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.
14 thoughts on “Two days to go”
(This may be a repeat. But in my browser my comment didn’t seem to post.) Check out Duolingo.com for your Spanish. It has an app for your phone. It is a wonderful language site and it FREE.
Muk Muk, you are heading back to the trail, which is where you need to be. You will do fine. No worries.
So exciting! Can’t wait to follow along!
I am totally happy for you. After everything you have been doing this will feel great. I am excited to hear about your new travels and the cool exciting places you will see. I thought your Mosque trip was pretty fantastic itself! That Mall must be amazing. Here si to good times ahead!
I seem to follow several blogs by folks that do lots of traveling or are living abroad. I just wanted to say, of all of them I feel like yours is the most real and honest. I love getting a peek into your adventures in such a candid way, rather than a polished instagrammed, ‘best-of’ way.
Thank you for taking us all along on your adventure!! I can’t wait to see what the trail is like 🙂
Hurrah….have a wonderful time, Rozanne…and walk a mile dedicated to this old girl…call it Barbie Mile….thanks…when I was a surfer girl we would surf a wave for someone special in our lives and call out, “This one’s for you, (name)”! Thanks, and be safe…
22 lb base weight.. ouch! How many miles/day do you expect to walk (sorry if you already mentioned it in a previous post..)?
I’ll hopefully average between 25-30km a day. The suggested stages are here: https://serialnomad.com/el-camino-de-santiago-del-norte/stages-of-the-northern-way/
Probably simply bizarre to be in a mall with snow and thinking about walking in Spain within a matter of days. The life of a serial nomad! Enjoy!
Don’t forget your Dirty Girl gaiters!!
MUK!!!!?? Did Min, Leigh and myself not in plain language tutor you on your camera angles?!!! Okay, we teased, mocked, and ridiculed you (lovingly, of course) unitl we all nearly pee’d our pants !!! Show us the #%&! VEST!!!!
Don’t forget you dirty girl gaiters!! Have fun!
Muk Muk, you can also get anything you need at Cortes Ingles…should be one in San Sebastian and definitely BIlbao. Also, if your pack weight is more than 8kg you have too much stuff. You won’t need it on the Camino. 🙂 Here’s a packing list from my first Camino: http://renegadepilgrim.com/renegadepilgr/2011/10/how-to-see-northern-spain-on-25-euros.html (I have a Google Doc with much more detail if you’re interested, though I think you’ll just have to figure it out for yourself!)
I’ve heard several hikers talk about a much loved rain cape they purchased in Spain for the trail. I looked online for the US and they seem to be an exclusive item for Spain. I didn’t flag the name or I’d pass it on to you.