Ok, so the post Camino blues has been severe this time… I have stopped walking. Big mistake. I need to keep on walking. And to do that I need a goal to work towards.
I have walked the Camino Frances from Leon to Santiago in 2011. It took 7 years to get to my second Camino, the Portuguese, this year in June and July.
I did not have any walking goals since coming back home.
But this morning, as I was sitting with our great South African Afrikaans travel magazine, Weg, I started reading Gerda Engelbrecht’s article on her recent pilgrimage- the Via Francigena. And old pilgrims know the feeling- a spark went off. A Eureka moment in the mind. I almost wanted to run naked through the streets like Archimedes, or who was it who did that?
the Via Francigena. A pilgrimage from Canterbury in England all the way to Rome. 1700 km. England, France, Switzerland, Italy. Now to be realistic- I will not be able to do 1700km while I am still working, I do not have that much leave. But a part of it, as soon as I can? That should be doable…
Last night I held an info meeting for our town on how to plan to walk the Camino de Santiago. And this morning the penny drops- exactly the same way I should plan to do the Via Francigena.
First I will have to save, I don’t know how much will be needed yet. But I paid over ZAR 100 into my credit card just to make a start. A very small seed but I planted it. And now I will squirrel small amounts away for the next few years, till it is almost enough.
I have found the official website on the Via Francigena , I will start reading all I can on the subject. I will get to know the route as good as I can from a distance.
I do have all the equipment I need.
I will start walking again, training to be fit for whenever the opportunity arrives.
I will focus on my dream, looking forward, taking it day by day till I stand in Rome.
I do not know how long it will take, but the journey has started this morning.
All I needed was a new dream… back on my feet again!
PS- Any of you who have walked the Via Francigena- any info and pointers will be much appreciated, I know nothing yet… What is the best book to read, what is the John Brierley equivalent to the Via Francigena?
PPs- Dankie Gerda Engelbrecht, soos jou kollega Erns Grundling maak jy weer groot moeilikheid in my kop!