fewer worries about finding a bed at the end of the day.

Another wonderful option if you fly into Madrid is to simply begin your Camino there. Spend a day or two seeing Madrid, then just start walking! The Madrid route is wonderful and quiet, compared to the start of the Camino Frances.  It hooks up with the Camino Frances in Sahagun about 2 weeks into your walk. It gives you the option of seeing Segovia, and there's a great museum to see there!

As a side note, I much prefer riding the bus in Spain to the train.
The buses are Mercedes Benz buses - beautiful, clean, quiet, spacious with giant viewing windows.  The train, to me, is noisy more expensive.

Unless you have an aching to see Paris, there's no reason to start there.
It makes more sense and is less stressful, for me anyway, to fly into Madrid.

Menu de Peregrino or Menu del Dia?

You always have choices when searching for food in Spain. At dinner time, you will see posted all along the route, "Menu de Peregrino."

Menu de Peregrino is usually a 2 or 3 course meal that includes a meat dish, a vegetable, a dessert, and often includes bread and wine.  If you aren't easily bored, it's a good inexpensive choice. It can become boring however, as many places will serve the easiest, and pretty much the same, menu each day.

Here are a few examples of what you might expect:

Chiletillas de Cordero (lambchops)

Entrecot a la Plancha (grilled steak)

Maccarones con carne (Pasta with meat)

However, I almost always choose the "Menu del Dia" instead. And I look for local mom and pop restaurants and try to steer clear of the places catering to pilgrims.

Menu del Dia was begun by Franco during the war so workers on limited incomes could afford a nice rounded lunch each day. The portions are generally larger, there's more variety, and the food is generally better, in my opinion.

What this means is that you'll have to get used to eating your largest meal of the day mid-day. Then you can just snack for dinner.

Menu del Dia might include Primary or Secondary Plates something like these, a dessert, wine, coffee, and bread.

Caldo Gallego (Kale and Potato Soup)

Cordero con Patatas (Lamb with potatoes)

Croquettes and Salad (these are ham)

Clams in sauce

Another option for dinner is to simply order an "ensalad mixta," or mixed salad for dinner. It's generally a HUGE mixed salad with hard boiled eggs, lettuce, tomatoe, onion, olives, carrots, white asparagus, and topped with "atun" (tuna).  It's almost always served with bread and wine.  It's more than enough of a meal for me. If you are vegetarian, you can ask request "no atun, por favor," and they will leave off the tuna. But if you DO eat tuna, try this salad. It's incredible!

Here are a couple of versions:

I encourage you to try the gazpacho, a cold tomato soup, if you are walking in hot weather. It's delicious, filling, and sticks with you. There's nothing like gazpacho in Spain and each region has it's own variation.

Lentejas (lentil soup) is a popular item on most menus and it's very good. It probably has a meat base, however, so if you're strict vegetarian, you'll want to pass.

A hamburger (hamburguesa) in Spain will be a totally different experience for you, and if you're a hamburger person, don't be afraid to try them. They'll be different in every region.  Almost never like the hamburgers at home, the meat I refer to as "mystery meat" is maybe dyed bright pink??? It's ground super fine, so the texture is a lot different than we're used to. It could be beef, pork, or chicken or a combo of all three. The bun may be a lot different than you're used to. But have a sense of adventure and try it! It's one of my favorite go-to's for a quick dinner or lunch:

Dessert for the Menu del Peregrino is usually yogurt, fruit, or flan.
It can be varied with the Menu del Dia.
Flan is one of my favorites. 
It is a custard made from milk and eggs 
and covered with a caramelized sugar sauce.
It's very light and not too sweet.

I hope this has given you some ideas about what types of food you might expect along the Camino. There are, of course, many other choices, but the Spanish are a meat-eating country and if you're into meat, you'll love the food!  If you're vegetarian, it's a little more challenging and you may be doing a lot of your own cooking. But as more and more vegetarians walk, I see more and more choices. If nothing else, there are lots of markets where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Whatever your food choices, I hope you enjoy them and Spain's hospitality.
Buen provecho!


My Current Packing List

Here is my current packing list after walking the Camino for over 10 years:

  1. Backpack
  2. Down blanket (I made mine)
  3. PASSPORT and/or VISA
  4. Photo ID (driver’s license is fine)
  5. Credit Card (optional)
  6. ATM Card
  8. Money Belt
  9. ALTUS raincoat
  10. Shoes
  11. Crocs or other featherweight sandals
  12. Smart Wool or other wool hiking socks / 3
  13. Cotton or silk sock liners / 3
  14. Short-sleeve shirts /2
  15. Long sleeve shirt /1
  16. Long-sleeve featherweight fleece /1
  17. Hiking shorts or zip-off trousers /2
  18. OR Macabi Skirt / 2
  19. Wind jacket & trousers OR Backpack Raincoat - ALTUS / 1
  20. Underwear /3
  21. Long underwear, silk, poly, or polertec /1 if walking in autumn/winter
  22. Hat (beanie in cold weather, sun hat in hot weather)
  23. Small change purse
  24. Towel
  25. Tissue or 1/4 roll TP
  26. Ziplock bag to carry TP out
  27. Handkerchief or bandana / 1
  28. Refillable water bottle / 1 8 oz
  29. Travel size deodorant
  30. Travel size toothpaste/toothbrush
  31. iPhone for using internet and taking photos
  32. Sleep mask and earplugs
  33. My tiny pillow
  34. Tiny lightweight journal and pen for taking down info along the Way
  35. Guidebook - I like Brierley's
I keep my pack weight down to 10% of my body weight, as advised by experienced pilgrims.

I dress in comfortable old clothes I can discard when I arrive in Madrid. Of course, I carry my eyeglasses.

BACKPACK: Buy a comfortable but lightweight backpack. Don’t let the salesperson sell you a heavy-duty, inner frame, mountaineering pack. You won’t be carrying camping gear, tent poles, stoves, etc. You’ll only need a lightweight pack to carry clothing and toiletries. Most packs come in different torso lengths and some in ladies and men’s sizes so try them out in the store. See my blog post on buying a backpack and email me if you do not have the link.

When you go shopping, take a digital kitchen scale with you and weigh everything! If you find two items that you like, buy the one that weighs the least.

Your backpack and shoes will be your most expensive items. I paid around $125 for my Arcteryx backpack.

You must try on your backpack to be sure it fits correctly. Please do not buy it online.

Passport/VISA – NOW is the time to make sure your passport and/or visa are up to date. If your passport expires within 3 months of this trip, they can stop you and send you home.

CASH: I usually carry no more than 300 Euros on my person. I carry all 20€ denominations except for one 10€ and two 5€ bills. You can purchase Euros at your bank. You can also buy them at the airports. There is a fee for both so research which is your best choice. I often just get 100€ at my bank, then use the ATM in Spain.

The ATMs in Spain work just like the ones in the USA. You put your card in and the money comes out in Euro bills. Check with your bank to find out if there is a charge for using the ATM in Spain. Be sure your ATM card has a 4-digit pin.

I switched bank accounts to Charles Schwab because they charge no ATM fees at all and they reimburse you for some fees the Spanish banks charge. I love this card for travelling!

I always carry an EXTRA ATM CARD with me in case my card gets eaten by a machine on a weekend. You should carry it someplace besides your money belt, in case the money belt gets lost or stolen.

Do not bother with traveler’s checks. Nobody in Spain will take them. Also, many small villages will NOT take credit cards, so you will need to carry cash at all times for your food, transportation, etc. Also, be sure you take a popular globally known credit card such as VISA if you’re taking one.

a couple of weeks before you leave for Spain. If you do not, you might get there and find your card has been frozen because they think it’s been stolen. It’s much easier to deal with that issue from home than from Spain!

Money Belt: Please purchase a money belt that can be worn under your clothes and around your waist. You can find them at the Steve Ricks website and REI and many other online travel stores. Buy this in addition to a fanny pack. Keep your passport, your bank cards, and your cash in this and never ever leave it in your room. Take a plastic zip-lock bag that it will fit in and carry it into the shower with you. In the morning before you leave your room, put the day’s cash into your fanny pack or change purse. Never get into the money belt in a public place. Spain is very safe. In fact I feel it is much safer than any city in the USA. But you must use your common sense and not tempt fate. With this economy, there is sure to be a rise in petty theft, so just take precautions.

Rain cover: I love my ALTUS poncho. You have the option of purchasing it and picking it up in SJPP. However, if you choose not to, you will need a rain cover for your backpack because there most certainly will be some rainy days. A nysil cover is the best. It is lightweight and I think I paid under $20 for mine. It folds up into a small packet about the size of half a sandwich and I keep it handy in the front pocket of my backpack. Last year I bought an umbrella in Spain and carried it and loved it! I used it for rain AND for sunshine! I walked in the shade probably 20 degrees cooler than fellow pilgrims with no umbrella.

Daypack - I don't bother. I just carry my pack. If I'm booking transport, I find a lightweight nysil pack to carry water and food and rain gear. Sea to Summit offers a featherweight pack for day trips, for packing your heavy items in and sending with transport. It is optional. You can purchase it online from REI or other sporting goods stores. If you are carrying your backpack and NOT transporting it, you will not need this.

Walking sticks (optional). See my blog on walking sticks for more information. There will be slippery places on the trail this early in the year, and most likely also in the Fall, so I’d advise you carry them. You can buy trekking poles in SJPP or you can pick up a really nice stick there for under 10€

Shoes: I’ve probably worn your ears out about shoes. This is your most important purchase. Do not try to save money here. Spend what it takes. Your feet will carry you across Spain so treat them as friends and buy the correct shoes. I love New Balance. See my blogs. You do NOT need hiking boots. Buy comfortable, flexible sole walking or running or trail shoes. Get shoes with a LARGE DEEP and WIDE toe-box so your toes don’t rub against each other or press against each other. This is important because we are walking all day long. Spend the $35 on some nice gel inserts. I like Motion Control inserts because they keep my ankles straight and support the instep. Buy your shoes 1 to 1.5 sizes too large because your feet WILL swell when you are walking 6 hours per day. Take your socks when you try them on.

Crocs or other featherweight sandals. At the end of the day after your shower, you will want something comfortable to put your feet into. I love Crocs because they are featherweight to carry, and they are nice and wide so your feet will be happy. I’ve also carried Teva sandals, and those work fine. I usually pick up my Croc knockoffs in Spain at one of the Chinese discount stores for around 6 euros.

Socks.  Smart Wool or other wool hiking socks. I love Smart Wool socks because they are cushioned and last forever. I get mine at REI. Any thick cushioned wool hiking sock will be fine. 1000 mile socks bought in the UK are about £9.18 a pair.

Quick drying sock liners: These are thin, polyester socks that you wear under your wool socks. You change these each day, but you can wear the wool socks up to a week. When you walk, the wool socks will rub against the liners, instead of against your skin, and keep you from getting blisters. 

You can also just wear the smart wool alone. 
You can also just wear the same socks you'd wear at home. 
There are plenty of places along the route if you decide you need a change.

Short-sleeve shirts and Long sleeve top: TYou don’t need anything fancy, just something that will dry overnight when you wash it. If you live in the USA, consider visiting your local Goodwill Store and check out the Action Wear section. You can find unbelievable buys there! Consider the weight rather than the fashion. Nobody cares if your pants match your shirt on the Camino.

Long-sleeve featherweight fleece shirt: This is part of your layering system. You will probably start out in the morning wearing it and strip it off within the first hour. You can purchase them from Cape Storm or First Ascent, from Outdoor Warehouse, Cape Union Mart, REI, and other sporting goods stores. A zipper is convenient, but it is also extra weight. Choose a microfleece if possible; something not too bulky, but warm. Polartec is a great fabric choice.

Hiking shorts (quick dry) or zip-off trousers: Again you want quick dry shorts or trousers. They make some really nice hiking trousers that have zip-off legs. If you can find these, they are great. They have lots of pockets and if you find them, just buy 2 pair and don’t bother with extra shorts.

Macabi Skirt.  The past few years I hiked in 2 Macabi skirts. These are expensive but worth every penny. Honestly, I could have gotten by the entire 3 months with one skirt. They just do NOT get dirty and when you wash them, they dry in an hour. They have HUGE pockets to carry food, and guidebooks and zippered pockets for cash. I loved this skirt and will wear one each time I walk from now on. You can find them online.

Long lightweight trousers: If you buy zip-off trousers, you will not need these.

Parachute jacket trousers: These are very nice for wind and rain. They are lightweight nylon or Gore-Tex. Mine are Moonstone and are Gore-Tex. I have heard that Frogg Toggs are very good and are affordable. I think REI carries them. You do not need these AND an ALTUS. One or the other. But if you choose this, you'll need a pack cover. With the ALTUS, your pack is protected when you put on the raincoat.


ALTUS Backpack Raincoat – bought in Spain.  This can be bought in St Jean Pied de Port, in Zubiri, in Pamplona and in Sarria. If you would like to order this and have it waiting for you in Spain, you can order ahead. The 2012 price was 44 euros each. This is a great deal because you will save on expensive shipping. I can’t say enough about this poncho – it will keep you warm and dry, and will cover your backpack as well as you. Do a google search and look at the photos. It’s awesome. I don’t even take a jacket anymore… if I get cold I layer clothes and put this on top. I’ve even used it as a blanket. If you do any hiking or backpacking, you will use this again and again.

Underwear . I buy straight-leg panties for these hikes because they don’t bind me but whatever you wear at home is perfectly fine.  Ladies, buy panties with a cotton crotch panel.

Long underwear. Buy a pair of lightweight, but warm long johns. Good fabrics are silk, polyester, or polertec. I buy Cuddle Duds at JC Penney’s and I’ve also got a pair of silk long johns. You can find them online or in sporting stores. REI carries several brands. Last year I splurged for a set of merino longjohns. They kept me toasty warm

Sports bras. Of course, this is up to you, but I suggest sport bras for comfort. Underwires can cut into you and are not comfortable with a backpack.  You can find really nice but inexpensive ones at stores like Marshall's. I buy mine in a 3 pack for under $20.

Hat & peak: A “peak” is the visor part of a cap. You can take a baseball cap or buy a hiking hat. You can take one of those lightweight visors without a top. Something to keep the sun out of your eyes. I have a Tilley hat that I love. It has a secret compartment for my paper with credit card numbers, extra cash, etc. It smooches up to fit into my pack and it holds my raincoat hood off my face.

I also carry a microfiber beanie for cold mornings.

I also have a BUFF – look for them on the internet, they are very cool!

Sun Screen : I do not wear sun screen. When it is sunny and hot, I put on my long sleeved lightweight shirt and lately I've gone to carrying an umbrella!  I pick it up in Madrid or Pamplona for under 10 Euros. I don't get a folding umbrella, but a stick one. Sturdy and perfect for rain or sun, they are also useful to frighten away dogs if necessary. 

If you need sunscreen, this is something you can easily purchase in SJPP when you arrive.

Waist bag : This is just a small bag I call a fanny pack. It holds your cash, your camera, and your credencial. If you have pants with large pockets that zip or button, you won’t need one. You can also pick one up in Spain.

Small change purse:  Like the ones your grandma used to carry. To carry the day’s cash. Pick one up in Spain.

Glasses & case: If you wear prescription glasses, please bring an extra pair (safer).  I used to advise you bring a prescription, but it's pretty much impossible to get a new pair of glasses in under a week. So you're better off bringing an extra pair. On one of my last group walks, one lady lost her glasses going over the Pyrenees in a snowstorm and had to wear her prescription sunglasses the entire rest of her Camino.  Generally I don't suggest you bring "extra" things.. but this is one time I do.
Camera .  I use my iPhone

Head lamp (optional) Honestly, I hate these things. I’ve been rousted from many a good night’s slumber by a pilgrim wearing a headlamp.  You really don't need to be walking in the dark either. So unless you really need this, leave it at home. If you really DO feel you need one, get one with a red lamp so you don't blind the rest of the albergue.

Credencial : Get this in Spain when you arrive.  Usually 1 to 3 Euros.

Maps & Guide: These are optional if you're walking the Camino Frances. It's very well marked and the pilgrim office will give you a list of albergues if you ask. If you would like to pick up a map book or guide to carry along, I prefer Brierley’s. It is the best, in my opinion.

Notebook/Journal & pen (pocket size) It’s nice to have this to make notes, take email addresses of people you meet along the way. But buy a small, lightweight one please. Mine is a mini-sketch book that I got at an art store and is about 3” x 5”.

Toiletries: In all my years of walking, I’ve seen only one or two woman wearing makeup on the Camino. Really, it’s true. It’s just too heavy to mess with and nobody bothers. Also, please do not bring perfume or cologne if you plan on walking with me as I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and cannot tolerate scent, even organic oils. Instead of shaving cream, bring unscented soap. Instead of electric razor, bring or buy disposables. Instead of hair dryers and rollers, cut your hair short and let it air dry or pull it into a ponytail. Go light! If you have dry skin, consider buying a lotion in SJPP or use olive oil!  If you are set on a routine with a particular set of cosmetics, bring very small sizes and consider packing those into a smaller bag that you will check so you can still carry on your backpack (in case the bags get lost). If you have questions about this, email me. Here is what I do…

I use a Ligget’s shampoo bar for both body and hair washing.
I cut my hair very short before the trip and let it air dry.
I wear no makeup or lotion or fragrance
I use a deodorant crystal stone.
I do not shave my legs.


Camp Towel: I use an old worn out terrycloth towel cut in half. I’ve also carried a microfiber dish drying towel. I don’t care for camp towels; they just seem to spread the water around. But buy something lightweight. Most private hostels will provide towels, but pilgrim albergues will not.

Tissue (1/2 toilet roll or pocket Kleenex) You can pick up pocket Kleenex packets n Spain. Please bring a plastic zip-lock bag to carry out your tissue when you use it on the trail. This is a HUGE issue with me – DO NOT LEAVE TOILET PAPER ON THE CAMINO, LADIES. CARRY IT OUT AND DISPOSE OF IT. It’s sad to see what women leave along The Way.

Elastic Clothes Line: (optional) I like carrying one of these. Most places will have a clothesline for your wet clothes, but occasionally there will be none. You can find these in travel stores. Rick Steves’ website has a nice one. This is optional. I’ve also made my own by purchasing round elastic, then twisting or braiding it into a rope and tying one end. With this, you do not need clothespins. You simply hang your clothes by putting the edges between the twisted elastic.

Large safety pins (diaper pins are nice): These are nice to use to hang up your clothes for drying. They are also good to pin your damp socks to your backpack if they aren’t dry in the morning!

Lightweight nylon stuff sacks: I use one for shirts, one for pants, one for underwear and socks, and one for “other small things.” Saves you digging around in your backpack, especially if it’s top-loading.

Compeed (buy in Spain): This is a stick-on bandage that is great for hot-spots before you get a blister. Stock up in Pamplona or SJPP.

First aid items (buy in Spain): Things to consider are arnica cream (for aching muscles), Compeed, and mosquito spray. They also have a wonderful rosemary-infused rubbing alcohol for sore muscles.

Water bottle (or just buy in Spain): You can bring a special water bottle or just buy a disposable one at the airport and refill it. You can bring a water bladder if you wish, but it’s really unnecessary on the Camino Frances, as there are fountains of good water in every village.

Cell Phone: This is absolutely optional. There are places in Spain where you can pay to make calls to the USA, especially in large cities like Burgos, Leon, Pamplona. There are also internet caf├ęs in the large cities where you can send and receive emails. If you plan on carrying a cell phone, you should talk to your provider about using it in Spain to see what is necessary. You will also need to bring the charger and a plug adaptor. There are places in Pamplona where you can purchase a temporary cell phone or a sim card for your unlocked phone. Also, consider the high cost of roaming charges.

Handkerchief or Bandana: (optional) Please carry one for your nose, your sweat, or for using if you have to urinate on the trail. It can be washed each night with your laundry and will save the trail from being littered with tissue.

If you have any questions about any of these items, drop me a line.

Remember, every ounce counts!
Pack light!



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Which Route Shall I Walk?

The first question people ask after deciding to walk the Camino is "Which route shall I walk?"

There are as many different routes as there are pilgrims, as each Camino begins the moment you walk out of your front door. The map above shows some of the major routes.

I have walked the Camino Frances, the Camino Portuguese, the Via de la Plata, the Camino Madrid, and the Camino Aragones. I have also walked from Lourdes to Pamplona. Last year I began in a route in Cacares, but was bored to tears by the kilometers and kilometers of olive trees, so I jumped up to the Madrid route. I also attempted the Pelgrimspad, but decided I'd rather do that one by bicycle.

Which route you choose can depend on various factors.

What time of the year do you want to walk? 

If you are planning a summer Camino, then I would beg you NOT to attempt to walk the Via de la Plata from Seville in southern Spain. It is dangerously hot. The fountains listed on the guidebooks are dry as a bone. The stages are long and you'll have to carry lots of water, which means lots of weight. THAT particular route is best done anytime outside of June, July, or August.

If you are planning a winter Camino, I'd suggest the Camino Frances, which is well supported. Though your stages will be longer than usual in winter, you WILL find lodging and food along the way.

In the shoulder seasons, personally I feel a first Camino should be the Camino Frances when possible. It is the best supported of all the routes, and after walking it, you'll be experienced enough to tackle any of the others.

How much time do you have?
How many kilometers can you walk per day?
What shape are you in?

The Camino Frances and the Via de la Plata each take around 6 to 7 weeks to complete.

The Camino Frances has shorter stages, so if you're hoping to train on the trail, it's your best choice. You can begin walking short stages and increase your distance day by day.

On the Plata, you'll have fewer lodging choices as the village are further apart.

If you only have a couple of weeks, the Camino Madrid is an excellent choice.

Do you like to be alone or are you more comfortable in a group?

The Camino Frances is busy, and can be REALLY busy during the summer months.

The Via de la Plata is GETTING busy. But it's still much quieter than the Frances.

When I walked the Madrid route two Mays ago, I only saw maybe 5-7 other pilgrims. It was wonderful!

Do you speak Spanish?

If yes, any of the routes might work for you.
If not, you may be most comfortable on the Frances the first time you walk, as they are used to pilgrims and you'll find it easier to get what you need.

Do you speak French?

Maybe you want to walk from Lourdes, or Le Puy, or even Paris.
You'll find it's harder on your pocketbook in France - things are much more expensive.
But the scenery is spectacular, especially in the springtime.

Will you need bag transport?
Will you need buses or taxis?
How much money do you have for your trip?

All of these are questions you need to ask yourself as you do your planning.
There is sure to be a Camino that will be just perfect for you.

The question is... which one?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Home, Sweet Home!

Well, I'm back from the desert and finally settling into home. I really missed my family and friends and I REALLY missed my studio!

Here are some of the dolls I've been working on the past few weeks. You can see them in my Etsy shop at

First is Sherry. A sweet little African American doll, she has dark auburn hair and is dressed in a brand new outfit by Fairlightdolls, also on Etsy.  Her boots were hand made by me.

Next is Rusy, my little redhead. Red headed Bratz dolls are a bit more difficult to find so when I do, it's a happy day. Rusty is all dressed up in Spring Yellow.  She is also wearing an outfit by Fairlightdolls.

Sunny is a sweet little blond. She is wearing handmade boots by me, and a Fairlightdoll outfit.

Misty is my little ice skating star. She wears an original Bratz skating outfit, which has been sanitized and upcycled. Included is a pair of white Bratz boots for after skating.


I have lots of dolls to get ready, so stay tuned, and please tell your friends about Freckle Farm Dolls!