Hola to everyone! Followers old, new and people reading our (Royce and I (Courtney)) blog for the first time. As you read this we are still reeling from our adventures in France and then our walk through Spain. I know those that have been following our adventure are impatiently waiting on the details and I assure you they are coming..
However we made the decision before we left England to write a dairy while we were away but to not write posts. Because we wanted our experience to be authentic, and to be focused on the journey we were undertaking and not on making sure we had a blog post written. Because of this we have to start writing this journey from scratch. And in doing so write it with the perspective of the accomplishment we have achieved. Which I dearly hope will greatly benefit you our (hopefully) loyal readers. Unfortunately also because of this, this weeks post has not had a weeks forethought and planning because we got house guests…
Upon arrival back in England we journeyed across London from Heathrow airport to St Albans. (Naturally this took all day. -_-) To where a friend had kindly let us borrow her lawn to park our van for a month. (Thanks Claire!) We opened up <insert witty and apt van name (suggestions welcomed)> to find out we had actually managed to deal to all the holes in the floor and in doing so the van started growing. That is to say she was pretty damp and full of mold. Not a great welcome home, and I would love to say things got better but that would be a lie.
We arrived back in Evesham and found that while we were away our little house had gained some unwelcome tenants. The temperatures in England had dropped and it had rained almost every day we were away. So the local population of rodents decided as nobody was living in our house that they may as well make use of it. The house had been terrorized! The cupboards cleared, papers made into nests, clothing shredded. They sought out and destroyed two BRAND NEW pairs of pants I splurged on from Mountain Warehouse and ate both. I never even got to wear them! 😦 So it has taken us all weekend, (Monday being our weekend because it was straight back to work.) To clean the house and try to clean ALL of our clothes in the rain and freezing cold. Why did they have to eat my nice winter pants and my merinos??? 😦 😦
This is the time we had planned to spend writing out the nitty gritty of the first section of our adventure; which was a visit to Paris and then down to Nantes. Where we stayed with friends, had a taste of amazing French hospitality and saw the beautiful wild coast of Brittany. This retelling however will have to wait. What will also have to wait is how we failed to make it to Toulouse but did indeed make it St Jean Pied de Port, and from there we walked for over 900kms across Spain all the way to Muxia on the Western Spanish coast. What we can however give you is a taste of some of the epic adventures through a handful of the thousands. (I do mean thousands.) Of photos we took trying and failing to capture the picturesque beauty, raw emotion, struggles, triumphs and evolution of people in an ever changing landscape, watching the season change as we walked the pilgrim trail to Santiago.
What we also can share with you is some of the revelations a journey like this has caused. Because though everyone starts the Camino trail for different reasons we all reach the end having gained something different. We personally, have gained among other things an insight into the people who want to read what we type. And the revelation that those same people want us to continue to travel and experience, as well as continue to write about these experiences. Hopefully along the way we also inspire you, our readers to throw open the proverbial gate and find some revelations of your own.
On that note our plans moving forward is to either start a patreon, or to at this stage just have a pay-pal account where those that want to, and are in the financial position to do so can contribute to our on going adventures. We also plan in the future to make some sheep based merch.. Because sheep.. and shepherds. We would love for you to let us know your thoughts on this.
The other revelations of which I would like to share with you is why we are still writing, why I am writing.. Because, though this has become work of sorts, I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy walking up high things. And we both really enjoy photography and editing and Royce is enjoying the filming. Hence the first of hopefully many videos on The Travelling Shepherds YouTube channel. Part of what I enjoy is being able to share these travel revelations with people. Because despite what Instagram tells you, it’s not an epiphany on a beach bathed in golden light during sunset. It’s a moment when you are three inches deep in mud pulling beetroot out of the ground, or banging out to disturbed on the treadmill at the gym 3 weeks after your trip, or that moment when your friend makes the same old joke or remark. Where it hits you that the experience and journey you have undertaken has changed you, and you couldn’t possibly be that person who started that trip ever again, and more neither should you want to. So I would apologize for rambling, but this is a story after all and you my friend have just finished the chapter. Until next time; Open the gate, take a step outside, and get adventuring.