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Three weeks, and counting

Dear Fellow Pilgrims

Today it is exactly three weeks before I leave South Africa for Heathrow and, eventually (God willing in the current situation) St Jean and the start of my pilgrimage. If only one had second sight! I wouldn't have bought an airline ticket from Stansted to Biarritz for the second leg of my journey, but would have gone to St Jean some other way. At least (so far) all the flights from here to Heathrow seem to be all right.

I have more or less got all my stuff ready, and am trying to see whether I can't possibly eliminate some more, for weight. Have bought a new, thin sleeping bag for the hot, airless refugios (we SAfricans like to sleep with open windows, but I understand that Europeans don't like this), I wonder whether I need to take my thermal inner bag as well, just in case of cold. What do you think? Am now just resisting the temptation to take 'hiking food', 'just in case'. Am sure I won't starve, not that a little of that would do me any harm.

Am looking forward to the Camino with all my heart, and hope to meet many of you along the way.

Christine (Marshall) Cloete


I also leave for SJPP in three weeks. Maybe we'll meet on the way!! Eurostar from London to Paris, then the sleeper to Bayonne, then a local train to St Jean, arriving at 9:30 on the 9th.

I arrive at St Jean a little late to start the whole journey to Roncesvalles, so I plan to take a taxi to Honto and join the Route Napoleon there.

My gear is just about ready, a little obsessive about the weight, but then from posts this board that's probably a good thing.

Looking forward to a complete change from workaday life while on the Camino, and to meeting and travelling with others.

I have a lightweight sleeping bag also - but for those hot nights am seriously thinking about getting one of those silk sleeping bag liners to use on it's own. It could also be an extra layer during cold weather. Most of the advice suggests that we won't know what the weather will do!

Best wishes

Hi there David and Christine

Many of the albergues have blankets and if it is really cold you could always sleep with a sweater on. It is sooner hot than cold in the rooms, because yes.. many sleep with closed window (I prefer open windows also). Sometimes you sleep with 100 or more people in the one room, on bunkbeds.. I walked the camino frances last year and I met many pilgrims that did not take any sleeping bag at all.
Also I would leave every gram of stuff you do not need at home. You can buy food along the way, there are many supermarkets, and little shops on the camino.
I walked for five weeks, with gratitude in my heart and blisters on my feet :) and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I wish you angels on your way!
Buen camino

yes i agree, every place has pillows and blankets, except if you stay in the monasteries. i found these didn't have them. don't bring food from home, there are lots of good treats on the way. Try the 75% chocolate, great for alittle energy. I also bought 900grams (smallest size) of granola, so i had a terrific breakfast, and i could stop anywhere i wanted.
(also yogurt) well worth carring the extra weight.

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