Preparation for whats to come:
Our hiking group consists of six ladies including myself. Two of the ladies I just met for the first time, the other three I have known for years but have never hiked with them.
The tickets are bought, insurance & fees paid and only 44 days til departure. I have been walking pretty regularly from five to six miles about 4 x's per week but this next month I need to really pick it up.
We have met several times to discuss plans and cover details of the trip. At our last meeting it sounded like I have had the most experience with hiking but I have not hiked for two weeks straight from 9-14 miles per day. Most of my hikes have been around 50 miles over a four day period.
We will be traveling by train on this trip so we all have decided to only take backpacks and no luggage as it can be difficult to lug a suitcase on a train and you have to keep the luggage by your seat to keep it from getting stolen.
I don't want my backpack to weigh more than 20 to 30lbs so my clothing will be minimal. At REI I found some clothing line & tiny soap sheets that dissolve quickly so I can wash and dry in an evening.
This trip is designed so we will hike unaccompanied from one village to another. Our packs will be transported from hotel to hotel so we only need day packs to carry lunch, water, first aid supplies, etc. We are given a map each day and just need to find our own way. I am expecting it to be a little like the Amazing Race without competition.