5 days to go

If you are new to the camino or that sort of long distance walking – ie not backpacking as such – you might be forgiven for thinking that anyone who has done this repeatedly would have the packing list and training down to a fine art by now and be able to just put on a cleverly packed bundle of adventure ready kit and head out the door. This, sadly, is not the case. I am still dithering and tinkering at the edges of my packing, and checking the long term forecast to make sure I pack the right clothes for the weather. Which, in Galicia, could of course change in an instant!

Most of it is sorted though: I have the shoes and sandals. I have my poncho and rain trousers for bad weather. I have a very light sleeping bag and a down jacket for warmth. I have a merino jacket and merino tights for the evening, and a merino top and wind jacket for chilly mornings. I have a sun protective shirt to avoid sunburn. My PacerPoles have been delivered to my first night’s accommodation. So far, so good. It’s the rest – trousers, skirts, dresses, tights, T-shirts, I keep dithering about. How do I make the lowest number of items cover any and all temperatures and circumstances? And also my recurring dither: the pack.

I wanted to take a 25L Osprey Escapist that holds as much as the 30L (or really 28) Osprey Tempest, but have decided against it because the water bottle is harder to get to, it has no pole holder and the Tempest has a top lid where I like to keep my poncho for quick and easy deployment while I walk! I was even offered an upgrade to the latest model Tempest, but think I have decided against that too – it seems to hold less stuff and I am just not in love with it so it looks like it will be looking for a new owner when I get home.

I have been going for a few training walks though, on my usual route, clocking up 15 km at a time, sometimes more. Spring is colouring the trees an intense green and it reminds me of the Galician tree tunnels I will soon be walking through. These pics are taken with my new mobile, as my old one was full! Slowly getting used to it and am quite pleased with the camera – the rest is just communication and that seems to work.

But should I bring my Spanish fan for hot days, or the Bella the Brolly, which gave me personalised shade on the meseta last year? Or leave the down jacket and just layer up under the wind breaker? Will I need gloves or leave them? Will I use the hat if I bring it (probably not, I hate hats) or the rain trousers, if I take walking trousers insteaed? Lots of decisions to make, in spite of the fact that this walk will be my eleventh in Spain. How did that happen? I smell addiction …

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