Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I was very confused about what to bring to wear. For some reason I had remembered that most Spanish old men wore suits with ties and shoes rather than sneakers.
I did not intend to look Spanish, but I did not want to insult people either or make Frank embarrassed to be seen with me or to introduce me to his relatives.
Frank wrote to me that I should wear what felt comfortable and that eased the decisions a bit.
However, I still thought that I should not wear white sneakers and that those were more for young people. Yet, those are my best shoes for walking, and I needed to protect my feet.
I settled on a pair of brown New Balance sneakers and a pair of black ones. The black perhaps are not broken in yet, so they were not the best. The brown were just great and seemed not to stand out as ridiculous for an old man.
I also knew most Spaniards did not wear the popular baseball cap that is common in the States and that I generally wear for protection from the sun.
Before I left I bought a hat I really liked and that worked very well. It was my everyday cap. It is called "newsboy" and looks a bit Irish.
I brought, but did not wear the old traditional black Spanish round hat. It would have been seen as very Spanish, but it lacks a brim to shade my eyes from the sun.
Frank brought a baseball cap, one of his collection. This one from Australia.  I guess I did not have to worry that I would embarrass him had I brought one.  But I like my hat better.
The weather was variable and sometimes would vary by many degrees in one day. I dressed too often in warm shirts in the morning and found myself hot by the midday.
However, the warm, long sleeve Wrangler two pocket shirts proved to be the best. They often made my heaviest coat, a hoodie in a nice gray color, unnecessary and cumbersome.
A little cooler than the Wrangler shirt was a short sleeved shirt that Penny's once sold, and it now not made and only available as Vintage. I like these very much. They are called BigMax.
I brought some light shirts, but I did not do well with them because the weather was just a bit too cold to make them comfortable, even with the raincoat.
My most versatile piece of clothing was the raincoat I bought recently. Even where there was no rain, it was a good wind breaker. I often went with the warm hat, a nice scarf, and that coat.
This coat has a zippered pocket in the front, rare in raincoats.
I was rarely too cold. Sometimes I was too warm.
Frank would sometimes carry my raincoat in his small day pack. I might want to buy one of those.
Pockets are important because I carry so many things. I am only wearing two pocket shirts now, and I love cargo pants.
I did not see any Spanish men wearing cargo pants and perhaps that set me apart, but I would be lost without them unless a day pack would make them less necessary. 
I brought the cargo pants with the zippered pockets and fabric that stayed relatively unwrinkled.  These were made by Dickies.
In addition, a great pocket was the zippered front pocket in my raincoat. I kept lots of things there and even carried Frank's umbrella one day. This was a great place to carry my camera at times when I was taking a lot of photographs.
I took my hiking socks, but even the new smart wool was a bit too hot. I best liked the socks they sell to old people, those with the white rounded bits on the bottom to preclude slipping. I'll get more of them.
I used a foot cream and never got blisters. This one I bought in Las Vegas when I forgot my usual, it is called Max foot cream. It does not get such great reviews, and once home again and reordering, I chose a different brand, Miracle Foot Repair.  It had better reviews.

In Spain I bought and used a stick that was supposed to eliminate blisters. It seemed to work, but I like the cream better until I ran out of it, or thought I had.  On the last few days, I took a knife and split the plastic container. There was plenty of cream in there for two more days.

Sunglasses were definitely needed.

I could do laundry in my sink in the hostal.  I did it only once.   I washed my cargo pants and some underwear, socks, and shirts.  They dried in a day or two at most and that set me up for the trip.  Eleven days is a lot different than over twenty.  They I have to do much more laundry.
I used a bar of Fels Naptha and find it works well on stains.  It is cheaper than the hand wash liquids and it gets through security. 
It works fine in laundry machines as well, but I take a knife and shave it in those situations so it dissolves easily.

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