The time is is neigh. We, Sean the Harp and my good self, are setting off on our final pilgrimage #fromheretojerusalem. My friends keep telling me I’ll never stop because once I started I got such a kick out of it but I know that this is the last one in this way. I won’t be able for another one after this. Maybe walking without carrying a harp but definitely not with a harp. The journey I started with the harp has so far been a very public personal journey of learning about growth, love, compassion and understanding.
So it’ll be me and my 20kg pack once more on the roads of Europe: Ireland, England, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and onward to Israel.
We expect to be on the road for about a year and for the very first time will walk through the seasons and on 2 continents.
Given the times that are in it I’m not going to predict when I will be arriving in any place. I’ve learned that walking as is comes is a better strategy for me than pushing to make the miles to get there. So my commitment is to walk and play until I get there. If or when I get stuck I will try and find another way or wait for the next opportunity to move on. My preference is to create one line (not a come and go, break it up in pieces type of line) from A to B, just as I did on my previous two walks.
Because my pack is so heavy and the distance counting up to anything between 6000 to 8000 km I intend to go slow. Much slower than the previous journeys and I’ll need rest. Something I never considered before. Main rest points will include: Dublin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Bulgaria (hot springs, you have to take a break at any hot springs), Istanbul and Eastern Turkey. A challenge for a pilgrim line me who gets obsessed by moving on. But I realise my chances of success dwindle if I don’t.
Now one of the things I found on the previous walks is that many people wanted to help and I wouldn’t let them. I thought I was being ‘good’ doing it all on my own but it turns out that I disappointed many because of that attitude. The pilgrimages with a harp are epic journeys and it’s wonderful when we share them, create a feeling of doing it together rather than me on my own struggling through the landscape. So I’ll do the walking, the talking and the playing and you can be part of it by following, bearing, seeing, feeding, watering and keeping me safe by offering beds and shelters, or if you’re not along my route prefer to show your love in a different way by throwing a few Bob toward my fundraiser.
Either way, I’m delighted to have you on board and I look forward to sharing the journey, meet you, talk to you, play for you and share spaces, food and drink with you. Its going to wonderful, no it’s going to be epic!