And that is that

Thirteen million people a year make  pilgrimage at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

Yesterday – with blisters popping, calf muscles twanging and a worrying undiagnosed pain in my left leg – I was one of them

I made it you see. After more than 500 km of sugar cane plantation, coffee bushes and mountain tracks , I staggered into Aparecida with Val – an obviously devout Brazilian Catholic dude who’s been my walking buddy for the last 4 days

The approach was frankly uninspiring
Through a run down suburb and then a few kms of light industrial units and car workshops
Then under a flyover with a few homeless people cooking something over an open fire
Then past the trinket sellers and hustlers trying to lure you to their hotel
But the Basilica itself is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s enormous


They say it’s the biggest Marian shrine in the world. And second on my in size to St Peters in Rome

The place was packed with long queues filing past that statue of Our Lady of the Appeared


At the moment I can’t claim to have had any great revelation on arriving here

Just an overwhelming sense of relief that I made it.

And though I stand to be corrected I think I may well have been the first Brit to do this


3 thoughts on “And that is that

  1. Good for you!!! Congratulations. I must confess that I did not think you´d make it. I guess I´ve already said this but I am both jelous and proud of you.

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