When I say, "it's the journey, not the destination", It's not some pat cliche

The Camino Frances.  One of the oldest pilgrimage routes in Christian history (predated they say by trading routes and mythology).  Either way, this map gives you a rough estimate of distances traveled from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella.  Generally, it takes about 30 days.  Georgia and I will take about 40.  But this'll give you an idea of where we're up to.
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 lo hace camino al andar


The way is made by walking

What's sorted on the floor of my dining room could fill a large suitcase, but has to condense to a backpack - only one.  And another one for my daughter, Georgia, who had no choice but to volunteer to accompany me because she's 10.  I wasn't ready for her to stay home and look after our ageing dog, Jack on her own.

We are going to France.  Then Spain.  I'm pretty sure there may well be a collective groan when I say we are walking the Camino Frances.  But before you roll those judgmental eyes, remember:  She's 10.  I'm not young and virile, I'm chronically sick and phlegmatically lazy.  I'd do anything to be given an option to lay down for the day, the week, the month (starts to get boring then), but just before I do just that, and a few years in from those awkward teenage years for my still adorable (and fairly compliant) daughter, I fell into the compelling, mesmerising call that is the Camino de Santiago.  It is a madness, much like the ascetics of old.  Some people go to Thailand for holidays, and sip strong cocktails and eat pizza with strange glow-in-the-dark mushrooms on them; some go to Paris and shop ("all power to them", I say); still others go camping in the middle of nowhere and read their compass like a well-loved novel.  Me?  I take my daughter to church.  The long way.




Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good lies; and walk in it,  and find rest for your souls.
                     Jeremiah 6:16