Almost as soon as I stepped back onto that rural road, memories came back of the many steps I took along here as I trained in 2007-8 for my Camino from Le Puy. Back then, I didn't know how very appropriate this kind of walking was- but the hills and the tarmac were indeed what I needed practice on. This time as I stepped out I was reminded of how I had watched the seasons advance and change during my training months- and this morning I could already see signs of spring. But the 'new' factor in the walk this time was that I found myself recognising how very similar these landscapes were to the hills of the French Basque country.
|Kahuterawa Rd reminded me of the French Basque country|
The sight of many pukekos was one of those reminders, especially near swampy ground.
And soon I saw some native clematis in flower, announcing a kiwi spring.
Grey skies kept me company for most of my walk, with a hint of drizzle in the air- again not so dissimilar from Basque country weather. And I found I didn't care at all if it rained. I was enjoying slight wildness in the wind with just a merino jersey to counter its bite. I sat on my raincoat at the intersection with Green's Rd, and it seemed like I was born to be here in the outdoors with the wind whistling around my ears.
My thoughts turned to walking the Camino. But at the same time, I was reminded that one of the lessons I learned walking the Camino was to live in the present moment. So rather than dream about the old pilgrim churches I might walk past in the French countryside, I made sure I listened for the sounds of the local birds, and looked for any signs of the season turning into spring...