The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
Yesterday evening our little band of weary pilgrims ate a hearty meal in the village bar. International band that we were… English, Australian, Brazilian, German and Irish… all together in a tiny Spanish village trying to warm up.
The bar got busier as the night went on… Bjorn was the first to realise why… he let out a big cheer it was Manchester v Liverpool on the tv. … ooh there was much joy on the faces of the footie fans… and the result of the Brazil v Germany match was only very quickly mentioned once in passing!
Me and Maggie finished our blogs and Ruth wandered back to the albergue.
I never had time yesterday to really go into any details… the horrible bar with the ripoff landlord (I read elsewhere in another blog that the bar exists only to show how low they can actually go… you’ve been warned!)
I never talked about the ant swarm… or did i… blurgh it was horrible. .. zillions of the little blighers everywhere… blurghhh blurghhh blurghhh!
And then there was the galloping happy donkey… crazy wild barky big dogs… and the flocks and flocks of birds… no doubt gorging on the zillion ants… let’s just say it was an eventful day.
Amongst all this madness I thought a lot about Brenden. Our Aussie Scot who is walking to raise funds for the Australian Breast Cancer Research Charity. His wife died from Breast Cancer a few years ago and whilst Brenden is the funniest guy you could wish to meet, it’s also clear he’s more than a little broken by his loss.
I thought a lot about my friends and family and realised that so many of the people in my life live with loss. How do you do that? Is it like learning to breath again? I don’t wish to find out… I don’t want to know how it feels. I prayed/wished/hoped to St James and all the gods to keep us safe… keep us happy.
I thought about this walk and how it maybe echos life. We wake and we walk. We follow arrows. Some easier to spot than others… some obvious… some not. Some we miss or misread and end up lost… but retrace your steps and you’ll often see where you made your mistake.
We move around on the path. Looking for the most comfortable bit to walk on. Least stones… flattest bit… softess bit… easiest bit.
We come to junctions and crossroads and ups and downs… sometimes you can see for miles and miles and sometimes it feels like you’re going to fall off the edge of some unknown cliff.
I asked myself why I feel the need to come and walk like this. The path kind of strips you bare… you lose a considerable amount of dignity… totally dependant on the path for food, drink and accommodation. We’re all equal on this path. And we all just want to stay fit and healthy so that we can walk again tomorrow.
I thought about all the wishes and thoughts in my pack… virtually everyone is about health.. about staying safe… about protecting loved ones. Life is pretty much like this path… no matter what we think nothing else matters in life apart from keeping those we love safe.
I don’t know why I choose to walk. Days like today… which was for me a long hard day… make me really question what I’m doing here. I know the path reminds me of what’s important in life. And I know it’s trite but value every day folks… and tell the people who mean the most to you that you love them. Don’t waste time… but equally don’t assume that doing nothing is a waste.
Live… breathe… one step at a time… one foot in front of the other.
This morning we said goodbye to Ruth and the Via de la Plata. They are both heading north to Astorga. We though are heading west to Orense… and Gerry and Santiago. We walked through farms and crops and forests… over hills and beside rivers… past huge construction sites and deserted villages.
We’re in Tabara and we have almost only got the hills and mountains of Galicia to go… 354 kilometres to walk… then home and a proper mug of hot strong tea.
Stay safe folks… I’m really missing home tonight.
Ps poor Maggie has a rotten cold 😦