It's called Rambling in Britain, Bush Walking in Australia, Tramping in NZ and Hiking in America.

Whatever it's called, welcome to my blog which is simply about journeys and life..... It shares stories, tales and thoughts, in prose, verse, photo and video. WALK ON RAMBLER


Thursday, May 14, 2009


The Camino

When we started, we did not know - exactly - why we were doing it

We had lives which were - more or less - satisfactory

We had friends known much of our lives

We had children - changed from chrysalis to butterflies

We had things:

things like machines

things like music

things like pictures

things like shelves full of books

things like money and pensions and security

We did not have one thing - and maybe that was why we started


When we started, we put one foot in front of the other

We still did not know - precisely - why we were doing it

The miles passed - many of them pleasantly

Our feet blistered and were slow to heal

Our ankles turned on loose stones

The rain beat its way through our clothes

The cold chilled the marrow of our bonesSome nights, refuge was hard to find

Some days, miles of hot dust had no fountains


When the first few of many long days had passed

We found - without words - that we no longer walked together

That together we spoke in our own tongues -

and often of things we had left behind where we began

That together we shut out new experience with the wall of our togetherness

That alone we spoke in other tongues and of our common experience

That alone we were open - open with interest and curiosity.

Often we met - with gladness - at the end of the day

To know our paths went on together was enough


When we got to the cathedral we sat down

We saw - through the eyes of those long before us

The blinding faith, the crucial thirst for salvation

The tower slowly closing off the sky

And we counted our blessings - several hundred of them

Starting with the kindness of ordinary people on the way

And with the warmth of other travellers on the road

Travellers not at all like us - not in age, not in origin, not in interests

But warm across all these distancings

And ending with the friendship and love

We had left behind where we began.


When we got to the sea at the end of the world

We sat down on the beach at sunset

We knew why we had done it

To know our lives less important than just one grain of sand

To know that we did not need the things we had left behind us

To know the we would nevertheless return to them

To know that we needed to be where we belonged

To know that kindness and friendship and love is all one needs

To know that we did not - after all - have to make this long journey to find this out

To know that - for us - it certainly helped

written near Sanguesa, Navarra, September 2003 (

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