I’m finally seeing some fellow pilgrims on the camino de Fe.
it’s not exactly what you’d call busy . But compared with those first weeks its a veritable traffic jam.
When you’ve walked for six to eight hours a day without seeing another soul, well your mind is apt to start going walkabout itself
it was those little yellow arrows that are painted on trees, fence posts and telephone poles that started to mess with me
Those arrows are your lifeline. Your safety net. They tell you where to go. They reassure you that you are on track
In the absence of another human being they become your little friends
So for some reason – and I Dont know how it began – I felt that I had to nod to them as I passed by
Cos if I didn’t they would disappear and I’d be lost. And Brazil is a big place to be lost in
You can understand that , right. Makes sense ?
But then I decided that just nodding to them wasn’t powerful enough. I had to tip my hat to them
But what if they weren’t looking? Sorted: point my bamboo walking stick at them and say:”Hello little friend”,
This had to be done for every single arrow. Which made for one bizarre incident at a junction with no fewer than eight bloody arrows. It took me five mins before I could move on
Then I realised These are BRAZILIAN
Arrows. They don’t understand English you idiot
So what the hell is portuguese for little friend.
But are arrows masculine or feminine?
Amiga? And if I get it wrong they will of course disappear and I will be lost
Solitude. Can do odd things
I’m over it now. And can laugh at it. And if you read this far, maybe you did too
Because sometimes laughter is the best way of dealing with these pernicious mind farts
I know someone who is battling OCD right now. Its a debilitating crippling condition that ruins your life
We laugh about it sometimes. Because the rituals sound totally absurd and – well laughable –
But deep down its not funny. And when your mind is stuck in that rut for whatever reason the rest of your life is just exhausting
I didnt want to do this walk for charity. I didn’t ask for donations at the start and I’m not doing so now
But when – if – I get to Aparacida I’ll be making a donation to this charity: