Safe arrival in France!

Phew. After some 30 hours of traveling I’m safely here in Bordeaux. I’m pretty tired so I’m not sure I’ll get much done tonight except sleep, but I wanted to let everyone know I’m here.
Mom insisted on waiting on the train platform yesterday morning in Syracuse until the train pulled away, which of course made it more emotional for both of us! But it was a sweet send-off. I’m very much surprising myself that there is no fear. Not even much nervous excitement. I’m very at peace and just doing it. So far the bus …

Packing for the Pilgrimage

Packing is nearly finished. I’ve been planning this for so long that I have everything I need, I’m just pulling it all together from all corners of the bathroom and closet. But here it is, the comprehensive list of everything I will bring on my pilgrimage for 6 weeks:

Wearing:

Merrell Moab Boot
1 lb. 13 oz.

Eddie Bauer fleece
1 lb.

Icebreaker GT Bike Grace short sleeve
5 oz.

Ibex Woolies 150 Bottom
6.7 oz.

Prana Pants
5 oz.

Kakadu Cape York Hat
5 oz.

TOTAL (lbs)
4.2

Carrying:

Osprey Kestrel 48L pack (straps trimmed)
3 lbs. 5 oz.

Mountain Hardwear Women’s UltraLamina Sleeping Bag 32
1 lb. 15 oz.

Red Ledge Raincoat
1 lb.

Eddie Bauer …

Canal

So, very interesting that I wrote about environmental stuff recently. Turns out, as we learned on our canal tour, big ships use $100,000 worth of fuel every day.
The average fee for the canal is something like $120,000 but the alternative is a 21 day trip south around the horn of South America which would cost $2,100,000 just in fuel. That number is staggering to me and makes me think that the $2 or whatever that I save in fuel by walking to the market is chump change.
Containers unloaded
I realized that my personal impacts would be …

Being Green

Before I left I finished a book called “Sleeping Naked is Green” about a self proclaimed “Eco-cynist” twenty-something living in Vancouver who decides to make one green change every day for a year. A lot of the changes are things that I’ve been doing for years: bring reusable water bottles, use a thermos for coffee, reuse plastic bags, stop using paper towels, try to buy local vegetables, reduce meat consumption. Some of the changes are things I’ve been thinking about for awhile: switch to all natural sunblock and shampoo, when it’s yellow let it mellow, …

Fifty Miles on the Panama Canal

(Anyone get the title reference? I have a certain folk song stuck in my head…)
We haven’t boated through the canal yet (thats saturday) but we did go to the museum and watched a ship to through the locks. Very cool. Of course Grandad is busy reading a big fat book of all of the history of the canal, so we practically had a guided tour.
Today we went to the old quarter (casco viejo) of Panama City which O really really liked the feel of. Sweet narrow streets, little vendors, beautiful church, colonial architecture… It was …