Barefoot Cooking Class

I took three cooking classes on my big trip in 2013 and 2014. One in Nepal and two in India. Each one left me with their own special memories. The one in Kathmandu began with a trip to a local shop to buy ingredients so you get to see how locals buy their food. The next was in Thekkady, India and part of an organized tour. The instructor looked like Jerry Stiller (Ben Stiller’s dad, played George Costanza’s dad on Seinfeld) and I found a gigantic tick crawling up my leg. The third one was in Varkala, a beach town in Kerala on the southwestern coast of India. Read more

Camino Notes: Why the Umbrella?

Backpack + Umbrella

You’re out hiking. It starts to rain. You put on the shell jacket you bought for this very thing. It’s designed to “breathe” — to let water vapor out — while blocking the rain. But you’re hiking. You’re working up a sweat and your jacket’s high tech space age fabric isn’t breathing as much as you’d like. Now you have a decision to make: get soaked by the rain or soaked by your own sweat.

Back in the old days of the Camino—the Middle Ages—the days of wool, leather, and fur—a pilgrim on the road could either find the nearest shelter or just suffer through the damp. Read more

Camino Notes: Advice Without Spoilers

The evening before my Camino began, some new friends and I had dinner in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port with a woman who had walked 12 days before an injury ended her Camino. Twelve days! A veteran. We plied her with questions. Now I don’t remember anything she said.

I’m a big believer in spontaneity on the Camino—if you’re planning too much, you’re doing it wrong. Advice kind of implies planning, but I would like to give some very minimal advice without too many specifics. Advice without spoilers, if you will.
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