I am writing this from my hotel room near JFK airport in New York City. I am finally on my way toward the Camino and the start of this new chapter in my life. This is where we move from the school of theory to the school of practice and where we will see how well we have learned our preparatory lessons. All I can say at this point is that we have prepared as well as we can for whatever lies before us.
Clint was very kind in that he got up quite early Wednesday morning and drove me to the airport in San Diego. It was a nice send off. Now, our next challenge will be to locate each other on Sunday in St. Jean Pied de Port. Wish us luck!
I was surprised to see how small the town of St. Jean Pied de Port actually is. In my mind, I had envisioned a pretty good-sized town. But, it turns out that the population is only about 1800 and the town itself covers only a few blocks. I took a virtual tour of the town on GoogleMaps found it to be quaint and charming. I can’t wait to see it for myself.
I was pleased that I came pretty close to the weight goal I had set for my backpack. We had been coached to aim for a pack weight about 10% of our body weight. I rounded that up to a goal of 20 pounds. Well, after cramming everything into the pack (and it was a very tight fit) the pack weighed in at about 22 pounds. I decided to go with this and not try to eliminate anything else. I had already tried to go as bare-boned as possible. After a few days on the Camino I may reconsider and cast off some superfluous items, but for now I don’t know what they might be.
I also checked the 10-day weather forecast for St. Jean Pied de Port and Pamplona on weather.com and it looks like we will very likely be getting wet early on in our pilgrimage. So, our ponchos will get used much sooner than I had hoped. But, I think that will be part of the Camino and we will just have to take what comes as it comes and adapt as necessary on the fly. Sounds like fun!