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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Confessions of a walking addict?

Sounds like I've been reading too much Thomas de Quincey, doesn't it? Opium? That's a seriously addictive narcotic, the preserve of the wild, the youthful and the indolent. Walking? That's a harmless pastime, the preserve of the middle-aged suburban has-been.

If only, dear reader. If only ...

Prior to the summer of 2012 I might have agreed with you. Walking, rambling, hiking - call it what you will - was the means to an end, a therapeutic diversion from the trials and tribulations of a life I long since failed to comprehend. But this summer - on the eighth of May, to be more precise - I set out for the Camino de Santiago; it took me six weeks to complete and when I - or rather, we - arrived at Cabo Finisterre on Wednesday 17th June I knew full well my life would never be the same again. Walking was no longer the means to an end, it had become an end in itself. 

It's no good telling me to get a grip; I've gone past the point of no return. Literally as well as metaphorically.

You think I'm joking? Better read on then ...

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