Sunday 23rd November 2014, nearly 6 months after I stepped out of our door in Prague, I arrived at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. For the last few days I have tried to write a meaningful post about this, for me, important event, but I fear I haven’t found the right words to describe my feelings that day.
I could have written about the weather (wet), or the relief of finally putting the backpack down, or the sadness that it was over. But no matter what I wrote, all seemed shallow compared to all I have experienced over the last months.
Between Prague and Santiago lay:
- 3,000+ kilometers walked
- thousands of settlements crossed
- hundreds of people met
And all this in a wide range of weather conditions from scorching heat when I set out, over deluge-like rain falls in Germany and Switzerland, to snow and sleet when I finally crossed the Galician border. I was often thinking whilst walking of the famous beginning of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens which sums up some of my feelings nicely:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…
The journey took me longer then originally calculated, has given me more than I ever expected and isn’t over yet. Granted, I stopped walking, at least for the moment, and am now back in Prague trying to get back to a not-walking-quite-so-much-each-day life.
What now? Where is the next yellow arrow? The question that most pilgrims, myself included, ask themselves at the end of their way. How do I find the next yellow arrow – at home? Being now back in what could be tentatively called “my normal life” there are a lot of practical things to attend to:
- Unpacking the backpack
- Re-connecting with people
- Taking care of snail mail and emails
- Sorting through 6,000+ photos
- Writing a book …
- Planning the next walk?
Oh, and don’t give up on checking this website occasionally, as over the next weeks I will add more photos to it, fill in some missing bits and pieces and so on. The journey continues …