Julian Lord has started his journey.
Julian first walked the Camino in 1992 – and then two years later. And then several times since. The Way when he first walked was vastly different to how it is today.
If there is such a thing as a “true” pilgrim, then Julian ticks all the boxes.
He will be posting regularly on this blog as he makes his way from Lourdes to Santiago, and then back again – or at least, part of the way back.
He’s an extraordinary fellow, and I feel very privileged to be able to host his writings here. So this is his first post from the road, on his way to Lourdes….
E Sus Eia At Last
Well — I’ve started !!!
First hike this morning was a short 4 km one from home to Monaco station, where I purchased my el cheapo ticket to Arles — which is where I’ll pick up my Credencial. Not sure how I’ll move on this evening towards Lourdes, though I am starting to think the wonderful Refugio in Saint Gilles might be a good place to make a night of it.
Feels a little strange today, as after all the anticipation and physical preparation and the various ups and downs over the past year since I decided to make this new Camino, somehow I hadn’t fully realised that this is my first pilgrimage since 1993 starting NOT from my front door !!!
I am of course pleased to bits right now, not least because this train I’m on has electrics and network (hence the blogging), and I am at last on my Way, but there’s still a part of my purist little self that thinks it’s cheating, whereas there’s another little part of me that’s thinking “Wow, I’ve just started my journey home…”
This time anyway, Santiago will be more than just the apex and half-way point symbolically, but also physically and geographically, as Marie-Dominique and I will be walking back to France from there. So this Camino, on my first day, is already its own beast, and is already unique in its own right.
So in fact it’s even a positive this time to start differently, and quite apart from any of the physical difficulties I’ll be facing, it’s good that the mental difficulties of the Camino should be a little less harsh this time.
Looming forward to Arles this afternoon, Lourdes tomorrow, to starting the walking Wednesday or Thursday, looking forward to hitting the Spanish Camino, and greatly looking forward to the rendez-vous and the walking together with Marie-Do.
I think this will be a buen Camino ;o)
Today’s stage is also full of personal memory for me, as this lovely el cheapo ticket requires travelling old style, from station to station, rather than just getting into a single train or plane and waking up on arrival.
I’m doing some food shopping and stuff along the line as I wait for the next train, and remembering how all train journeys were once like this, and revisiting many familiar sights and experiences. These memories are mixed with this day’s new experience as well as mixing with the memories of my Caminos past, and with that of our first arrival down here in the South of France at Saint Raphael station where I am typing these extra lines.
Of course, this Camino will not be always so nostalgic, but that’s most certainly how it is starting. It is as comfortable as it is full of hope for this Camino that I am only just starting to live.