Friday, 15 May 2015

Preparing for an Itinerary of Tasting in Spain

There are always space limitations when you travel and that applies to other transport vehicles besides planes. We will be taking a rental car of moderate size to the Rioja area of Spain at the end of May. There are two significant factors to consider: there will be four of us therefore space for luggage is limited and the intent of the trip is to buy wine. Since we will be in France, this time for 9 months, we will be buying in cases not in single bottle designations. Less luggage, ergo more room for wine.

The weather should be wonderful during our time there so the focus of the research as we get closer to the date, will be the morning and evening temperatures. The general weather conditions up until May 25th is forecasted to be cloudy and rainy. A break is expected on the 25th. How opportune! We are leaving the south-west of France on the 25th and even though month long forecasts are not as reliable, the suggestion is that it will be in the mid-20s with partial cloud the following week. 

Sounds like perfect weather for wine tasting. Too hot and that activity becomes, if not impossible, downright dangerous. The chemistry that takes place in our bodies creates accelerated dehydration even if we drink water to compensate. Add extreme heat temperatures and you become even more dehydrated. There's also this to consider - peripheral blood vessels near your skin dilate and that means more blood and heat flows to these vessels. (This is why you see inebriated blokes prancing about in shirt-sleeves in minus 0 weather.) Add accelerated heat flow to the dehydration and the heat that you are absorbing from the environment and you have the conditions for heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Calculate your weight into this formula, the less you weigh, the less alcohol it can take to dehydrate. My solution or at least my attempt at keeping hydrated is to drink a glass of water before drinking alcohol, alternate water and alcohol and then a glass of water with electrolytes, to replace sodium and potassium, before going to bed. This is all well and good if you remain relatively alert and conscientious. But the purpose of this blog is to assist in deciding what clothing to take rather than how much alcohol to consume.

Wearing Burberry in Turkey, Spring. Photo by JoyD.
It is still spring and although the day temperatures are summer-like, the morning and evening temperatures may require long sleeves and even a jacket. My lightweight North Face Summit Series jacket, which rolls up to a very small size, my black blazer and my cashmere shawl should keep me from any chill that is in the morning or evening air. An all weather jacket or coat such as my old Burberry 3/4 length coat should be taken as well (if rain is in the forecast) - not much for style but great functionality.

Purple Lug Bag for Weekend Travel. Photo by JoyD.
I'm not going to bother packing shorts at all since we are in a city setting and will be tasting wine at bodegas. If anything I will take a skirt but two pairs of pants should service this trip well enough. My LBD is questionable. It will depend on whether we will be formally dining or just grazing on "pinchos" AKA "tapas" in the evening. I'll need at least four or five tops along with the other need-not-mentionables, and a couple of pairs of shoes (a pair of flats and a pair of dressier sandals). Since the four of us are renting an apartment together, I do need something that is acceptable and comfortable to wear in front of others. My cotton "shirt and pants" pyjamas along with a short (jacket length) light cotton robe will be appropriate. All will fit into my Lug bag and I'm good to go.

It's not hard to decide what to take when the itinerary includes eating and tasting and not much else.

Take a look at what I eventually packed by clicking here, "What I Actually Did Pack for Four Days in Spain". 

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