Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The master bath rehab, an update

Slow is good. We may finish this project before I get my passport and we try again to take to the Camino in France...or maybe not.

All the wallpaper is gone.
 I can reach the high ceilings from the top step of the ladder.
 Tomorrow's question: Can a ladder stand securely in a bathtub?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Beryl Rainy day

The great master bath update continues. The paper is all stripped. Today we started buying paint...just ceiling paint so far. Driving over to get the paint, our Taurus, which is almost as old as the master bath, turned to 100,000 miles.
Buying paint was enough for one day on this take-our-time project. So we took Jake for a walk between Beryl rain bands. We saw this little guy sitting in a boxwood bush.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What to Do When You Have to Cancel Your Vacation?

Rehab a bathroom, of course. Steaming off old wallpaper is almost as much fun as trudging up high mountains in the rain.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Working on Plan B

Jake likes the turn of events more than we do. The packs were ready to go aboard with us and the little duffel ready to carry our walking sticks, scissors, and liquids in checked luggage. Three weeks of everything we need in a small pile. Jake was eyeing it.
As it turned out, he needn't have worried. We had to cancel the trip at the last minute because my passport had fewer than 90 days remaining to the expiration date. Now that is a bad mistake.

Luckily all the training has its own payoff. We got strong and had many lovely training walks in the woods. And, we parred our pack weights down to 13.5 and 16.5 pounds. We won't lose those packing lists.
We are not yet recovered from the shock of not starting to walk tomorrow. We had some really interesting looking places lined up to stay.
We are working on Plan B. Maybe in September we will do the walk we planned for now. Or, maybe we'll volunteer as hospitaleros in September or October and reconsider this walk in a year.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Lodging for Every Night

I have now communicated with a huge number of hoteliers in France! It seems a bit to violate the pilgrim ethic of letting the Camino decide, but I can live with that. At last I have a booking for each night and I am very happy not to have to worry about it while on the trail. You can go to the tourist offices in the few bigger towns along the way and get them to call for you, but I will be happy to sit in a cafe and drink cafe au lait instead of doing that.

We have a great mix of guest houses, hostels, and a few hotels...even an abbey and a chateau, both of which are  UNESCO World Heritage sites. The trail looks challenging and we have planned shorter walks than in the past, averaging 9 miles a day, with the longest being 15. Our packs are lighter than last year too, which required amazing discipline on our parts. Now the trick is to avoid throwing things in at the end. Funny how that extra shirt I took out last week now calls to me from the drawer. It really wants to come with me.

Reptiles Seen on our Last Long Training Hike

We saw an otter, deer, and lots of  birds, including abundant red-headed woodpeckers on our morning walk, but we only managed to grab photos of reptiles. We were disappointed not to have seen tortoises, as we often have in the past.

An eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

This was one of many seen during our morning walk.

A black racer (Coluber constrictor)
This mid-sized racer seemed almost as intent looking over us as we were interested in him.

A broad-headed skink (Eumeces laticeps)

These skinks grow larger than most other kinds of local lizards, and the adult males develop a red-coloration on the head, and particularly on the enlarged jaws.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Week Before We Leave

Today will probably be our final long training walk. We did 8 miles at San Felasco Hammock with full backpacks. You may recall that we have previously posted a photo of a tree that looked liked it might fall down any minute. It looked like that for years...but it finally fell. It didn't break at the narrow spot, but collapsed right at ground level. Happily, we weren't there when it happened.

In addition to fallen gtrees, today we saw a deer, some fence lizards, an otter, red-headed woodpeckers, and a black racer. I saw the otter way up ahead on a straight section of the trail. I thought it was a turtle, but it didn't walk right for a turtle. Then I thought it was a little black pig, until it turned and I saw its tail. Too long for a pig, so I guessed possum. Eventually it got close enough so it noticed us and ran off into the woods. Definitely an otter.

We have reservations for most of our nights on the trail. In France, reservations are needed and I decided not to try to make them while on the trail. It is perfectly possible to do that, but takes time that I'd rather be taking photos, or eating French cheese, or just enjoying the wherever I am at the moment. So I have been booking ahead by internet.

We'll stay in guest houses and hostels, and a few hotels. We'll try to post along the way using our new i-phones and the blogger app that I tried out last night with okay success.

This is the logistics and training phase and we are glad it is almost at an end. Now, we look forward to getting on the trail.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trying out my iPhone blogger app

We got new iPhones for the Camino. We'd like to leave most other electronics behind and save about a pound. This is the first attempt to use the blogger app. The photo is the Barry Farm where we plan to stay one night in a hostel.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Camino Calls Us Back Yet Again

We have our plane tickets and our new Pilgrim Passports. Jake's favorite dog and house sitter has agreed to take care of him. He is wagging and barking for joy. So we are off again, leaving Sunday May 20 for about 3 weeks on "The Way." We expect to see more Americans this year, in the aftermath of the Martin Sheen-Emilio Estevez movie about it.

This will be our 4th Camino walk. We have walked the full distance across Spain to Santiago. This time, we return to France and the first segment of the route, from Le Puy en Velay to Figeac.

We hope to complete 150 rigorous and scenic miles. That would leave us 'only' about 200 miles unwalked on the 1,000-mile trail.

We bought new backpacks and a few new items of gear and clothing. We selected a few items we will leave behind to lighten the razor this year, fewer shirts, apps on our phones instead of flashlights, a compass, and Kindles. I'm even going to try a blogger app, although thumb typing a post seems not too practical.

We have maintained our training schedule of about 100 miles of walking a month since the first of the year. A few weeks ago, probably not enough weeks ago, we added our packs to our walking. Today we did a bit over 8 miles with fully loaded packs. I decided I'm not as ready as I wish I were.

But it is amazing to have the chance to try another section of this magnificent route. We will keep on blogging about how we're doing and what we're seeing and experiencing.