Friday, 20 April 2018

Tilting at windmills - walking 'le camino de levante'

 At last, the PhD journey has concluded; my thesis is off to the examiners and this peregrino is off on another long walk. The camino Levante - the 'eastern' way - is my third pilgrimage. It begins in Valencia on the Mediterranean coast and winds its way in a more or less northwesterly direction across the plains of La Mancha, through Toledo and Avila to Santiago de Compestela, and then (for me) on to Finisterra on the westernmost tip of Galicia.
The total distance is 1300kms (if I don't get lost!). This way is not well walked and it is said that you need to be proficient in Spanish. My Spanish is terrible and I've been unable to source an English guidebook. However (he says - trying to reassure himself), Ken Wilson (one of the three amigos from the camino Frances) has kindly posted me his French guidebook of the route. My French is only marginally better than my Spanish but this guide has good maps so a big thanks to Ken. I'm delighted that Sarah will join me at Toledo to walk for a week, and my friend Keith Castle will join me for another stretch from Avila. Apart from that, I'm on my own. I'm somewhat daunted about these solo stretches but Geoff Travers (the third amigo) assures me I will value the experience.
I hope to set off from Valencia on May 3.  If you are able to follow along with the blog I'd be glad of your company. Drop me a reply from time to time so I know you are there.
 Who knows what the journey will bring? It is said 'the camino gives you what you need'. I have discovered that to be true in the past so here's to the road!

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar
.
Pathmaker, your footsteps
are the path and nothing more;
pathmaker, there is no path,
you make the path by walking.


6 comments:

  1. Sounds exciting as well as daunting. What an experience it will be Neil. Looking forward to your postings. All the best and remember to take heed of the words of your little poem/verse on this post. One foot on front of the other, an open mind and eyes ready to glimpse all that is around.
    Enjoy
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Helen, for your words of encouragement at the beginning of this adventure. I'm glad you will be following along. Bless you, Neil

    ReplyDelete
  3. I’ll be reading along with pleasure! When you’re back on Australian soil I will cook you and Sarah another meal. Catriona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great Catriona. It will be good to have your company and any meal cooked by you is a culinary delight. Thanks heaps. Neil

      Delete
  4. Hope to follow your blog. Sounds an amazing trip, a fitting follow-on to the PhD journey! Wishing you safe travels and every blessing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen, it'll be good to have you following along. Blessings to you, too.

      Delete