Tomorrow I leave Santiago to go to Malaga and from there to La Linea de La Concepcion to start walking. No matter how many thousands of miles I've tramped on pilgrimage routes I still get excited and nervous. My gear is laid out on the bed. New boots have been purchased and tried out. My rucksack sits there expectantly, ready to be packed. I'm reading again and again the websites and the accounts which my amigo Alan Sykes published. I know this route has some stiff elevations but Alan says some of the vistas are the best in all of his walking. And he is a prodigious walker.
Meeting up with the Big Man, we'll lunch in Malaga on Shrove Tuesday with two friends from Scotland and then on the morning of Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, we'll set off to La Linea and the Camino. That's the plan.
My plan is also to start writing on this blog again. I'm grateful to those who have written to say that they miss my scribbles. It is now 10 years since that first Camino which changed my life and as well as walking a lot...and writing a dozen or so books I also came to live in Santiago and these last years here have been a Camino of a type in themselves. In the coming months I'm going to start to write about them.
But first a period of reflection and a Camino during which I'll try to get back to what I started off doing, simply telling stories of my journey for my fellow pilgrims.