Our plane doesn't leave for a while and we have yet to change into our traveling clothes, but after a frenzied couple of hours, we have all our gear ready to go. We're hope we've included all the stuff we'll need for the next five weeks. The duffel contains our walking sticks, scissors, jackknife, and liquids, plus lots of stuff we will be using as hospitaleros and leaving at the albergue. It will be sent as checked baggage, but we'll be bringing our backpacks as carry-ons. We've taken similar photos as we were about to depart for our other Caminos, and this is the first one that doesn't have a dog in it. Here is a link to our 2012 version.
A week and a half ago I posted a cry for advice when my plantar fasciitis flared. Help came in 43 comments.
I decided to try them all simultaneously because time was short. I realize that is not a way to test the variables, but when you’re retired you don’t need to worry about such things quite as much.
So here’s the story in the order that seemed to me to be most effective:
Having done all this, I am about 90% pain-free. We’ll see what happens when I try to really walk on it. With two weeks at the hospitalero assignment before hiking, I am hopeful.
Less than a week to go, and we're still working on building up our strength. All is not work, however, and a part of our daily walks takes us near some small wetlands where spring is bursting forth. Below are some of the showy plants we saw today
I went to lunch with three Spanish speaking friends today at Civilization, here in Gainesville. Usually four or five of us gather at one of our homes to chat in Spanish every few weeks. But it is a spectacular sunny Spring day today and we decided to practice our Spanish over lunch at this locally owned and operated spot. We even grabbed an outdoor table. I mostly practiced my receptive skills...and did pretty well, thank you very much. My friends are kind and complimented my expressive efforts, which was encouraging. And I learned several new words...always important. I think I'll study some Speed Spanish now. Only 18 days until immersion.
(For a glimpse of how our novel's characters are preparing for the Camino, click here.)
Our Pilgrim Gathering Saturday evening in Gainesville FL was a smashing success! There were 25 attendees...6 have hiked it previously and 15 have tickets in hand to go this summer, including 3 who have gone before. 6 are leaving in April, 6 in May, and 3 in June. There were 5 who are still dreaming about when they can go, and 3 (including an 8-year-old) trying to resist. Ha! they don't have a chance! Since they cared enough to come to a Gathering, they are really already hooked, they just don't know it yet.
Note Michaelyn, on the left in the green shirt. She is leaving April 21 and has created a blog that has a compelling first post: www.xcreek.blogspot.com Check it out. You will not be disappointed.
We have our plane tickets. We are studying our Spanish every day, but we do not feel ready for prime time conversation yet. Even in our dreams, we only see ourselves as being able to communicate basic needs, like shopping in the little tienda-- “I want those vegetables, over there on that shelf.”
But we are greatly looking forward to the experience and then to walking with Pam and James for a couple of weeks and almost 200 miles.
And, we are having fun buying gear again, although we already own more than we would consider carrying. It is just such fun to find new, lighter, better versions of stuff we have. I’m bringing my same rain poncho. After my testing it thoroughly last year, we never had any rain.
It is almost countdown time…train, train, train for the hike and study, study, study our Spanish.
Peg and Russ Hall
- Second Wind
- Why Walk It?
- Step 1. Planning Your Camino -- What kind, Where, When, How far, Alone, Getting there . . .
- Step 2. Getting Ready -- Training, Packing, Gear, Clothes, Electronics, Passports, TSA . . .
- Step 3. Being There -- Money, Lodgings, Food, Language . . .
- Step 4. Adapting -- Guidebooks, Websites, Trail conditions, Schedule, Water, Weather, Pain, Hazards, Phones . . .
- Step 5. Being a Pilgrim and a Tourist -- Types of pilgrimmage, Roman roads, Medieval life, Wonders . . .
- Step 6. Living the Lessons of the Camino -- Once or again, Connecting at home, Being hospitaleros . . .
- Who Are We?
- All Our Caminos