Camino #4 – Gear

Today I made two more purchases for my Camino walk. First, after spending ages online, I finally found a pair of Teva sandals in size 7. I usually wear a size 6, but the Camino forum’s advice is to go a size larger because feet swell with walking and a heavy pack. Also I will be wearing socks with them sometimes – more forum information.

About six weeks ago, I had ordered a pair of the same sandals from Sporting Life on sale. They never came and never came. Eventually my order was cancelled. Sigh! Today online at Sporting Life, the sandals were $90.00 plus tax. Back to more searches. Most of the online sandals on sale were out of size 7. Normal doesn’t work (neither does abnormal, but for different reasons). Finally I found a pair in Canada (I’m avoiding Amazon) for $44.00. However, with shipping and tax the actual cost was over $60.00. Still cheaper than Sporting Life. I ordered them from a store in Hamilton – Tootsies. I hope they fit.

My second purchase was a Turkish towel. If you happen to stay in a hostel, they do not provide towels (or sheets or blankets). One woman recommended a Turkish towel for all the right reasons:

1. It is a towel that is very large approximately 40″ x 70″, but folds down to a very compact square.

2. It dries quickly.

3. It can be used as a wrap on the beach, a sarong to enter churches, and a cover-up for showers, etc.

4. It seconds as a curtain for privacy in a hostel.

5. It becomes a blanket on chilly nights.

I decided I needed one of these. Back online, I found lots of places that sold Turkish towels, some were actually made in Turkey. MEC’s were made in China. Curiously, there was a website that gave an address that was very close to me and not where you would find a store, in fact it was a condo building. Well, I could walk there and why not? Their towels were $10 – $20 cheaper than the $40-$50 (plus tax & shipping) from other on-line stores. I had an online chat with the owner. She gave me her telephone number. I called her when I was close to her address. She met me outside with  a choice of 3 towels. I bought a grey and white one – my other choices were orange and white – too bright!

Finally, I bought 4 pairs of socks from The Great Canadian Sox Company – 2 pairs of Merino & 2 pairs of Cashmere, all for a little over $50.00. This factory outlet is a great find, given that I can drive there in 20 minutes and the selection is amazing!!

It was a great day for Camino purchases!!

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