Posted in Travel sparks

Camino Day 12

Day 12 started out as a cold one – the coldest yet, with my long sleeved wool top getting its first real outing. We walked the first couple of hours through a beautiful park – the highlight of which was a large group of Saturday morning runners (around 50 guys, all dressed in brightly coloured tops) who were stretching out and chatting before their run. They formed a sort of guard of honour as we six walked through, clapping and cheering and shouting ‘Buen Camino!’ – a very cool experience of being celebrity pilgrims!
A pretty flat walk to Burgos, a fantastic city with a stunning cathedral. By the time we got there, the weather had warmed up and we stopped for churros with chocolate…instead of the small containers that I’ve had with churros before, this was a tea cup full of melted chocolatey goodness. Perfect for breakfast on the Camino!










As we spent a bit of time in Burgos, we were walking later in the day than usual, which meant that the sun was out in full force for the last couple of hours of our walk. It makes a real difference, especially as we walk through these flat areas with no shade. I bought a bandana a few towns ago & today tied it around my neck like Henny Penny to protect the back of my neck. Steph and I may yet start a Camino fashion label when we get home – based on two or three outfit variations, with bandanas, hats and shoes to accommodate blisters & sore feet. Ooh la la!
Now we are in Rabe de las Calzados, with three new Kiwi room mates (three older ladies travelling the world for six months or so) and chatting to a Basque teacher from Pamplona. Looking forward to our pilgrim dinner – the standard seems to be soup, salad, tortilla and a choc covered ice cream for dessert. Just the thing for growing pilgrims!

Posted in Travel sparks

Camino MacGyver

I started putting my Camino bits and pieces near my backpack today and I got ridiculously excited at the thought of the adventure ahead of us. Then I remembered that I’d bought this Utility Card at a recent Kathmandu sale and as I took it out of its packet, I got even more excited at the thought of who I could become with this item. Within its magical plastic confines (in a beautiful shade of blue, if you don’t mind) is all that I need to become…CAMINO MACGYVER. And I can not imagine a more helpful or ingenious Camino pilgrim than MacGyver, can you?

All that Camino MacGyver needs...
All that Camino MacGyver needs…

What’s that, fellow pilgrim, need a pen to sign off that tapas bill? Allow me! Hola, traveller – need some scissors to cut the tag off your new backpack? Here you go, champ! What’s that, there’s a man on the hillside who needs his appendix removed? Let’s do this, kids! And then I can file my nails and draw a really straight line while we wait for the paramedics to come and fix him up.

Seriously, this Utility Card has pretty much everything – I know, because I just pulled out all of the little things to make sure (you never know with discounted stock): screwdriver, toothpick, tweezers, scissors, nail file, ruler, knife, pen, pin.

Don't be fooled - the nail file and screwdriver are on the same little tool. AMAZING.
Don’t be fooled – the nail file and screwdriver are on the same little tool. AMAZING.

So, without wishing to jinx our impending travels, I am now more confident than ever that Steph and I will be able to deal with whatever comes our way on the Camino. MacGyver-style.

(And in case you too were wondering, the pen really does work.)
(And in case you too were wondering, the pen really does work.)
Posted in Sparks in the wild

Friday Foto – Things I never thought I’d own…

Happy Friday to you! I was very excited to receive a package from Kathmandu this morning. (That’s the big Australian outdoor retailer, not the capital of Nepal.) We started our Camino trekking training last weekend with a fantastic 18km round trip from The Spit to Manly. I wanted to take photos of the bzillion beautiful spots along the way, but I didn’t want to mess with our momentum. Next time.

Anyways, this walk made me realise that I need some more outdoorsy trekking gear if I want to do this thing properly. So, in the first of what I’m sure will be many, here’s a pic of something that I have bought that I never thought I’d own in this lifetime. It’s a 2 litre water bladder. So I don’t have to carry pesky water bottles and stop to drink – no way man, now I can just suck water through this tube and KEEP ON TREKKIN’.

Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn't leak through my backpack...
Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn’t leak through my backpack…