So I’ve just come back from South East Asia, about which there would be a lot more to tell and hopefully I will write more in the coming weeks, about Cambodia, its tragic recent history mixed with the utter magnificence of its past, about the randomness of restaurants’ and hotels names, and much else.
But for now, I’ve unpacked, spent about a second (or so it seems) in Switzerland emptying the remains of the shared house I used to live in (which feels like the end of an era, and the true beginning of “proper adulthood”, which I am in no hurry to enter into) and repacked. Because this gap year is coming to a close in two months (something else I don’t want to contemplate, let’s forget the last sentence) and I have to make the most of it before being re-stuck in a hospital for countless hours.
So here I go. I had absolutely no plans, or rather, there are still too many things I want to do and two months would never suffice, but I’ve made my mind – helped with a welcomed coincidence: as I was “complaining” to friends that I couldn’t decide between going trekking along the Camino de Santiago way in Southern France or go trekking in the Scottish Highlands, they mentioned they had wanted to go to Scotland for a while, and so we planned a trip (well, we decided we would go, which is the level of “planning” we usually do) in October. I can’t wait.
But in the meantime, I shall head out on foot, along the “Chemin de Saint-Jacques”, across Southern France. It’s been a while (well, about 9 months) since I’ve done a long distance walk, and since it’s about my favourite way to travel, I am enchanted to start again.
Of course, this choice of way is book-related (what, in my life, isn’t?) as one of the books I read in Myanmar is Jean-Christophe Rufin’s account of his walk to Compostelle, in “Immortelle randonnée”. It has yet to be translated to English, as much as I’m aware, sadly, but it has none of Coelho philoso-mystical ramblings and all of the practical quirks of “the walker”, with his smelling socks, and legendary stinginess, the snobism of the long term hiker towards the daily walker and much more. It is hilarious and light, but it still manages to give you Compostelle envy, so there it goes, I’m going.
All of this to say, I shall probably be away from the internet for a while – as the French “Gites de Pélerins” are probably not equiped with the latest technology, most pélerins actually going there to avoid our connected world, but will try to update when possible.
For those who want to read Rufin and don’t happen to speak French, the only book of his that I can find in translation is “The Abyssinian”, which is not my favourite of his by far, but even average Rufin is worth a read, trust me.