Shopping for the Camino, Pt. II


The first of three posts today. The second post is here, and the third post is here.

This morning, I headed back to Cotswolds Outdoors, this time at Covent Garden, to – hopefully – finish off my shopping. I was more-or-less successful. Here’s what I bought:

  • Gloves
  • Kendal Mint Cake x3
  • Pants x2
  • Socks, smart wool x4
  • Top and leggings
  • Trousers x2

My feet are Size 10/10.5. The socks are XL so were made for feet Size 11 and upwards. I chose them, however, because I was told yesterday that when walking my feet will expand. I don’t want to wear anything that gets unnecessarily tight on me.

The pants are (deep breath) Ball park pouch, quick drying, moisture wicking, anti-microbial and semi-compression – whatever that means.

The top and leggings are in lieu of pyjamas. Made by a company called HH (‘Alive since 1877’, which seems pretty impressive) they act like thermal underwear.

The gloves are very thin and really just in case I need them on cold days. Hopefully, when April turns into May, I’ll be able to leave them at the bottom of the backpack with the rain coat.

Last year, I took a bar of Kendal mint cake with me on the annual G. K. Chesterton pilgrimage (from Kensington to Beaconsfield). I ate half of it as I started to flag on the long canal section of the walk. Instant sugar rush! I felt, well, pretty glorious, actually. The mint cake is basically all sugar and there in case I need a dose of energy.

I can’t say the same will happen again, but after I ate my mint cake last year, I was worried that I would experience an energy crash. But, for the rest of the very long day, it never came…

Today’s bill – after discount – came to around £300, making a total bill for my preparation £1,100. For me, and I imagine for many people, this is a huge amount. Of course, I am not buying goods that will self-destruct after I have used them. The backpack, boots, clothes will all be usable for a long time after the Camino has ended.

Despite the above, I am still not quite finished. I still need to buy the following:

  • A hotel room in Saint Jean Pied de Port for the 9th April (I intend to stay in an albergue on the 10th before leaving SJPdP on the 11th)
  • Walking sticks or staff. I so want to buy a staff like Gandalf’s but I imagine I will have to ‘make do’ with sticks.
  • Sandals

And some ‘minor’ (i.e. cheaper) items:

  • Toiletries
  • Adaptor
  • Sewing Kit
  • Travel Insurance
  • Waterproof trousers (Possibly. I might stick with what I have got)

Before I leave the house, I will also steal a roll of toilet paper in case of need. By-the-bye, one of the Cotswolds’ staff yesterday told me that tampons were very useful – I guess for their absorption capability. Part of me would be very happy to take a couple, as well as two of this, that and the other just in case I need it but I shall do my best to resist such an idea.

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