It’s 8:30pm on Thursday night in Dubai and I’m drinking coffee watching people skiing in the snowfields of the Mall of the Emirates. This is not the first time I’ve seen it, but again I’m struck by the absurdity and equal wow factor of an indoor ski venue in the middle of the desert.
This is my second and final shopping excursion for Spain and I’m having to swallow the now or never reality and just grab what I can. I don’t recommend planning a 30 day hike in one week. There’s nothing heroic or admirable about being unorganised or unprepared, but the idea of taking each day as it comes is a refreshing one, especially knowing that supplies are so close to the trail. I started my shopping expedition back at Carrefour where I purchased my suitcase a couple of days ago…
I managed to collect the majority of items on my list (deodorant stick, zip lock bags, pocket knife, wipes, antiseptic cream, tape for blisters, lip balm), but failed to come across waterproof or rain pants despite my efforts to mimic rain with my hands to some of the staff who clearly didn’t speak english or have a clue what I was talking about. For some reason I felt like I was moving in slow motion through the mall, completely drained of energy, wondering what my fitness will be like after two months of only walking to and from site. I haven’t carried my pack for almost 6 months now, although it will be much lighter with only minimal food and snacks plus water. Currently my base weight is only 10kg! After successfully finding rain pants and ignoring the huge price tag that came with them, I needed a caffeine pep up and moment to regroup at Costa.
Next stop was Borders in the hope to find a pocket sized Spanish phrase book. They had every other language but Spanish, however they had a larger book that had a mix of European languages. There were about 12 pages out of the 120 for Spanish, so like any typical hiker with a little ingenuity, I took photos of the pages that will help me to ask how to get to the centre of town, hostel, campground, how to order basic food and say hello, goodbye and thank you. I’m set!
After all the excitement of Emirates Mall I came home and laid all my items on the couch to reassess. The reality of the trail dawned on me a little looking at the contents of my life for the next 30 days, but to be honest it will continue to feel like a dream until I step off the plane on Saturday afternoon.