War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

a little help

in 2007 I walked across Spain with a 10 year old and her father. we climbed the Pyrenees in a day, crossed over the Napoleonic route through fog and wind and sun, down into a medieval village and through Basqueland, Rioja, Castille y Leon and green Gallicia. we walked for 7 1/2 weeks until we reached our destination of Santiago de Compostela. it was wondrous. it was tough. it was on that journey that I fell in love with both Spain and my kit, carrying only 8 kilos of gear the entire way.

I particularly fell in love with my walking boots. gortex Helly Hanson thingys good for the desert (which is what the panic-stricken Europeans called the meseta which is nothing more than a prairie in the centre of Spain). it was in the meseta that the hypnotic left right left kicked in and the mind was freed of its worries, its past, it’s present, its future. it was in the meseta that I started thinking of A’stan. and it was in the meseta that the idea of writing about the infantry began.

the weather along the camino that year was perfect for walking. not too hot, not too rainy. a cloud cover to keep us cool. the only real rain we hit was outside Pamplona, the city where they run with the bulls. that leg of the journey was pure mud. our boots felt as if they weighed 10 kilos each. from time to time we had to scrape them off. it was a tough day’s hike but after it was over we felt so brilliant and alive (though tired). our cheeks wind burnt. an honest hunger in our stomachs.

we learned a lot on that trek and have come to refer to different things that happen in our lives as analogous to stages of that journey. right now we are in Leon. Leon was where many fellow travellers got very sick and some had to drop out. a few died. it was the stage of the journey when serious fatigue or worry set in.
in Leon one of us three became very ill and we thought we’d have to abandon our goal of walking the entire 850 kms.

but it was in Leon that many came to help us. including an entire convent of nuns!

and right now, in my Leon, people have come out of the woodwork to help me in many, many ways. phone calls, offers of help, letters, emails… and just this morning, overwhelmed by my technology (no laughing matter… I had a laptop on the edge of pulling the pin to use a grim analogy), someone sat and organized and backed up onto not one but two hard drives 3 years (3!!) of my work (I know, I know, but it’s just not my area of expertise or interest… lame excuse). and I don’t endorse products or advertise services etc. etc.. I have no Pay thingy or adverts. etc.. because I don’t want anyone telling me what to write, but I want to thank John of Simply Computing… because he saved my literary life literally… and lessened my overall anxiety hugely because if this thing crashed… thousands and thousands of hours of work would be lost forever. and I’d never make it out of Leon and I’d never make it to my destination. thanks John.

1 Comment (Closed)

Nancy Wilson

A lot of relief, and true thanks, no doubt.
Imagine the days of just paper and pen (a world away).

Mar 28 2010 · 14:20

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled a little help. It was posted here on March 26, 2010.


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