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Life Throws Curveballs

14 Oct

…..but that doesn’t mean you have to cower.

My Camino hasn’t gone as planned. That was hard to come to terms with. However, the Camino takes and the Camino gives. I’ve finally welcomed the changes with open arms, and it has been a godsend.

Am I still a bit unhappy? Sure. Like 8%. The other 92% is having a fantastic time. Remember, it’s all about the journey. Sure, the destination is nice, but the journey is the bulk of the adventure. Don’t let blinders keep you from seeing life happen.

Why this post? I’m sitting in a café in O Mesón do Vento. It’s raining and 49F outside. I’m pretty much soaked, and the café con leche hits the spot. My left leg has started hurting again, and I’m weighing pros and cons on the next choice (mainly how much more soaked do I want to be).

To quote Grace and Favour: “…..but she was happy!” And I realized, I am. It’s taken over a year to get back to this point, and I know the time it took was necessary. Was I impatient? Very much so. Did I realize the time needed prior? Of course not.

Life’s not perfect. Don’t try and force it to be. Let it run its course, adjust where you can, and everything will work out in the end, even if it’s not the way you expected or initially wanted.

Life will throw you curveballs. Question is: will you catch them, or will you cower?

xox

Jess

Camino Inglés, Day 1: Ferrol to Neda

10 Oct

Stats:

Starting Point: Hotel Silva (previously walked from hotel to starting point on Monday)

Ending Point: Pensión Residencia Maragota

Steps: 20,271

Miles: 8.86

Overall thought: beautiful country, but why was this on my bucket list again?

Seriously though, I thought I was going to die at the 7mi point. Out of water, no fountains, I was overheated and dehydrated. The only place to sit was on the ground, but if I did that there was no guarantee I would stand up again.

I never quit.

I never called for a taxi, or caught a bus.

I made it to Neda.

Then I slept for an enternity. Woke ul at 1930 and contemplated dinner, since all I had eaten was a few strawberries, some nuts, and a cliff bar. Said nope, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

I hope Day 2 is a bit more smooth. And I still need to find a poncho, or a bin liner, or something, because rain is still in the forecast for the next few days.

Anywho, here’s some photos from Day 1.

xox

Jess

And so it begins

Well, if it’s THAT easy to get home…..lol

Pilgrim arrow! Pilgrim arrow!

When the tide is out……

No clue, but they’re cool looking. Reminded me of Harry Potter, tbh.

A hot pink house!

The church after a hideous hour of walking uphill

Its cemetary.

Goats!!

Donkey!!

Which way do I go? Which way do I go? (I went left)

100km to go!!

Neda

Night before I begin my Pilgrimage

5 Oct

Okay, so technically it’s 8 hours before I begin.

And I’m still not packed 😄

Life has thrown some curve balls at me this week. On top of work being chaotic because of the sort opening (and my need to have everything as perfect as possible), my banking info was stolen, AND this afternoon I came home to my aircon leaking into the guest bathroom.

I mean, seriously?? Is this a pre-Camino test? If I can handle this week, then walking 74mi will be a breeze! *knock on wood*

So let’s see. Packing wise, I’m doing okay; just slow going……….

45min later, have a packing list via fotos:

Necessities (journal, pilgrim credencial, shell, and waist wallet)

Electricals (I eliminated the usb reading light after this foto)

First aid items, diaper pins to pin stuff to backpack, carabiners, and S-hooks.

Toiletries, meds, and tissues.

Clothing: 2 sports bras, 2prs Darn Tough wool socks, 3 tank tops, 2 kimonos/shawls, and 1 scarf.

Hard to tell, but long sleeve zipup workout hoodie, 2prs of leggings, and the two drysacks.

Hairbrush, guidebook, two towels, silk liner and silk pillowcase (bedbugs be damned!), and the chilly mini neck towel.

A most excellent guidebook!!

All packed up and ready to go! (Oh, need to write my last name on my boots. One of the carabiners will be used to keep the shoes together to avoid them being mistaken for someone elses)

Closeup of patches and shell. (Also, 32oz waterbottle in side pocket)

What cracks me up the most is that, even with all that I’m carrying, this pack is still lighter than my work backpack lol.

Will update tomorrow night sometime, or else Sunday morning after I arrive in Spain.

Much love everyone!

xox

Jess

6 days! (and no order to the thoughts in this post)

30 Sep

I leave for Spain in less than a week! I’m ridiculously excited, even if I am exhausted from this work project. You can always sleep when you’re dead, right?

Ever feel like you’re too prepared for a trip? I’ve been going through mental checklists the last few days: accommodations? passport? euros? clothing? backpack? blister kit? extra bandaids? both pairs of wool socks? I know I have everything ready, but my anxiety kicks in, so I just deal with it. Though, I do need to decide on what kind of waist wallet to wear. I could use a money pack to go around my neck, but the thought of walking with it like that already makes my neck react. It also doesn’t help that the weather is going to be a mix of partly cloudy and rain (that reminds me, need to buy a poncho now). It may come down to how I feel the night before I leave and just choose the waist wallet based on that night’s mood lol.

I still have people asking me why I’m doing this. Then, when they hear “pilgrimage”, they get *that* look on their face, and I shut down, because I’m not trying to get in a religious chat with anyone. I’m doing this for me. I need a spiritual retreat; a time for my soul to heal. It also doesn’t hurt that both the Camino AND Spain are on my bucket list, so 2-3 birds with one stone.

Spinning the wheels for a moment, as I was sitting at my altar at home a couple of nights ago, I did let my mind wander to how I’m really feeling towards the start of my Camino. Am I nervous? Of course. Nervous and anxious to about the 3rd level. Scared though? Nope. I’m excited, and can’t wait to have this adventure. Fear doesn’t control me, and I won’t live with any more regrets (still regret not doing one thing in Mexico, but c’est la vie). I kept my must-see list to a minimum this trip: the Camino, the “end of the world” in Fisterra, and then in Madrid, the National Archaeology Museum and the Temple of Debod. There is a lot more I would love to see in Spain, but that will have to wait until my next trip.

That’s it for this rambling mess of a post 🙂 I leave you with two quotes that speak volumes for/about me:

 

xox,
Jess

Work stress can’t dull my excitement!

10 Sep

It’s been awhile, I know. Life goes on, regardless of documenting every second of it. Synopsis? Stress. Anxiety. Nerves. Excitement.

I’ve started a new position at work and it’s basically required me to flip my schedule around. I’m back to the graveyard shift (which I tend to do better). I’m a bit stressed with it, but I’m also ready to get it going 110%.

The best part lately has been my growing excitement for my Camino! I’m anxious and nervous, but in the good “eek first time doing this” kind of way. I love it! Hostels/Hotels are as booked as I want them to be. The middle days are flexible depending on how far I walk those days. Overnight train ticket has been purchased. Clothing, footwear, backpack….all taken care of. I have been paranoid about my passport going missing, so I check on that daily lol. Sometimes you have to let the anxiety do its thing.

I’ll be sewing on my patches this weekend and spraying my backpack to help prevent bedbugs *knock on wood*. The boots need a few more walks in them for me to be confident that they are fully broken in. I know I need a few more odds and ends from Target and REI, but nothing that is detrimental to my trip if I don’t get it done prior to departure.

As far as my back-n-forth debate on taking my hiking poles with me….I’ve finally decided to NOT bring them, and to buy a set of poles at Decathlon in Ferrol. They’re a much lower price there, but, from what I’ve been told on various forums, the quality is quite good. If I have time in Madrid before catching the overnight train, I may scout out a Decathlon there. We shall see.

Ok, I’m yawning, so this post must come to a close. I hope everyone is doing well. I should have a few more blog posts before the journey begins, and *hopefully* a video or two up on YouTube. I’ll let y’all know 🙂

peace and love,
xox
jess

Start of my Camino Gear

13 Mar

It’s starting to feel real!!

Over the weekend my friend A and I went shopping, and started out at REI. I had some hiking socks to pick up, and wanted to look at the backpacks, but I didn’t think that I would walk away with a backpack AND hiking poles! I had come to terms with not finding a backpack that I liked and that was comfortable, but even a continent away, the camino provides.

The backpack is the women’s REI co-op Trail 40 pack, in Medium (and the colour Graystone). It also comes in a Small, and in the colour Oregano. It’s really comfortable. The employee, who I asked many, many questions of, let me know they had bean bags in various weights to put in the packs, so I put in 2 5lb bean bags and walked around for a bit. Granted, I know it’s not the same as trekking through Spain for 6-8hrs at a time, but still….the shoulder straps didn’t dig in at all, and the pack stayed in place. Two pre-camino, pre-training thumbs up. Also, the zipper to the main compartment makes a u-shape (like a suitcase zipper), so there’s no having to dig in through strictly top-loading openings to get to the one item you hastily need, which has fallen to the very bottom. There’s room for a hydration bag, plenty of pockets, and room to hang items on the front, plus two side zip pockets on the hip straps (one on each side). Considering I’m only walking for a week, this backpack is more than perfect for me!

Now the hiking poles. I’ve been debating on getting some, but the more research I did, the more I leaned towards the affirmative. So after finding my pack, we turned to the next aisle and were overwhelmed with choices. And the cost! Holy hell, I didn’t realize two pieces of aluminum and some cork would cost so much. Then, like with the pack, the camino pre-provided. There was a clearance bucket with three sets of poles in it marked down to half the cost of the poles I currently had my eye on. So I tested them out, felt confident they would keep me upright, and added them to my purchase pile. (They’re the REI Co-op Traverse Print Power Lock Cork Trekking Poles – Pair in Antique Moss.) I also grabbed a pack of rubber walking tips for the poles, because I remembered camino alumni talking about the clickity clacks of the metal tips hitting the pavement early in the morning when leaving town. Don’t want to be disrespectful to the townspeople trying to sleep while we all leave at the crack of dawn.

I got some other odds and ends, but I’ll include all those when I do my packing post in late September. Next up, comfortable hiking boots, because my current ones will make my feet curl up and die before the end of day one (That’s a visual for you, eh?).

If you stuck around to this point of the entry then I give you props. Thanks for reading, and Ultreia!

xox

Jess

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