I thought I’d start to get into the habit of jotting down things related to the camino, I tend to be a writer,… Or a typer. So I can get a lot of words down. But tackering on a smartphone, it feels harder as my fingers can’t seem to keep up. Best to start practising.

You may recall from my earlier posts my somewhat blasé approach to preparation. I’m still rather blasé about it, although I have to admit I’ve got most of my gear together now thanks to my wonderful husband who’s been doing the online shopping on my behalf.

So far, I’ve invested in 2 Icebreaker merino wool base layers, fleece for warmth and a Mountain Equipment outer shell with 4 pockets and put vents. I’m happy with what I’ve bought so far but I do fantasise about the jacket that got away – the Arcteryx Beta with pit vents. It was super expensive compared to the others by £100, and I felt with all the other things I had yet to buy, a hundred quid would still go a long way. The other reason why I did not get it was that the store did not have the version with the pit vents,

Logical though that is, my heart still thinks about that Arcteryx jacket. Why? I hear you ask? It is the lightest jacket of the shells, coming in at around 380 grams. The stitching is closely done, so it’s more waterproof and tape seams also mean a neat edge. The zips are smooth to use, especially compared to the Mountain Equipment jacket, where I struggle to zip anything with one hand. But the reason why I still think about the Arcteryx jacket is its beautiful fit. It is well cut, super tailored, and makes me feel like a trim pilgrim. None of this bulky fabric business. I know, The Way is not meant to be a catwalk. Still, one must try to look nice, mustn’t one?

I did buy a pair of Arcteryx trousers and they fitted really well. I initially had concerns that it would be too small. But as it turns out, they fitted perfectly. I must say, I am impressed. Since then, I’ve been browsing online to see whether I can find other excuses to buy Arcteryx. But not the jacket. I wouldn’t get close to the amount of money I spent on selling the Mountain Equipment jacket to change over. 😞

So I’ve tested the the clothing, and walking boots. Took myself out on a couple of hikes. I think it’s warm enough, especially after I get going. In fact, I’m running the risk of chills because I’m getting quite sweaty under my fleece. I think the base layer is working fine. Been out on 3 walks, aired them after, and no sweaty smells.

The Saloman boots I have have also worked a treat. I am double layering my socks. So far, so good. No blisters – yet. But then, I have walked no further than 12 km. I still have such a long way to go in terms of training. ☺️

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Not sure whether I will get to the average 20 km a hike that people tend to talk about as part of their Camino training. I’ll let you know if that happens. I do think that where I’ll really get whipped into shape is when the rubber hits the road. Anything else is just playing for time.