28 June.. Nearing the End

Dear Humphrey

One more day! It all seems a bit like a dream reflecting back on the last 78 days. Until now I have been careful to stay ‘in the moment’ as they say not daring to look back or very far forward. But now with just 30 kms or so to go and all limbs still functioning I dare to allow myself to be a little introspective.  Forgive me if it is a little ‘over the top’!

What amazing support I have received from the send off in Lynn, the hospitality of family and friends on my journey through England, the companionship of my brother Tom, Richard Pemberton, Alexander Matheson, Antony Wells, Michael Gurney, Geoffrey Probert and Nigel H-P on the walk, the wonderful messages on social media, the support and coverage of all the other media outlets especially Radio Norfolk’s Nick Conrad and the incredible work been done back home by Anna (Kasket), Chrissy Lloyd Owen, Michelle Corfield and the team at the Community Foundation who have been busy publishing all the material.

Well I have just spent the day ambling through the oak and eucalyptus woods of Galatia along paths padded with pine needles and bark. Lots of pilgrims including a few Australians who must have felt at home. I met a huge Mexican family of eight plus some sons and daughters in law and grandchildren. They had been to a family wedding in Barcelona and  been persuaded by Dad to do the last 150 ks of the Camino. There is also a splendid team of Camino hardened Frenchmen who I keep bumping in to who have come from Le Puy

Some of the Mexicans
The French team

I have been thinking about the journey through England, the happy dinners had with all our hosts, the Bishop of Ely in his pinny (his promise to pray for me seems to have worked! Thank you Bishop) and the mud and slurry of Chequers and Dorset; about the journey through France beginning with the ‘orage’ at Mont St Michel and a real nervousness about what I had embarked upon, the happy days I spent with Geoff and the loneliness and tedium of certain stretches and more recently my journey through Spain and the endless examples of courage and endurance by fellow pilgrims.

How lucky I have been with my health and general fitness. Everything seems to have held up. Having said that every twinge causes a certain anxiety particularly in the early stages as it would have been disappointing to have retired early. But now apart from a stabbing sensation above the left shoulder blade all is in good order. I will have a lot to thank for when I arrive in the Cathedral.

I have no idea how I will react on arrival. I know the pilgrims’ mass can be very emotional and the singing sublime. My lovely German friend from the earlier Camino I did, said then ‘James .. you will end with a laughing and a crying eye’ . I think he will be right.

Finally I have been so privileged on this journey to wave a flag for the Unpaid Carers and those organisations who support them. I have learned so much about their challenges and the value of the contribution they make to our Social Care system. They deserve all the praise we can give them. Have a look at this video clip to understand what it is all about and if you have not done so already please press the ‘Donate’ button below and be as generous as you can afford.

Thanks for passing all this on Humphrey!

With love from

your friend and master

PS. I will of course be sending a post card from Santiago but I am thinking that will be in a more celebratory mode!

5 thoughts on “28 June.. Nearing the End

  • June 28, 2018 at 6:10 pm
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    Go for it Jum!!! One more day. So brilliant. And look at the donation page! You are getting there too – just incredible. Sending our love, Laura and Jonathan

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  • June 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm
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    I could be in tears – to think that you have done so much since we last saw you and even then I found it difficult to say bon voyage. You have been amazing and all those twinges and aches didn’t stop you. I do hope that you reach your goal in donations – you certainly deserve every penny, as do the carers, who must be so proud of you. We all are and I hope that you enjoy the mass – we will be thinking so much. Longing to see you soon xxxxxxx Rozzie

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  • June 28, 2018 at 8:12 pm
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    I just don’t know how you’ve managed to scribe these marvellous accounts AND achieve this amazing challenge . Of course Humphrey has been at great pains { and of course you have suffered pain as well!} to convey this all to us.
    Thank you for taking us on this journey with you, allowing us to meet marvellous people, showing us beautiful countryside and describing your experience so that we could almost be there.
    What a wonderful achievement. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I looked at the video above and understand exactly your motivation. Hopefully you’ ll far exceed your target.

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  • June 28, 2018 at 8:15 pm
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    How can anyone NOT be moved by that video.Those children are inspiration ….

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  • June 29, 2018 at 8:46 am
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    Best of luck for your last leg…

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