Hey there folks,
You will see that well I have mentioned a few times in previous posts. I added a total of four layers to it; makes it less of a trip hazard. Not bad for having never done anything remotely close to bricklaying, eh? Apart from working with the animals (and slaughtering a few of them) this was my proudest moment at the Wwoof site. Well said (get it? well said??)
But as you know, if you’ve been following along, my time Wwoofing has come to an end and I once more find myself upon the road with few cares and little aim – the way I like it. I tossed around the idea of walking from Mont-St-Michel towards Santiago, kicked about the notion to spend some time in Paris, even debated the merits of just Wwoofing across France and postponing Santiago in entirety.
But reason – if you could call it that in my case – prevailed: I will be in Spain tomorrow once more walking the Way. I am currently in a Toulouse train station awaiting yet another connection to reach the border; I’ve spent the last 7 hours on a train and have about 10 more to go. Sheesh.
But why Spain? Why now?
Well, simply put, I want to knock out Camino foremost so that I have time enough to pursue other goals without jeopardizing my time frame. I could have very well walked from Mont-St-Michel to Santiago with some time to spare, but I then wouldn’t be able to pursue other, more compelling emotions and experiences with genuine gusto. Everything, had I pursued that route, would be rushed from Santiago onward. By going to Santiago foremost, I leave myself roughly a month and a half of international shenanigans. Camino takes many forms and starts at many places, but it never truly ends.
And that is why I am in Toulouse, watching drunkards battle it out at 8AM, bums ask for cigarettes, coffee, and change, and people smoking indoors as if laws and social norms didn’t apply to them. What a city! I caught a train to briefly visit Caen to see the tomb of William the Conqueror; sadly the church was hosting a funeral and the peasantry wasn’t allowed inside. Took some bitchin’ photos though of one of humanity’s most influential scions.
Not to be discouraged, I tramped about the city only to realize my true calling as a pizzeria owner:
But after I realized I detest capitalism and the exploitation of the working class in my grueling pizza dungeon, I decided I should probably get back to wandering about France and heading towards some semblance of a train station. So I headed back to Lisieux to visit the Basilica of St Therese:
It was a very lovely building with absolutely stunning architecture and frescoes all throughout the interior. On the outskirts, I met a charming American couple, Donna and Michael, who were absolutely perplexed about the smelly young man from New Mexico simply wandering about Europe as if that was the norm. They were on holiday, and very good Catholics, and made it a point of order to stop at the Basilica. They offered to pray for me – which gods know my heathen soul needs – as we parted ways.
But back to the building! There was a portrait of St. James inside, but, me being respectful of houses of worship, did not take any photos of the innards. Never could, really; I find such places do not need to be disturbed with camera flashes or recordings. Live for the moment and keep the memories fresh – far greater than any picture would do. After making prayers on behalf of my FOCUS Mission Trip in July, I headed to Paris to catch the overnight train to Toulouse.
So here I sit, waiting on my last train to take me towards Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port before embarking upon my second Camino. What started out as a genuine plan in Ireland quickly evolved into something completely different and unique with detours sprinkled here and there for a barrel of chaotic fun. It is akin to grasping the thorns of the Rose: you know you shouldn’t because the thorn could very well hurt, but it remains enticing nonetheless. So grab hold of your Rose and never let go, comrades.
Not bad for a whim, eh?