In the middle….planning, planning, planning!

My first real guide to the Camino came today in the mail! Thanks to my friends where I worked previously, I was able to purchase two very necessary guides at Amazon.com at very little cost to me. That gift certificate REALLY came in handy…and to think I almost forgot about it! So, a quick thank you to my friends at Current USA…I miss you all and thank you so much again for gift card!

The Camino de Santiago Map guide is a wonderful little (and lightweight, but sturdy) booklet showing all the different stages of the Camino. It gives information regarding the elevations, types of paths and roadways, places to stay, official albergues (hostels), places to eat, shops, post offices, etc. It’s a plethora (I love that word) of information for each day of travel. Keep in mind, travel can be broken up into as little or many days as one wants to take! I can’t believe how much information is in this tiny book! It includes distances between points of interest, what type of terrain to expect, where churches, chapels, and wayside crosses are located, windmill locations – it just go on and on with all kinds of little icons representing what I will see and need to know!

The other book that I ordered is written also by John Brierley and is called, “The Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago”. It contains information on how to prepare for the trip, historical background in regards to the sights and towns I will pass through, and practical information about the Camino journey. Right now, it’s on backorder….I can’t wait to get that one!

In the past few weeks, I’ve been really thinking about how to pack for this journey. I’ve looked at everything from different backpacks to rain ponchos to trekking poles! Can you even image it – me with trekking poles. I giggle just think about that…I’m so clumsy! I’ve also purchased a few things here and there like Liquid Skin (for blisters), a fleece jacket (yes, it will get chilly crossing over the Pyrnenees mountains), and sock liners. This weekend I’m heading to Knoxville to check out Blue Ridge Mountain Sports (very much like REI) for new hiking shoes!

But I must be honest about this trip – I’m really looking forward to what this journey can help me learn about, well, ME! I know – I’m terribly selfish to think that way, but it’s the truth. Why do I feel this need to be alone? Will it ever change? Is is okay to always feel this way? When did this happen to me – when we lost our son Jason? When I divorced? Who knows…but maybe this trip will help me figure myself out!

In the meantime, I’m in the middle of planning, planning, planning. I’m working on finding the right equipment, preparing myself physically and mentally, and of course, the regular logistics of all travel – airline tickets! 🙂

To learn more about the Camino de Santiago go to: http://www.americanpilgrims.com/camino/camino.html

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