A hundred years ago, when we were in Pamplona and decided to switch from the “reminds-us-too-much-of-the-405-in-rush-hour” Camino Frances to the wild and rugged trails of the Camino del Norte, I realized I would have to significantly lighten my pack if I were going to be able to schlepp the requisite kilometers in any 24 hours’ worth of daylight. I created a pile of things I could do without in our room at the much-beloved Gran Hotel La Perla.

Some things I have not missed at all: a pair of capri hiking pants, a surprisingly heavy sports bra and some items from my maniacally over-stuffed first aid kit. Who needs a first aid kit in a country where there’s no such thing as a prescription?

Some things I have missed a little: my bathing suit and long underwear bottoms (the long underwear was subsequently and happily replaced and have come in very handy in our, shall we say, less generous establishments.) But the one thing I threw blithely into the pile thinking “Oh, I can just get this from the hotels and pensions we stay in” that I REALLY have missed (and this is just to show you how shallow I remain after over 100 miles of meditative walking on the Camino) is…..

Crema Suavizante.

aka Conditioner.

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