Monday, May 4, 2009

Check out my fire 'stache

I feel I should describe my physical appearance on the camino. We'll start from the top and work our way down...

-The hair- No styling gel (too heavy), just kinda brushed with my hands
-The face- After 21 days of being outdoors for 7 or 8 hours, very red and very, very freckly.
-The lips- Luscious...not. Very, very wind-chapped.
-The facial hair- I didn't bring a razor or cream because I didn't want the extra weight and I didn't want to have to shave. So I let it grow on the camino, and I'm still letting it grow. It's been 4 weeks now, and that's the longest I've ever gone without of course. It's, um, interesting. My facial hair doesn't grow in very thick, and I don't get much on my cheeks or on the sides. What I do have is a red moustache and soul patch--must be the Irish in me--and a black neard (or neck beard). As an act of solidarity, my brother Allen grew his beard out for me while I was on the camino. Very sweet. He even gave a sermon at his church looking very scraggly. "Who's that homeless guy preaching today?"
-Back of the neck- See "the face."
-Shoulders- Little sore at the end of the day, but not bad.
-Armpits- Apparently, I never sweat in the States because I've never noticed how smelly my pits can get. And of course, to keep the weight of my backpack down (and to prevent armpit cancer), I didn't bring deoderant with me. Next time, it might be worth the risk of cancer...
-Lower arms- See "the face." Opposite of upper arms, which are pasty and luminescent.
-Stomach- Yay for no more dysentery!
-Hips- Some redness from my backpack's hip belt. Some pain during the first few days, but not much afterwards.
-The "surgery area"- I think the second surgery worked! No problems at all!
-Thighs/hamstrings- Never hurt except at the end of the last day, which was my longest: 34 km (20 mi).
-Calves- I think they got a little bigger! Nevertheless, they're still quite chicken-like.
-Ankles- Good. Some weird swelling and pain on my right ankle during the first 3 days due to pressure from my boot, but heel inserts fixed that problem.
-Feet- Sore arches and sore "balls of the feet" at the end of the day, but more importantly...ONLY ONE BLISTER! It was pretty enormous, but it wasn't in a pretty insignificant place (between the third and fourth toes), and it didn't hurt at all once I applied a Second Skin bandage.

I was very, very lucky to have so few injuries and pain. I think I had some really great boots (Vasque) and a wonderful backpack (Gregory), which brings us to the clothing and accessories...

-Hat- Duke baseball cap and then later my Tilley hat (like a Fedora), which was perfect because it was lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and wide-brimmed.
-Outfit from an REI catalogue- Wicking t-shirt, wicking longsleeve shirt, fleece coat, rain jacket, the pants that can zip off to become shorts, waterproof pants shell thing, smartwool socks, wicking underwear, and the boots.
-The bling- Watch, beaded Maasai bracelet, my beaded Obama cuff I got in Kenya, and a Santiago cross necklace I bought in Pamplona.
-The stick- My Maasai oositeti given to me in Kenya so that I could "walk like a man."

Yes, I looked like I had walked right out of an REI catalogue, but so did everyone else. I kinda felt like I was back in the Northwest.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear that your "surgery area" is doing well.