Saturday, August 27, 2011

The journey to Cluny

The journey to Cluny has begun! During the week I contacted the travel agent to check when the Earlybird fares would be here for Europe in 2012- and this morning I took my first 'training' walk- up along Kahuterawa Rd, with my 'proper' walking shoes and socks on...

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

There were soon plenty of reminders though that despite my idle daydreams, I was definitely on New Zealand soil.
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...

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