A Big Thank You

Well after a gruelling thirteen hour coach journey followed by a short taxi ride and a slightly more bearable train journey followed by a quick stint on a bus, Jaz and I finally arrived in Sarlat (France). We were greeted by my folks who had come to pick us up. It was a short drive back to theirs but it was a blisteringly hot day!
It felt good to be back in France although I had wanted to bring back a big jar of ColaCao and some other goodies from Spain. It seemed only days ago I’d seen my parents, it had actually been about six weeks.
I’ve booked flights back to England for the 5th July, I would have returned sooner, but ticket prices were too costly.
I have so much to sort out when I get home, I guess this is reality?!!
For now, I want to thank everyone. All those who supported my ideas in the beginning, the Frome people who donated or fundraised for me, like the girls of Part 2, Elaine’s and of course my staff who worked along side me at The Crown Hotel. The Frome Times, Somerset Standard and Bath Life for their publicity. The gracious Bill Hodder and other locals who lent me books, followed the blog and donated. (I will return the books)!
To family & friends who have shown their support either through words, donations or gifts (or all the above), like Graham Wright who made my beautiful walking stick, that survived almost unscathed, and John Elson who gave me a painted scallop shell (the pilgrims shell) the night before I left, that survived intact (save for a little fading).
To my generous family and relatives, thank you. You are all stars! These days everyone’s asking for some kind of donation, I know it can become a little tiring, but with all your support I reached my target. (I just hope I’ve got some nice prints for some of you…)?!
To everyone who followed and retweeted and mentioned me on twitter, I’m not a master of twitter yet but I’ve certainly learnt the basics. From the celebrity retweeters like Mr Emilio Estevez, who just happens to have made a film of the Camino called ‘The Way’ starring his father Michael Sheen. A film I’m very interested to watch as the trailers look moving and beautiful. Mr Charley Boorman who I met at the BMW off road school in Wales (although he could have retweeted more seeing as I was raising for UNICEF). I should mention the ‘Long Way Round’ series is a large part of why I chose to support UNICEF. Although my first bike adventure was probably more ludicrous than theirs.
Shortly after passing my motorbike test (6 months), having never ridden, I travelled to Australia, bought a Yamaha XT350 and proceeded to ride around the country on all the back roads and through all the national parks. Unfortunately the bike eventually gave up on me and I had to find other forms of transport to continue on.
Now my mind plots further adventures but for me the fundraising plays a pivotal part of any of them…
For now, I have photographs to sort and a book to try to put together. Does anyone know a good publisher?!

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About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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