Intermission Entry 33, November 22nd, 2011, 7:54pm (GMT +0)
A friend of mine from South Africa made me aware of this:
This “secrecy” bill gives the government authority to muzzle troublesome media outlets. Another battle won for fascism, but it still has to go to the high courts. We'll see what happens.
Things are finally starting to come together – and none too soon, as I leave Thursday morning. I have all the major pieces that I need – backpack, boots, warm clothes, rain gear, and maps (sort of). There are a couple of important bits still missing (gloves, compass), but I have another day to finish getting them. Tonight I run two important tests: the waterproof test, where I will climb into the shower fully equipped to see what still leaks, and the road test, where I'll do some wandering around the city to see how the loaded pack handles. I am a riot of nylon and primary colors.
The complexity of modern hiking equipment is astounding. Barcelona has no shortage of good equipment, but I have yet to find a trained boot- or pack- fitter. In the mean time, I've done the best I can by myself, and have hopefully avoided most of the major pitfalls.
I also visited the dentist today. My Spanish is not yet good enough to make myself understood with a Spanish dentist, but I found a place called “The British Dental Clinic,” owned by Dr. Alistair Gallagher (could his name get any more British?). No problems, no cavities, and hopefully the cleaning I got will keep things that way. And by the way, yes, the soothing British accent does make the entire experience must more relaxing. I'm never going back.
I am confident that I've committed at least several major oversights. My equipment could probably fit me better, the maps could probably be a little more specific, I could probably be in a little better shape, my boots could be more broken in, etc. But as they say on the ship, a time comes when you've either got to shit or get off the pot. Medieval pilgrims used to do this with sandals and a canvas sack while terribly malnourished, so I'll figure it out somehow. Morale remains high amongst our expedition members – bordering on bravado, even.
So much to do still!