I am ready to go! Not "ready" as in "strong enough to do the walk" or "packed & prepared", but "ready" as in "get me out of this heat!". I don't know what I was thinking when I told people that my plan was that, by August, I would be walking 8 to 10 miles regularly with my backpack!! According to weather.com, its a cool 97 degrees (down from an earlier 102) but feels like 100 and its after 7pm. Last night I had a nearly euphoric walk in the rain for 2 &1/2 hours, but tonight I simply cannot do it. The one thing I have definitely learned in the process of getting prepared for this 200 mile walk is that (like all home projects), its a bigger and more time-consuming undertaking than it originally appeared. The good news is that I am reasonably confident that I will not need to be airlifted out by helicopter (which might have occurred had I not taken this as seriously as I have done), but I am not sure about my readiness to walk 20 kms day after day. Amongst the other things I have learned while preparing for this walk across Spain are the following: (1) blisters are inevitable: that's why they make bandaids! (2) Texas in August is not the ideal time to train for long-distance walking (duh!!) (3) the most important pieces of equipment are good shoes (definitely worth having spent the money to buy my THIRD pair to finally get it right) and a fully loaded iPod; (4) that I live just on the edge of quite the upscale neighborhood which I had never seen due to the incline of the streets; (5) peanut butter & jelly and mixed berry & yogurt smoothies are nearly perfect foods; (6) there is no such thing as being fully prepared--that I just need to accept that the unexpected will happen; (7) sex and food are great, but few things compare to the pure joy of soaking your feet after a long, hot walk up & down hills; and (8) walking in the rain at sunset is about as good as it gets.
I am anxiously awaiting my arrival in Madrid and onto Astorga, hoping that I am "ready enough".