What’s in my shopping bag for the Camino


Scallop shells are showing up in unexpected places. Everything is clicking. And then another song came tonight as I was putting away the dinner dishes.

Kyrie eleison down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie eleison on a highway in the light

This song by Mr. Mister was popular when I was in middle school, but I haven’t thought about it much since then. (That’s how I know it’s one of those messenger songs.)

Lord, have mercy on this road that I must travel.

Give it a listen. Yes, the band is 80’s electronica, but the chorus harmonies nail it. A plea, a prayer, a belief in the sacredness of walking your path. A wind reaches in to where we cannot hide and sets us on the road.

Packing my bags (almost)

That song came after a day of running errands to get my last bits of gear. Although I’m mostly reusing everything that went to Spain the last time, thanks to Amazon and several local businesses, I’m literally ready to pack my bag.

Here’s my haul:

Camino gear purchases

Here’s a full list of items (feel free to ask about them in the comments):

  • shoe inserts for arch support
  • a fleece neck gaiter which triples as a night-time mask and daytime hat
  • probiotic that doesn’t need refrigeration
  • hair ties
  • sunblock with no bad nasties in it
  • Mack’s ear plugs — I’m bringing these in addition to my trusty Hearoes
  • a compass/thermometer (my other one broke)
  • plastic S-hooks for keeping clothes dry in the shower
  • copy of my eyeglass prescription
  • two pair of lightweight Injinji toe socks
  • a new water bottle
  • zip quart bags
  • spray-on waterproofing for my sun hat
  • my new Camino guidebook
  • brand-new blank journal (AKA my camera, address book, planner, and journey-memory recorder)
  • a fanny pack

This is literally all the extra gear I needed. Next week I’ll be packing up my bag and test driving it for weight.

While I was out, I also got a short haircut that will be easy to take care of in Spain.

2016-04-01 16.06.02

Feeling groovy

Despite gaining all these items, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost sixteen pounds since I bought my tickets last fall. Though I haven’t measured, I’ve lost a lot in inches. Some of my clothes are looking a little baggy. I feel terrific. If I eat wheat, however, I feel terrible–my knee aches for days after. So I’ll keep avoiding it and loving this new skin I’m in.


10 thoughts on “What’s in my shopping bag for the Camino

  1. 25 days?? Seriously? I’m counting down along with you! Love the haircut, love the Mr. Mister song, love the energy and confidence. Go peregrina!!!!

  2. Woohoo! So glad everything is coming together for you!!! Fits and starts is what it takes before finding your groove! Elaine H.

  3. I can relate to “if I eat wheat, I feel terrible” and what a GREAT motivator that is – keep avoiding it to keep feeling terrific. Each time I indulge in something like wheat or dairy, I pay for it in how I feel physically, followed by emotionally and mentally. and yes, spiritually. It’s all connecter. rather, I’M all connected! I can now appreciate these messages from the food to eat better and feel good. Sometimes, I use one of my old AA slogans to avoid the food, ‘just for today’ next thing I know, 3 days have passed. and I’m still feeling good.
    I’m excited for you and your trip, Jen. Anita and I have a friend who is walking the Camino right now. I don’t know how much longer she will be on the path. But if you bump into someone named Kiersten from Portland… ❤

    1. It’s an amazingly small world, isn’t it? 🙂 Since I’m starting my journey at everyone else’s end, you just never know! I might see her!

      You’re absolutely right, Mary Ellen. One day at a time really works. This whole food thing started with a three-week elimination diet (wheat, diary, alcohol, corn, and soy). Knowing it was just for three weeks allowed me to really get into it and not worry about the lack. I avoided thinking about giving up any of those things forever, or I would never have started the diet in the first place. Once I realized how good I felt (and how bad when I began eating wheat again), I’m really motivated to avoid it completely. This is especially true because I need my body to work really well for all that time.

      Thanks for the cheers, support, and love! Here we go! ❤

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