26 MARCH 2018
Preparing for Spain and Camino Finisterre 2018
When Terry and I went on our Camino adventure in 2017, we spent countless hours figuring out what to bring. The trick was getting it to fit in a backpack and keep it at a reasonable weight. I revised the pack list many times which meant a lot of packing and unpacking to find the right combination of clothes and necessities. This time, it was so much easier … I brought the same gear as last time minus a few items that I thought I could do without. I didn’t need to buy anything new and left home with a backpack that weighed 22 lbs. This may sound like a lot but my Deuter backpack, which is 50 + 10 liters, weighs 7-lbs with nothing in it. And I wouldn’t trade it for a lighter model. It is a very well designed backpack for comfort and for organizing gear. The space I use for the Camino is less than 50 liters and I’m able to fit it all inside the backpack without having anything hanging or attached to the outside. I like the versatility of having a larger pack for other trips that I might take.
Meet My Travel Companions
Diane: We have been friends for a lifetime. We’ve known each other since second grade. Diane was a Kindergarten teacher for over 25 years. We flew to Spain together last Tuesday and navigated the subways and train into Madrid. We’ve been in Spain for two days but it seems like a week has gone by already. This will be Diane’s first experience walking the Camino.
Ellen: We are longtime friends and used to live on the same block for many years. Ellen married my husband David’s brother Jon last summer and now we are sister-in-laws. Ellen has been a Spanish teacher for many years. Diane and I planned to connect with Ellen in Toledo. Prior to Toledo, Ellen was in Barcelona with a friend from England. She is on spring break from work and will head home on the day after Easter, so she wont be walking the Camino with us this time.
Peggy: We are longtime friends. Many years ago in our college era, Peggy was a waitress at a West Bank bar called Caesars which is where my now husband David was a bartender. We became camping friends and eventually became co-founders of the annual Flamingo Cup, a croquet tournament that has been running non-stop for 33 years. She is arriving in Madrid today and is currently lost at the Renfe train station halfway between the airport and our hotel. Peggy is a science teacher and like Ellen is on Spring break. She will be walking part of the Camino with us. Peggy found her way and just arrived at the hotel. This will be Peggy’s first experience on the Camino.
Terry: Or should I say Theresa? She is my longtime friend and Camino walking partner from last year’s adventure which is when she became Theresa. Interesting story how that happened. We were walking into a village on a rural road and I pointed out a downpour of rain on the horizon. As she looked at it, she took a tumble and her backpack flipped her. A very nice Italian man came running up to rescue her. He helped her up from the ground and escorted her into the village. He asked her name and she said, Terry. His response was, “Terry, that is a man’s name. You should be Theresa.” She said the way he rolled the name Theresa off the tongue was so beautiful. She decided that she wanted to reclaim her given birth name and now goes by Theresa. However, old habits are hard to break and I still call her Terry most of the time. Theresa is a business administrator for a church and will be joining us in Madrid the day after Easter which is when Ellen leaves. They will be passing each other in the air. Terry will walk the Camino Finisterre with Diane, Peggy and me.
The Superior Hikers: We will be hiking in spirit with the Superior Hikers Robin and Kevin. Diane and I met them at REI last year in the boot department. They are from the Superior, Wisconsin area and we’ve stayed connected through internet and also crossed paths in Duluth a couple times. They are hiking Camino Frances — the same 500 mile trail Terry and I did last year. They are starting in St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France and will be joined by their spouses about 440 miles later in Sarria. The four will walk to Santiago. Robin and Kevin started their adventure on the same day as Diane and I did.
The Rain In Spain: We’ve been watching the weather in Spain for about two months now. It has rained a lot in Finisterre and Muxia. The forecast for next week in Muxia is rain every day with lightning and thunder on our first walking day. I have doubled down on rain gear this trip. We’ll see how well it holds up and how well we hold up. Buen Camino!