Sunday, May 13, 2018
Today is Sunday and I fly out to Madrid on Tuesday. Just two more sleeps!
I've been finishing up reservations, wrapping up plans for the past 2 weeks.
After leaving my mother's house, I came to Portland, Oregon where I'm selling my home to my son. I've been staying in the van while I go through my belongings in the garage, at the same time getting ready for this year's walk.
This year, I have two all-woman groups. It should be fun! Six of us will walk over the Pyrenees, picking up our seventh peregrina in Pamplona and continuing on.
Once we reach Santiago, I will pick up two more peregrinas and walk the last 100 kilometers in half-stages, something I've never done before. I'm very much looking forward to it, though I realized too late, I should have done the half-stages first as a means of training.
As far as training goes, this year I have not trained at all and I'm a little concerned about how my body will handle the trek from SJPP to Zubiri. I was unable to train while caring for my mother after her fall, and upon beginning training here in Portland, promptly ended up with shinsplints which I've been nursing all week.
Ice, elevation, massage, foam-roller, and some rest days later, the pain is gone. I'm taking compression sleeves and planning on taking the first two days slow, and I'm going to hope for the best. If all else fails, there are taxis!
I really am looking forward to 6 weeks of walking. I always feel so much healthier after a long trek. It was originally prescribed by my specialist for my MCS, and has worked really well for me, except for the flight, which usually takes me a few days to recover from.
This year, I'm meeting 2 other pilgrims in Madrid and we'll take the bus to Pamplona together. It should be fun!
This year, I'm carrying a new pack, a 28 liter Gregory Jade pack. I looked everywhere for an Arcteryx pack to replace my old one, but they no longer make the model. I don't know who designs these danged packs but I'm not very happy with the way the shoulder straps rub my neck, and am happy I'll be using pack transport for much of the trip. I'll carry the smaller day pack with my ALTUS poncho, water, and snack.
I'm not taking a sleeping bag this year. Instead, I'm taking a fleece blanket and I'm thinking I'll discard it after Roncesvalles, as I will not longer need it.
I'm wearing my charcoal Macabi skirt and taking a pair of nylon zip-off walking pants. Otherwise, my packing is pretty much the same as always.
I've got a new mask for the flight (to protect me from the perfume) and am hoping to sleep much of the way once we head over the ocean. I was able to get aisle seats up close to the front of the plane. One day, I'd love to fly business class to Spain - it's on my bucket list.
I spent the day today making gifts for my pilgrims and doing last-minute laundry. Joe will borrow my van for a short vacation while I'm in Spain, so I washed all the linens and repacked the van.
And now, I'm sitting in front of the television, watching the last few episodes of Season 8 of Dexter! And it's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that in less than 72 hours, I'll be in Pamplona again!
If you see me on the trail, be sure to say hi!