(Click on the picture to make it bigger)This may seem a little much for some people, but when you have to carry all of your belongings on your back for 6 weeks, every gram counts! If my calculations are correct, I should not be carrying any more than 15 pounds/6.8 kg when I have food and water in my pack. That's about 13% to 14% of my body weight. The recommended is 10%, but I can't see that happening.
I was already trying to find ways to shed some extra weight. I even took apart my book of maps in order to save a few grams (It worked! I saved 50 grams). Traded my Keen sandals for those ugly Crocs. That saved my over 200 grams alone! Also, I had my hand towel cut into smaller pieces (only needed wash cloth size anyway) to help save me 30 grams. The one thing that did disappoint me was not being able to take my St. Thomas's My Way of Life that Mom got me for my birthday. Although it is light, I don't have any extra weight that I am able to spare. On the brighter side, I am going to be able to take the Anglican prayer beads that she got me! I have already started learning some of the prayers that go along with them.
I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do about communication. I do know that I am taking my phone, so relax people. However, I have to talk with the people at Verizon to see what is the best option for me. Texting and emailing is all that I will need to do. Mom already has said that she will only require a text or email every now and then, which I understand. So, an international plan might not be necessary, but I'll check all that out when I talk with Verizon soon. Not sure what plans Candy has in the communication department, and I don't think she doesn't either since she keeps asking me what I plan on doing.
Dad gave me an old iPod that I will be using for video and pictures. It is set up with the Blogger app, this way I can update my blog when I have wifi, and email. Don't worry, I have created a separate email address to use while in Spain. Just let me know if you want it, and I'll get it to you.
Candy and I have been trying to use our weekends wisely. Meaning that each Saturday is devoted to hiking with our fully loaded packs for 10 miles or more. During the week, however, I do try to go running at least every other day. I am able to comfortably run about 5 miles. **Note to self: don't try to run right after it finishes raining because it just might start raining again. Then you will have to stop by your friend's house on a Saturday morning begging for covering. Thank you Ms. Janet and Joy!!
As I am typing all this out, it just hits me on how real this trip really is. In less than 2 months I will be half way around the world doing something that I would never thought I would be possible. Mom said that she is sure that this is only the beginning for me. I told her that most people say that once you do the Camino, you'll be coming back for more. I am sure that this will be true. I am getting more and more excited about the spiritual side of this trip, about what God has planned for me in Spain. I know that I have said this before, but there is just a burning desire and passion to see what God has waiting for me that I just can't wait to experience it. Even that means suffering is part of it (well, I KNOW there will be suffering, ha ha ha).