Details for my upcoming tour of Southern Europe are starting to shape up. Well, as much as I want them to — the plan is to have little to no plan, but a few decisions have been made. First, I booked a ticket to leave Los Angeles, on September 13 and arrive in Paris on the 14th. Yes, I know that Paris is not really in Southern Europe, but I have to land someplace. From LA, I get to change planes — and spend four hours in Oakland, California. Being a Pittsburgh Steelers football fan, you can see how painful spending four hours in Oakland Raider’s territory might be. 🙂
After an overnight flight from Oakland, I will have a three hour layover in Oslo, and a two+ hour flight to Paris. I plan to spend four nights in Paris, then make my way to Saint Jean Pied de Port, France. This is significant in that it relates to the most important part of my journey. I have decided to hike the 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago, across the Basque Country to Galicia, in Northern Spain. The first section of the trail is considered the hardest, in that it climbs over the Pyrenees Mountains from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France descending to Pamplona, Spain. I have no firm schedule, but expect, blisters allowing, to take about 35 days to complete the journey.
I am, in no way, in the physical condition necessary to hike the mountain passes, so yesterday, I began my training and conditioning program. I walked two miles, through downtown Huntington Beach, stopping at an IHOP for a blue cheese and bacon burger — and unsweetened ice tea. Today was a rest day!!!
My backpack arrived today. Before I decided to hike the Camino de Santiago, I was, mostly, concerned about limiting myself to one carry on bag, so I ordered a PacSafe 45 liter. Forty-five liters is a relatively small bag, but it meets most overhead storage requirements, and will hold everything an urban adventurer needs, so long as you are willing to do laundry in the shower each evening.
When I added the Camino components, especially a month long trek in September/October, I also added a slightly heavier jacket, rain poncho, and lightweight sleeping bag — and that takes up a lot of room. I’ll do a blog post, and a little video, on the packing, after I figure it out.
OK, so the big question: Anyone going to be in Paris on September 14-18? I’ve reserved a bunk at a hostel (yes, hostel) — this is not going to be a cruise on a luxury liner. 🙂 If you are going to be in Paris, during that time, and want to get together, PM me on Facebook, or use the Contact Form (menu, above).