I should have packed earlier

My advice, which I don’t always follow myself, is pack early and follow a complete packing list.

For this walk, I started to assemble the clothes and other gear the day before we flew. That wasn’t very bright. Some things that I only use during our long walks have been in hiding for six months and in places that I had trouble finding. Some things should have been inspected like the pack pack cover that needed to be re-waterproofed or the light jacket that I should have washed.

Sadly, my bigger regret is already the things I have forgotten. I have only discovered that I forgot one thing so far, but it’s a doozy. My scallop shell, the symbol of a Santiago pilgrim, is sitting on a shelf in our living room while I am sitting on a train for Paris to Montpellier. That shell hung from my backpack every step of the way from St. Jean Pied de Port o Santiago in 2012. It was also there every kilometer from Lisbon to Santiago in 2014 and from Irun to Santiago last year. I’m kicking myself. What else did I forget? (Edited to add that I just realized I forgot a antibiotic prescription too. Ugh)

So, why were these things forgotten? Two reasons. I did use a packing list but I had mistakenly edited it to make it too general for long walks. I had deleted things like the shell, a stone for the Cruz de Ferro and prescription medicines. Worse, I actually left the packing until one hour before the taxi came to take us to the airport. It was such a frantic rush to pack, including making a container for our walking sticks, liquids, sharp objects and other things that needed to be checked in. It was so rushed that I had no time to think of the things I should have remembered.

What to do? Another lesson learned.

By the way, our flight on Singapore Air to Paris was okay. We were lucky that despite a nearly full plane, Melanie & I had a row of four seats to ourselves. That made for a good sleep with Melanie across the seats and me stretched out on the floor. The sound on our seat-back video died for a while and we had some VERY turbulent conditions just past the Black Sea but otherwise, all was good. Immigration in Paris took far too long but we are loving the train direct from the airport to Montpellier.

It’s a good start. Peace y’all.

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