For all onsite Esprit Meraki Retreats guests.
Just a quick reminder: If you are a vegetarian, or have food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities, we need to know at least a week before the retreat starts.
Before you start packing, check the weather forecast for the time you will be at Esprit Meraki. Meteociel.fr is fairly accurate and the village to check is “Nogaro.”
You will need:
- A sturdy pair of waterproof and well-walked-in walking boots/shoes. New shoes/boots tend to cause blisters. A comfortable pair of sneakers/sandals (summer)
- Thick socks. Woollen works best.
- From April to November; a light-weight raincoat/jacket/poncho that you can fold up and pack in your rucksack, a sunhat, sunglasses, lip balm, moisturiser, insect repellant, suntan lotion and comfortable clothes to wear during the day and in the evening: Think layers. In the south of France, in spring and autumn, and even sometimes in the summer, it can rain during the day and get chilly in the evenings. We’ll eat outside wherever possible, so warm layers will come in very useful, inside and out.
- From December to March: thermal underwear, warm hat and socks, gloves, earmuffs, scarf/wrap, and a warm waterproof jacket/coat. In the winter, it can get very cold, especially at night, when temperatures can drop below O°C (sometimes as low as -10°C) and not reach 10°C during the day. We can also get a lot of rain in the winter, and occasionally snow.
- A small, light rucksack/backpack to take with you on your walk
- A reusable water bottle
- Power snacks for the Camino walks: protein/energy bars, nuts, dried fruit etc
- A first-aid kit that fits in your rucksack
- Packets of tissues, recyclable plastic bags, and hand wipes at there are no toilets on the Camino
- Maybe a quick-dry towel (micro-fibre) Linnen and towels are provided for your room, in case you want to soak your feet in a stream on the way.
- Your favourite tea/tisane (teabags, not loose tea) A small variety of teas and coffee are available
- Journal or notepad and pen
- Your phone/tablet/laptop/camera
- Earphones to listen to guided meditations (if this is included in your retreat.)
- A small flashlight (if you do not have a flashlight on your phone.)
- Toiletries and regular medications, as well as anything you think you may need ex. anti-histamines(especially if you are allergic to cats/dogs/horses,) painkillers, anti-acids etc.
- Small tube/bottle with handwash clothes soap, in case you need to wash smalls. There is a laundromat in Nogaro, but there are no washing facilities on site.
- We do not serve alcohol during the retreat, but you are welcome to bring your own beer/wine
- A small amount of cash: although, since COVID, credit cards are now accepted just about everywhere, a few euros can come in handy from time to time
- Universal adapter and phone/tablet/laptop recharger
- Books to read (or remember to download your favourite books in advance) – you will have enough free time to catch up on your reading, even if you are not on a Binge Reading Retreat!
- For guests on the Christmas retreat, a book as a gift, for the Jolabokaflod Secret Santa. Books about your own country/region are especially appreciated.
- An open mind, a growth mindset, a sense of humour and a sense of adventure
Other essentials: Your passport, visa, plane/train/bus tickets, credit/debit card and cash in local currency, a list with emergency contact numbers, travel insurance details etc.
This list is not exhaustive and is regularly updated.
What not to bring
- Stilletos, fur coats, evening dresses, expensive jewellery, heavy-duty make-up More at “Don’t forget your Fur Coat!”
- Recreational drugs
- Weapons of any sort or description
- Children under the age of 18
- A sense of entitlement, unrealistic expectations, bad manners, intolerance and impatience
- Brand new walking shoes with thin cotton socks
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The content of this page is regularly updated. © Margaretha Montagu