280 days, a handfull euros spread along the way, hundreds of thousand steps – over mountains, through valleys, in forests, crossing fields, tramping cityscapes; jumping rivers, fences, walls, rail tracks; running along highways, from orange farmers, apple growers, pear, corn, all other veg. grower. Sleeping in a bag, facing a starfilled universe, under trees, beneath stormy skies; next to oceans, lakes, rivers, castles, churches, women… and men.
Meeting friends, all those old, new, lost and loved; brothers, sisters, family, acquaintances, beloved and bewildered. Seeing all those countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain… and such. Eating more food than my stomach can hold, walking with a gaping hole i my belly no food seemed able to fill.
Every place of every step
every second and every day.
All those moments.
Sitting here at the end of my journey
Looking at the harbour of Tangier
over a Kaf and pancake
I can’t, won’t feel anything else than satisfaction
and thankfulness for
my restless mind,
my high threshold for pain,
and that time I met you…
… all of you
Did I just write closure is an integral part of life? Haha, well, I’m not very good at it at all apparently. But here goes some sort of wrap-up. Three hundred and sixty-eight days ago, I set out on a long walk. The reasons for it are not clear. Not clear at all.
There was this build-up scenario which I sometimes tell people. One of me jumping between European cities – not knowing where to go – then arriving in an apartment in a late-winter Oslo, feeling sorry for myself. Then there is that whole ”I’m just a poor a lonesome cowboy” – idea – me looking for freedom. Poor impulse-control. stubbornness. Lack of better things to do.
A very anarchistic personality and a tiredness stemming from this way too delusional world we live in.
… not feeling a part of anywhere or anyone
The list goes on and on and on with the reasons to why I took that first step.
Then there’s all the reasons for taking the next and the next and the next one.
But let’s just say that after one – taking one more is just a frame of mind.
It doesn’t get any easier – but it doesn’t get much harder either.
Therefore continuing wasn’t all too hard.
And meeting all you wonderful people down the road just made the whole thing more and more exciting and whenever I felt a bit down n’ out, or tired, I always met someone or saw something that boosted me and gave me a push for another step. It would be hard to incorporate all of you in one message. But hopefully you still remember me.
To officially close this!
After Pelayo we slowly walked through the hard rain and misty clouds, down the mountain, for the first time seeing the end of my walk. Tarifa.
unfortunately we thought that green area on the maps mean off-road forest walking. Apparently at the outskirts of Europe it means militarized zone and very angry border patrols.
But with some smiling and looking confused we just got turned around and had to walk down the highway those last kilometres that day. At dusk we put up camp just at the townborder of Tarifa and went to bed hoping there would be no more rain that day.
… a foolish wish
At dawn the sun came up about the same time as we did. We were still half-soaked but a few hours in the spanish spring-sun left most of us fairly dry.
Breakfast was bread. Bread, butter and cheese. Just as it had been for the past 280 days.
We continued in to town, where I played harmonica for a few well needed coins, and took the boat over the Gibraltar strait. On a boat engulfed in wind and rain.
I was reading a long series of books when I was little, probably around 15 volumes or so, but I could never get myself to finish the last piece, the story was too good, the characters to real, it felt as if I finished that book the people in it would disappear, its world crumble.
I didn’t want to leave them behind
I re-read all the books every now and then, but always left that last one, therefore it took me almost 16 years to complete the whole thing. Sixteen years and a walk to Morocco.
The feeling after reading that last volume was emptiness… feeling a huge span of space freeing up in the back of my head – a weight that I’d been carrying with me for so long suddenly disappeared and I felt lighter.
The loss took me back a bit, there was a sense of abandonment, but also calmness.
It had been too long.
Should have finished it ages ago.
Closure is a primal part of moving on.
Carrying too much and you’ll sink, get stuck, unable to walk.
Maybe that’s why birds leave their young to fend for themselves those last few days.
So that feeling of abandonment forces them off the tree and out in the world
I sometimes wonder if I take so long to end this, because as long as I know I still have a few posts left to write, I can still claim to be out on the road. But I guess if I don’t finish this soon it’ll fall into oblivion of my own mind and those last days will be lost…
So we walked from Algeciras, going south-west just north of Gibraltar, heading for Tarifa
It was misty and wet – green and mild – not really a explosive last day of a 280 days walk – but more like how my mind felt at the time. So many thoughts comming back. Scandinavia waiting for me on the other side of that strait, friends, work, people, Morocco – all the memories I will leave behind on this side.
We crossed the small vilage of Pelayo where Peter lost his backpack cover in the passing storm.
But luckly caught it before flying over the drop on the highpoint at the top of the mountain inbetween Gibraltar and Tarifa.
And real life, outside of the adventuring bubble has put it’s claws on me again, as it usually does, but for you I just realised my walk isn’t done yet… so here goes another step.
Togheter with my brother I’d been walking south from Ronda – we hit the ocean about six days after we set out from the little mountain town and then another day or so later we crossed just next to the border to Gibraltar heading down to Algeciras.
Where we would meet up with Peter, the guy making some sort of radiodokumentary about the walk.
It was a nice reunion – didn’t feel at all as half a year had passed since I last saw him – six months and a few of years worth of stories to tell.
Togheter – me, my brother, Peter and the photographer he brough made a little adventuring party – some sort of fellowship of the walk I would say.