Monday, April 30, 2007

Camino Packing List

I will be continually updating this post as I add things I have forgotten. First and foremost, my objective is to pack as light as possible. I cannot let myself take any more that 15 lbs. including the weight of my pack lest I die of exhaustion along the way. This is my pack to the left (yay!). Its an Osprey Aura and I would highly recommend it if you are in the market. It is lightweight and has a great cooling system.

Paul and I have done a couple of trial treks with our packs loaded up out at Red Rock. Man, this is harder than it looks. We noticed some weird things like that our hands swelled up while walking. Not sure what the deal is with that, but it seemed to lessen the second and third time we were doing long treks.

Jessi's Packing List
  • Pack (3 lbs. 2 oz)
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • boots or hiking shoes
  • Second pair of shoes for the night time (I'm checking out some Crocs sandals I found at Sports Chalet. They are super light and comfy and don't take up much space)
  • Silk sleeping sack
  • travel pillow
  • pajamas?
  • humpback poncho (it will cover you and your backpack!)
  • my journal
  • paperback book
  • sunscreen
  • guide book
  • camera & charger
  • necessary meds
  • bandana (s)
  • hair ties
  • compass/GPS?
  • hair brush
  • passport (also scanned and sent to our email address in case of emergency)
  • tickets
  • freshette (funnel and tube contraption to help girls pee in the wilderness without having to squat)
  • camel back belly for water
  • quick dry towel
  • washcloth
  • soap (buy in Spain)
  • tissues
  • travel shampoo
  • travel conditioner
  • deodorant
  • small amounts of makeup
  • moisturizer
  • plastic bag for clothes during shower
  • shower curtain hook or caribiner to hold shower bag
  • small length of string and clothespins for hanging clothes to dry
  • small rock from Vegas to leave at the Cruz de Ferro
  • mp3 player (trying to find a cheaper version that takes batteries to avoid carrying my iPod and charger)
  • Ear plugs
Plus, I will take some extra things to wear in transit and for our first few days in Pamplona and for after we arrive in Santiago. We can send packages to ourselves at the end of the Camino. These will be:
  • Jeans
  • nice shirt
  • another casual shirt
Am I forgetting anything? Most likely yes, but I shall keep adding to this.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ahhh, memories...

I just read what is quite possibly the funniest blog I have ever seen about a preteen book series. Tiff, who writes this gem, the BSC Headquarters ,is "revisiting her awkward(est) years one Baby-sitters Club book at a time."

If you ever read these books growing up, you have got to look at this website. Seriously this cracks my sh*t up! I imagine if Stephen Colbert reviewed the BSC series, the result would be something similar to this blog. She waxes nostalgic with her wry commentary on the fashion and toils of the BSC that brings back memories of a time when hypercolor t-shirts and plastic pink flamingo earrings were the height of 13 year old sophistication. And a time when my ten year old self lived vicariously throught the 13 year old Claudia, Kristy, Stacey, Dawn and MaryAnn. I remember when I was 10, I totally wanted to be Claudia Kishi minus the poor spelling and the spandex tights outfits.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To Run or Not To Run?

So, now that we'll be in town for the festival, I have been having a mental debate with myself as to whether I actually want to get my running-challenged butt out there in the street with those scary horn wielding beasts...maybe I can wear some body armor with my red neckerchief.

Here's how the battle of my wits goes: I sort of want to run with the bulls, but on the other hand I think that is totally crazy. I could get trampled or my eye gouged out, not even be able to start the camino that we have planned so much for. BUT on the other hand where's my sense of adventure? It really is a once in a lifetime experience...

I turned to my girls on the Nest travel board hoping some of them could share their experiences. One of the girls came to my rescue and quelled some of my fears. She did the run in 2001 with some girlfriends and random Canadian guys whom they met in the bar the night before. They started about 1/2 a mile ahead of the bulls, got a two-minute warning to start running. Once they reached the stadium end point (where I've actually been before), they heaved themselves over the wall where they then had a great vantage point to watch the rest of the people and the bulls go by. She did say it was still scary as hell.

Scary as hell aside, getting a 1/2 mile head start sounds like the perfect way to run, but manage some of the risk. And probably help our Moms sleep better at night too.

Run Toro Run!

Last week in my TESL Assessment class the girl who sits next to me who always has interesting adventure and travel stories was talking about wanting to run with the bulls in Pamplona in July. July? My ears perked up. When in July? She wasn't sure, but I rushed staight home to my computer after class to find out when the San Fermin Festival is July 6-14!! I will finish teaching my summer class July 6th and the 8th is our estimated departure date for Espana!

Pamplona is actually a few cities on from Roncesvalles, the intended start of our camino route, but after talking with Paul, we decided to start from Pamplona so we can enjoy the festival for a few days and then take off. Plus, it turns out I need to be back a little earlier before the start of fall semester to do some training on some software I will be teaching with anyway. So now we are down to about 400 miles. That shaves off about 25 miles or so, but I figure we can make up at least a few miles on the bull route =).

After consulting my veteran peregrino friends on the Santiagobis group, I found that we can pick up our pilgrim credentials at either at the diocesan offices near the cathedral or the Albergue de peregrinos.
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