Packing up and counting down

The time has come. The kit box has been lifted onto the table and rummaged through, and two things hit me:

I am so underprepared for this walk. These walks. I need to find my smallest and most lightweight things.


This is a mess. How am I going to find anything small and lightweight in here?

So yesterday, when I was supposed to translate my daily amount of pages so I can have a week+ to do long walks to train and test my kit, I emptied the kit box. I took out all the boxes inside the box and emptied them too. I used the spare covid test bio waste ziplocks to separate knots of safety pins, lots of S-biners, and spare kroner and euros. I used spare airport security liquids ziplocks to organise small piles of toiletries stuff, kitchen and food stuff, shoe and poles stuff. I emptied my first aid kit and restocked it. I found my shell! I used different coloured zipped drybags to separate foot care from sundries and spares. I repacked my toiletries bag, now that I am staying in rooms and won’t need my albergue shower bag set-up, and swapped the old, scratchy child-size hairbrush for a new one I found. I put the topless plastic bottles in the recycling and the old mementoes in a box inside the box. I found stuff I can sell to raise money for my travels. In short: I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And then the post came with more stuff! Mini biners! Who knew?

Now all I have to do is to catch up with the daily pages, hit the deadline with a week to spare, put on my new backpack – yes, my new backpack! – with its carefully curated contents, and hit the road, rain or shine. At the end of the month I go to meet my camiga B. in Germany, to join her for a week on her epic walk from home, through Germany, France and Spain and all the way to Finisterre. Hence the new backpack, with a bit of extra room for a lunch box and warmer clothes. Then when I have waved her goodbye to go back to the airport and fly home to start on the next translation, I have to do the same again before I fly out to meet my friend N. in St Jean for our leisurely saunter to León.

With the kit box in unprecedented order, I am currently packing for the two trips at once, with another box (!) for stuff that is coming to Spain, but not to Germany – like spare credencials, new tube of Gehwol foot cream, walking skirt, sun blocking umbrella … And I am counting the pages and the days and minutes and grams and enjoying the anticipation – for once without the hint of disorganised panic.

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