Tag Archives: Camino de Santiago

Ultra Light Packing List for the Camino De Santiago

Here are some links to all the stuff I’m bringing on the Camino.

I didn’t mention these in my video, but gel toe caps are fantastic!


The place where I bought my sleeping bag:


I bought my backpack at REI.  It feels perfect on my back.


1,000 mile socks

Sock liners

Outdoor research Seattle sun / rain sombrero 

Guide book

Solar Charger

Portable Cup

Mesh Bags

Pack liner (you can also use a garbage bag)

Ear Plugs


Platypus Big Zip

Small day pack

Dry packs

Blister stuff

Backpackers panties 

Biodegradabile soap / shampoo

My official ultra light packing list for the Camino De Santiago:

First Aid kit

Moleskin, bandage tape, small scissors, etc..

Toe gel tips

Knee brace


Sleeping pills


2 pair undies

2 pair 1000 mile socks

2 liner socks

Flannel shirt

Long sleeve purple shirt

Long underwear

Tank top

T shirt


Head band

Bathing suit

Outer Shells

Rain jacket

Down jacket

Rain pants

The essentials

Sleeping bag


Guide book

Itinerary / passport / I.D / Credit card

Travel towel

Platypus bottle

Journal / pen

Everything else

Pack liner

Secret travel pouch

Travel backpack for groceries / airplane ride

3 mesh bags for loose items


Drain plug

Clothes pins

Ear plugs

Eye shades

Head lamp


Small knife


Folding cup

Eat N tool

Rock from home


Iphone / earphones / charger / solar charger



Shampoo / soap / detergent bars

Comb / mirror


Toilet paper in ziplock

Deodorant (no dispenser)

Toothbrush / paste

Period stuff



Spanish cheat sheet (lighter than a book)

Good cheer

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Filed under Travel

Melanie’s Amazing Adventure Just Got More Amazing and More Adventure

English: camino de santiago

English: camino de santiago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so my original plan was to go on the Camino De Santiago pilgrimage and walk the entire width of Spain.  I decided this before I went to Colombia.  It was an elusive, scary idea that I couldn’t fathom undertaking alone – or without some kind of kick in the ass to get me going.

Then I was invited to go on a tour of Europe with my friends parents.  You can read about that tour here.  And I thought, “Ah perfect!  A perfect introduction to European travel before embarking on a scary mission to find myself.  It’s a way to start my journey – an ease of access to reach the beginning of my adventure.”

Basically, it was that kick in the ass I needed to jump start my trek.  I’d already be in Europe, so there’s no excuse not to go through with it.  The first two weeks of my European adventure would be living it up like a princess getting three squares a day and a warm bed at night.  After those two weeks is when the umbilical detaches, and I’ll be on my own to find the way to Santiago, Spain.

It was still a bit unnerving to handle for an unseasoned traveler such as myself.  I still live with my parents for cripes sake!  But then Amy said she’d meet me there for the last two weeks of the pilgrimage.  With her going, it became a LOT less scary and more concrete.  She’s already been approved the time off, the dates are set and my journey is beginning to take shape.

Here’s where things get spicy;  the tour of Eastern and Central Europe just got bumped ahead of schedule by a full month.  I’m now leaving in  April, not May.  Which gives me more than just two weeks alone by myself.  The exact dates of the tour are April 7 – 20.  Amy is coming to meet me around June 17th.  So that leaves me with 58 days by myself in Europe.  58 days!  I’ll be gone a total of 85 days.  Almost three months abroad.

I’m a complete idiot.  The last big trip I went on, I got booted out of the travel group – and they were my friends who booted me!  That goes to show you how much of an idiot I am.  And the scariest part is, I don’t even know what I do wrong!

I’ll be going there completely unequipped, unarmed with brains or brawn, carrying around my nana’s 50-year-old police (rape) whistle.

The surrounding rapists will hear the call of the whistle and gather to join in with their fellow rapist like a gaggle of geese, or stampede of wild buffalo.

Rapist #1 – “Do you hear that?”

Rapist #2 – “Sounds like a rape whistle.”

Rapist #3 – “Music to my ears boys, let’s see if anything’s left of her.”

A stout evil Monopoly man with a monocle wobbles behind them rubbing his hands together, “Yes, let’s see what’s left teeheehee.”

A man wearing stripes on a unicycle follows suit upon hearing the rape whistle a second time.

Men rowing gondola’s while serenading romantic couple’s throw down their oars and rev up their hidden gondola engines.

Gondola man – “Get out you two, scram!”

Husband – “But I paid good money for this romantic evening with my new bride.  You can’t just throw us overboard!”

Gondola man – “Shhh…You hear that?”

New wife – “Sounds like a rape whistle.”

Husband – “What do you say honey, shall we check it out?”

New wife –  “Yes we shall.  Let’s see if anything’s left for us.”

Gondola man – “To the rape whistle then!”

Vroooooom.  They storm the canals in their gondola turned jet boat.

At that point I’ll be running for my life.  Throwing down my heavy pack and running full force with my little whistle dangling from my lips.  I’ll end up in the trenches, or the sewers where I’ll meet other women who also fled from the country of rapists.  All of them safe underground, hooking up with homeless men who bring dumpster food home to feed their kids.  The kids have scales, some no eye lids, and extra body parts from conjoined twins.

Me – “Hole – lee – shit.”

Sewer people – “It’s okay, really, you’re safe here.”

Sewer granny – “You want some tea dearie?  I made it from the moss that hangs yonder.  Rat shit-kabobs are on the menu tonight.”

Me – “Well, when in Rome….”

Sewer granny – “Rome is surely wonderful once you get past all the rape.”

She smiles flashing her black mossy teeth.

That could happen to me!  Maybe not in Rome, but surely in France.

No, of course that won’t happen.  I’ll be safe, I’ll sightsee and stay on the main roads the whole time.  I’ll have enough money as long as I keep my expenses low.  As of this very moment, I can afford it but it would be very tight.  I have five more months to fill my pockets before I leave. In five months, I should have more than enough.

Shit…I have so much to do.  So much to plan!

I’m such a lazy lay-about.  Truly, I love to sit.  To wake up late and sit some more.  Have my blog in my lap.

Amy just stopped by my office on her way home from work.  She came very close to talking me out of this.

Amy – “I can change my time off to meet you sooner.”

Me – “Nah, that’s okay.”

Amy – “Are you sure?  That’s 8 weeks man, it’s a long time to take off from work.”

Her biggest concern was me missing work.  For the past 31 years of my life, I had no money to save.  I not only had no money to save, but nothing to save for.  Now I finally have a little extra.  I have the right job, the timing is right, the budget fits – and who know’s when I’d get another chance like this?

My heart is saying do it, my brain is saying “whoa there slow down Nessie.”

Double thinking things through drains me.  I don’t like to think twice about anything my heart is telling me to do.  My vibrance trickles out when I don’t follow my dreams, and this has always been a dream.

Once I’m out there on my own, I feel my heart will fill with historic luminescence.  Beautiful landscapes, sunsets, bunking and sharing meals with strangers, my own dusty two feet walking one step in front of the other.  I can picture it.  Walking side by side with the man himself, God.

In the future when I look back at all I’ve accomplished, it may never add up to much of anything, but I’ll at least have this.  I’ll at least have the experience of going off on my own to see the world.  I’m not going to settle for anything less in life.  Abundance follows me everywhere I go.  I’ll always be okay as long as I don’t misuse my nana’s rape whistle.

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Filed under All about me, humor, journal, random thoughts, Travel

Another day at work

My landlord is a cute little old bowlegged man who has a little old dog that is also bowlegged and follows him around wherever he goes.  Micky and Einstein side by side.  Micky’s office is across from mine, so all day long I  can hear him talk loudly into the receiver like he’s shouting over missiles or gunfire to save his life.  It’s hilarious listening to him talk.  Typical old-man speak.  “Gee golly, gosh darn willikers.”

Every now and then Einstein will get into the garbage or find something to rip apart and scatter all over the hallway outside my office.

Micky – “Einstein!  What did you do Einstein?  Bad dog.  Bad dog Einstein.  You little whipper-snapper you.  Now I have to clean it all up now don’t I?  Was it worth it to ya?”

Einstein stands there looking guilty, but couldn’t stop his tail from wagging.

Then the cute adorable receptionist who is as old as Micky comes to help out with her broom and dustpan.  She still wears secretarial outfits from the 1950’s and always keeps her hairdo perfect.  I adore her.

Linda – “Einstein must have had fun.  Didn’t you Einstein?”

His tail still wagging.  The old dog understands everything.

This happens maybe once or twice a week.

And this is where I work.  It’s an office building designed by Mr. Brady from the Brady bunch.  It’s a retro style with split levels and a confusing elevator that has 2 buttons to the same floor.  I’m on the basement level (cheap rent) where a mildew smell lingers after it rains.  A woman complained of my burning sage to rid the smell.

“It’s making me sick all her smells.”

Micky – “I’ll talk to her.”

I have to now keep my door closed when burning sage.  Who doesn’t love the smell of sage?

I’m known as the hippie girl who walks around barefoot and eats seaweed salad and sushi for lunch.  I’m here 7 days a week and I’m usually the last one to leave the building.

It’s scary here at night.  Most of the lights get turned off and no one is here but me.  I sit waiting for my next client, a complete stranger to take off their clothes in order for me to rub their naked body down.  It sounds scary, and I’m sure it’s not the smartest thing for me to do, staying here that late, but I don’t feel scared.  I’m more afraid being here alone than when a stranger is here with me.  My fear consists of demons, ghosts and monsters, not people.  Something from my childhood that I never grew out of.

No, actually I am scared of one person… the cleaning lady.  She comes twice a week at around 8pm to vacuum and take out the trash.  She’s always grumpy and not too nice to me.  I tried helping her lug the vacuum cleaner down the stairs but she grumbled and told me she got it even after telling me it was heavy and making loud distressing sounds.

When I’m cleaning up my office and packing stuff up for the night, I constantly hear her grumbling in the hallway.

Cleaning lady – “Come on come on!”  Talking to the elevator.  She hates the elevator more than anything.  The elevator and the vacuum cleaner are her two forsaken enemies.  I wish I can video tape it for you to understand.

She saw me naked once and it was very awkward.

A few months back I was putting together a shelf I bought from Target.  I had my music blaring, singing to myself.  Nobody was there.  Nobody except her, the cleaning lady.  It was summertime and I started getting hot so I took my top off.  I didn’t want to get it all sweaty and go out after smelling of sweat, so I took it off.  The cleaning lady came into my office and got an eyeful.

I had the door locked, my music on, but she still barged right in.  Our relationships been a little rocky since then.

It’s raining out.  It’s a grey day.  I love days like this.  I’m supposed to go hiking tomorrow after work.  Hopefully it will stop raining by then.  It’s not just a leisurely jaunt through the woods, no.  I’ll be backpacking it up a mountain to camp out in the wilderness and since I’m going after work at 5pm, it’s going to be pitch black by the time we get to the mountain.

Why am I doing this?   Because I never did anything like it before and I love myself a good adventure.  I don’t care if I’m cold, wet and hungry, if it’s something new and a tad scary, count me in!

My new and awesome friend, Amy, does these types of adventures all the time.  The girls got everything we can possibly need, so I’m in good hands.

What else is new with me?  Work is great, my finances are great, family in good health besides my mothers bum knee and pneumonia she’s okay.  I’m okay, I’m still friends with Dave cause I love the guy and he loves me.  I don’t care what he does in his personal affairs, it has nothing to do with me.

Really the only major concern I have at the moment has to do with my future.  7 months from now I can either take the biggest most profound journey of my life, or buy a house.  I wouldn’t actually be able to afford to live in the house, but can rent it out to people and make a small profit every month if I play my cards right.  It would be an investment property to put towards retirement.

Or go on a once in a lifetime trip of my dreams.

My friends parents are planning to go on an awesome vacation called The Magnificent Cities of Central and Eastern Europe and invited me to go along with them.  Well, it was a mass facebook invite to everyone, not to me personally.

I’ve known this family for over half my life, know they are good and fun people and so I decided to join them.  I’m bunking with their friend, Louise, who they say is a real Hoot.

I’m a traveler, or at least I want to become one.  The problem is, not everyone can afford it.  And even if they can afford it, they wouldn’t be able to get the time off from work.  So, when I know of someone traveling to an awesome destination – I have to jump on that chance.  Retirement plans can wait.  They  can always wait.

My plan is to go with them on this trip and afterwards, while I’m still in Europe, go on my pilgrimage.  It’s okay if I do that one alone.  Pilgrimages are supposed to be done alone anyway, so I’m hoping I have no tag-a-longs, but if I do, that’s okay too.  I have two friends interested in going and if they do, that would be fine and fun, but if they don’t, I’ll be okay with it.

I’m doing the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  I’m walking the width of Spain from the Southern border of France all the way to the beach on the other side of Spain.  500 miles in all.  I’ll be walking the way of St. James.

Miracles are said to happen on the journey along with spiritual growth.  The scenery is poetic, the old churches and ruins are majestic.  It sounds simply outstanding.  Most people take the pilgrimage in hopes of finding God.  I already found God in Columbia, but there’s always more of God to see.

My first trekking experience was a bust, but it was because of the people I went with.  I’m being more careful this time and making the trip about me, not anyone else.  No one will be there to yell at me or call me names – if they do, I won’t get upset.  I know me and I love me.  If anyone has a problem with that, that’s just it – It’s their problem, not mine.  Aside from Columbia, this will be the next best experience of my life.

Every client I take, every night I stay home, I think about my trip – everything I’m doing is for this trip.  I really have to start planning for it.  Finding out how to get from Warsaw to southern France will be my biggest hurdle.  Once I’m on the Camino, it’s all down hill.

I just massaged the shit out of a big tough woman with the body of Tyson and the face and hair of Whoopie Goldberg (whom I love).  She’s a tough cookie.  Plays football.  I dug my elbow into a knot in her hamstring and she did not flinch.  She’s coming back after her big game in a few weeks.  I hate sports massage, but I made a vow to myself to do my best for every client – including the ones who are difficult.

The more people I massage, the more I learn weird shit.  Like for instance, after giving a massage, I place my hands on the crown of the persons head and let my energy permeate into them.  Sometimes I feel a rumbling in their head – like an earthquake is happening inside their skull.  When I open my eyes and look down at them, they are completely still and serene and I wonder if the rumbling is happening in my hands – not the persons head.  I’m starting to feel things using all the dimensions of my given senses, to see and feel what’s really there and not assume anything.  It’s a new level of focus.  And I believe focus can take you to a higher level of ascension.  Towards the mass consciousness of energy available to us from the universe.  It inspires you and fills you with creativity.

I know people are getting sick of hearing about this, but when I was awakened, all that shit you hear about being One with the universe is not bullshit.  The universe is spirit, it’s alive and it’s you.  It’s pure conscious energy.  I asked if there were any aliens out there, but I felt that there were none.  That there’s no need for other physical worlds while all we need is this one to hold us.  But even if there were aliens, they would be us.  They would look like us, talk like us.  We would be One with them as we are One with the universe.  What the bible says about us being made from the image of God is true.

There may only be this one physical world for us, but there are infinite heaven and hell worlds in the spirit world.

Its pretty cool…

What else do I have to write about?  I dreamt about zombies again.   To dream about Zombies means that there are deceitful people in my life out to harm me.  It was a sad dream.  It started out with me in high school and everyone started walking around like they had Parkinson’s disease.  Their legs were so wobbly they could barely walk.  Everyone had it except for me.  But no one took any notice to it, they all denied that anything was wrong with them.

Then they started changing into zombies and my dream became a mix between a 1980’s spoof comedy horror flick and an old Nintendo game called Street Fighter.  Two brothers untouched by the plague, team up with me to defeat them.

A guy just came in my office to say Hi.

Guy – “Hey you know all of us mortgage guys go out to Blackbird around 4 every Thursday and Friday if you want to stop down.”

Me – “Okay, yeah I totally will if I don’t have any clients.”

Surprisingly I actually have a crush on one of the mortgage guys.  He has the sweetest face ever – not handsome, but adorable.  And I was thinking earlier today if there was a way to get to know him better.  Weird how shit like that happens to me.  I swear to God that things, EVERYTHING, works out for me.  Always.  Like going hiking tomorrow, I was planning to hike the Appalachian trail and camp before the end of summer and here I am doing it without sincerely planning to.

Not that I’ll actually date the mortgage guy.  I’m too wrapped up in my own little world of massage and mayhem to get involved with anyone.

My last client will be here any minute.  She’s here.  I can hear her in the elevator.  And great…

I just got my period.


Filed under journal, Massage therapy