weighted panniers.

We are still sorting through our panniers, and with all the packing and repacking we will be doing, it is easy to ask each item: are you necessary? And quite often the answer is yes. But if it is no, you can shed yourself anything seemingly extra, and effectively lighten your load. Sometimes, it is a matter of priority: if I buy a new shirt, am I willing to leave one behind? And so it goes…

Amsterdam: James and I both left behind our inflatable pillows. You may think it odd, but in our fanatical enthusiasm in packing for this trip, we figured we would be stranded occasionally, and in need of a pillow and a blanket. Good ole fashioned camping under the stars---which still may happen. Now our mentality is: pillows can be made by piling whatever else is in one’s pannier. So we left the blow-up variety. 

We also left an extra pen or two, a soccer ball (Caleb bought a new, quite cool one in Amsterdam) and a pair of shoes. They were nice, and new, but they had to be replaced. The shoes were Anthony’s and as is turns out, they weren’t ideal for cycling---or for juggling the soccer ball in between times. So they had to be replaced. Good-bye to an extra hand sanitizer (back to good old fashioned hand-washing and ‘don’t touch your face'). Oh, and we left James' elbow brace. His elbow seems to be healing quite nicely.

Edam: Good-bye to James’ flip-flops; he has walking sandals that are more than enough. Minus extra zip-ties (he kept an equal amount), and good-bye another round of hand-sanitizer. Also, I left a few boxes of matches. I carry matches with me for two reasons: 1. for the little candles I sometimes buy for wherever we rest our heads and 2. to mask fumes coming from the vacinity of the toilet. My family is trained on the road as they were at home: when fumigating the restroom, inculcate the air with replacement smoke from matches. At home I always had fancy matches in the bathroom. Besides, who doesn't like lighting matches and playing with them? I am creating pyros, no doubt...

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