I’ve been struggling with delayed gratification. That is, having to wait for the perfect stage of life to take extended holidays, walk the Camino de Santiago, be done with routine. I just want to break pattern. Travel, roam, hit the road and caress the breeze. I am jealous of wild, earthy backpackers that buy sunscreen from me at work and leave their trail of insouciance. Oh to go to places that speak of engrossment in this charming world. Which lead you back to yourself.
So off we went to sojourn amongst the trees at Lamington National Park, Kevin and I. We climbed to high branches where a few lovelocks winked cheekiness in a treetop outlook in the mellow Autumn rays. Waterfalls sighed and people came and went like they did on Le Petit Prince’s planet, always leaving a nugget. On a high path we closed in on a strident couple celebrating 34 years of marriage and he told Kevin he learned who the boss was on their first honeymoon morning, Apollo Bay, when he woke her early to see the sunrise. “Don’t ever do that again,” instructed his bride.
At a junction we find a mother, father and student son requesting advice on direction. The father informs he is taking his son on the same walks he was taken by his own father. The son shrugs, indulging his Dad, and laments at the assignments he is falling behind on back home.
At night we join a tight group to bus it deep into the dark and behold the wonderland of glow worm lights strung across dank shrubs. Here we sit contemplating the miracle of science, composing glow worm poetry. Our bush bathing ends each night in a pub beside a fizzing fireplace toasting a scarlet sunset that makes trifle of the worries of the world.
And so my ennui was stalled for a spell till I realised it was that time of the year – the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. A friend who walked it over 6 weeks last year, gushed over coffee. My wanderlusting urge was in free flow yet again, and my kids talked of my midlife crisis. Then I came up with a brilliant solution. Why couldn’t I orchestrate my own local Camino, designed around my daily life, bringing adventure, exploration and shift smack, bang to me, right here, right now? Every year 100 000 people leave from their front doorsteps or from popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela (walk, cycle and even run) as a form of adventure, spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. Here I am two days into my six-week Noosa Camino.
Yesterday I ran 8km along a sepia beach processing day, and greeted the dawn 200 steps high at the edge of the National Park with this view. An old friend recognised me on the way home and suddenly fell in step to chat for a while. He nodded gratefully at the hard sand which made running less laboured as we faced the oncoming wind. Then he darted off on his own tangent.
Today I was joined by Kevin, who says he will be a regular on my Camino escapades. Yay! We hit the road on bicycles before first light just like devoted travellers do daily on the St James Way. Twenty five minutes later we worshipped the dawn at Laguna Bay with some brisk exercises, finally joined by the first seagulls, the odd jogger, and then the sight and sound of coffee shops setting up for whatever travellers might come their way, brimming with thoughts to live another day.