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taking half a day off

How wonderful! Walked for a little more than 3 hours, mostly uphill over steep hills bordering the Mosel River. This was one of the rare times where the pilgrim’s path didn’t follow the curves of the river (as shown on yesterday’s map), but up one side of the Hunsrück Mountains and down the other. Hard work and what a way to feel strength and endurance, seeing the effects of 4 months of thrice-weekly training: grâce à Mylene.

After only five days of walking, I seem to have left everything behind (except the occasional Internet contact). While schlepping up a muddy section of a steep hill it occurred to me that each time my foot touches the ground it is for the first and for the last time — coming and going, leaving only temporary traces. Just as in everyday life except that we tend to be deluded into thinking that things have permanence. A haiku death poem by Zen master Togyo:

When autumn winds blow               
not one leaf remains                         
the way it was.

Today a half-day break — kind of. After finding a cheap and impeccably clean room in a private home (with the tiniest bed and an even tinier 3-piece bathroom), I set out for what turned out to be a 2-hour meander through the vineyards. Mostly Riesling grapes here, hanging in plump bunches on endless rows of vines up steep hillsides, soaking up the ever-shortening hours of autumn sunshine. Afterwards into the touristy “old town” to savour cherry cheesecake and coffee and watching the world go by. A wedge (a gaggle, a whiteness) of swans overhead, honking as they go. All’s well.


2 responses »

  1. Peter you are out on the Camino trail! I was still imagining you somewhere in Victoria. And here you are – half a world away. I just read the previous few posts to catch up. How wonderful you can share with us as you travel. Much better than an evening of slides on your return… not that that is bad but this is better:) The mist was in our valley as the sun stretched its arms across the earth’s surface this morning. All is well here too:)

  2. yes, yes, on the trail … just arrived in Trier, almost the end of the German Mosel, from here Metz to Strassbourg (France, but not this time). They say that the pilgrim is one aholy mission and walks on behalf of those who have to stay at home …


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