I am in the final stages of my planning and it has been an exciting process getting organised. My flights were booked months ago! It has taken time to get the right kit. I have an amazing Osprey backpack. It is really comfortable. Bigger than some. Being tall and slim I have found that I am end of range of most women’s kit and equipment but too narrow to use men’s. My pack is women specific. It has an adjustable back to accommodate a longer body. Straps from shoulders are shaped for the chest of a women. Memory foam in waist strap for a comfortable fit which moulds to your shape! Let me tell you outdoor stuff is fantastic!
I got Black Diamond walking poles. They are amazingly light. Make quite a difference when one walks with a pack. Also good to keep your arms moving and not hanging at your side resulting in fat fingers! I am told walking with poles helps one balance when having to navigate obstacles and mud, but also saves your knees.
Then I have First Ascent walking pants that can zip off and some amazing waterproof pants from them too.
Gorgeous Ice Breaker wool tops some short sleeve and some long sleeved. Wool is warm and cool and does not stink. So they do not need to be washed each day!
1000 miler socks and some Bridgedale socks too. Salomon trail shoes and my Asics trail shoes. An Asics light-weight running jacket and a pair of long running tights too.
Then there is the sleeping bag. A 500g goose down bag. I tested it out the other night with the sleeping bag inner. It is so light and yet so warm. Felt I may get cold but that was not the case.
Cape Union Mart has amazing outdoor kit and I have plenty of stuff from them. I am told a poncho is essential as in the north it rains. It is known as green Spain.
Drifters is another great outdoor shop. Honestly I have spent ages in these shops admiring all the kit and finding what’s right for me.
It has been great fun getting organised. I have a small medical bag with some basics for pain and fever and blisters. But of course I am hoping I don’t need to use any of the stuff!
I am fit and healthy and long may I stay that way. Been running and or walking each day. Distance varies. I have been testing my pack and walk with it 3 days a week in the mountain. It has 6kg of washing powder and some towels in for the moment! Works a treat. It remains permanently packed and ready to go.
Gill my neighbour has been a great sounding board. She walked last year. I am walking on my own. Not part of a group. Just want freedom to walk at my own pace in my own time. I will not be alone as there are plenty of people on the Camino. But it is a pilgrimage and the only way to do it is on your own.
I am getting excited and nervous all the same. Just need to get going. I have no idea what I am letting myself in for until I start.
Brian has been really supportive of my journey. I have time. 40 days. Did not want to feel rushed. 800 km from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. I would love to get to the coast – an extra 100 km.
I leave South Africa on 14 May and stay in London for the weekend with Shireen. Then on 18 May I fly to Biarritz and make my way to St Jean. I spend the night and start the next day.
Walk over the Pyrenees and then into Spain. I can’t wait. It is filling my mind each and every day.