This morning C brought me breakfast in bed, which included an ensaïmada, a pastry famous on Mallorca, but supposedly not replicated elsewhere. People have tried but they never seem to turn out well whether it's due to the type of flour, the sea air or differences in the "mother" dough. Or perhaps it's a key ingredient, difficult to find elsewhere, reduced pork lard. Of course something this good can't possibly be healthy:
It is delicious and light as a feather.
I thought I'd write some reflections starting with the items I brought that I couldn't live without:
1. Rain pants. I am miserable if I'm cold or wet, which is one of the reasons I'm not cut out for skiing. I lost my first pair, which by the way have been found and may make it back to me after the fact, and bought a second. I was a happier hiker for them. C doesn't mind wet legs so he was fine with just a jacket.
2. Tools: my Slip 'n Snip made in the USA scissors. No foldable scissors I've seen matches their quality and we used them every day. Also a sharp pocket knife and a mini multi-tool, thank you KC, who made sure we had both those items.
3. High Goretex hiking boots. Your feet will stay dry and your ankles will thank you on downhill loose shale. As a alternative I wore trail runners and ankle braces on both legs due to my ankle fractures, existing and past and felt I had more stability than my boots offered.
4. Hiking pants with zip off legs. The weather changes quickly.
5. Toe sock liners: although they caused the only blister of our Camino, it was my own fault as didn't put them on correctly on one day and the rubbing caused the blister. Ours were Injinji brand and for most of the Camino these liners served as my only socks and I am convinced saved our feet.
6. For me, a sarong was perfect for accommodation with shared bathroom, to wear to and from the shower. Also handy when doing all your laundry at once.
7. I brought along a Punktar ball, a spikey massage ball that was gifted to me a few years back by cousin Joan in Denmark. It was a pain saver and C gave me a hard time about toting it along.
8. Nail clipper and other foot care items: bandaid blister patches, corn pads, tape.
9. Antibacterial wipes: bring enough as they not available in Spain.
10. Duct tape, a small supply wrapped around our hiking poles came in handy. Some people swear by using duct tape as soon as you feel a hotspot on your feet as a way of avoiding blisters. The toe socks worked well for us, so we didn't try it out, but we used the duct tape many times.
11. Hiking poles for steep rocky surfaces.
12. A hat that keeps the sun off your ears and neck, also useful for the rain.
14. Small and medium carabiners, a length of cord, a couple of S hooks, clothes pins and large safety pins - all used.
15. Our iPhones, with 15e Vodaphone SIM cards, also served as our camera, books and computer. The Buen Camino app was quite helpful, but so was Google maps in the larger cities to navigate off the Camino. We used booking.com frequently.
16. A large heavy plastic bag or a foldable "Kitchen Sink" for ice water dips for your feet. I didn't meet anyone who walked 750+k who didn't experience foot pain of some sort.
17. The one item for which we were most thankful were our Aarn body packs from New Zealand. There was absolutely no pressure on our shoulders and necks and the load was equally distributed in front and back allowing us to walk with good posture. The front pockets allowed easy access to snacks, trail guide, phone/camera.
C put a couple of the items to use when drying clothes:
A good use of the multi tool:
One item I really wished I had brought were my Transitions glasses instead of regular sunglasses. Transitions are not polarized and it would have been easier to take pictures using the screen as it is impossible to see it through polarized lenses. I ended up not wearing sunglasses at all, but had a good wide brimmed hat on the sunny days.
More thoughts from Mallorca tomorrow.