It’s Saturday and we’re sitting in the warmth of a Pain Quotidien. The mild weather permits us to dine al-fresco, whilst everyone else seems to be rushing for their Christmas shopping.
Now transferred indoors, Malika and Laurence are enjoying their meal even more; as their husbands are with the kids, and this weekend, the city is all theirs. As we share the adventures of moving to Ireland and the lands yet to explore, Laurence declares her intent to ride the Way of St. James, better known as the ‘Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela.’
This is remarkable, as Ben has recently returned from the second-leg of the very same journey, with Paul. Tales of rustic lands, friendly locals and the humbling nature of touring a meaningful route is nothing short of life-affirming.
With BBC’s recent screening of the Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve, there is growing interest of reviving such journeys. Early travellers such as Margery Kempe, considered by many to be the first autobiographer in the English language, and Thomas Cook reveal there is so much out there.
You don’t have to be practicing a faith either to take in the wonders of re-tracing well-worn tarmac, as well as less trodden gravelly roads. Just be mindful your GPS doesn’t take you too far off the beaten track! Although, the unexpected can be all the more rewarding – to their surprise Paul and Ben happened upon a chapel with a view that not everyone gets to discover.