I´m sat by Christopher in Camp Gibbo. A good friend left us today and we pitched our tents in his honour. Heads heavy from tequila and wine we´re packed up from Pamplona and are sat 5km west, in a long-since ploughed field.
It is windy here. There are peaks each way I look. They are familiar now, carpeted with dark trees, bald with old white rock at the peaks. This is the first chance I have had to sit and write since we left St Jean Pied de Port.
A rhythm has presented itself to us now and it feels good to walk with heavy packs and light conversation. We talk about anything, everything.
Christopher is walking to South Africa to visit his sisters. He left Brighton in May and expects to be on the road for three years. He is not sure why. I´m not sure either, why we´re here. But it is the right place. Often now I look up and see things exactly as they should be. I have been stuneed by the flocking of birds of prey to a kill in the high Pyrenees and hoof prints in the soft wet mud of a pine forest in Spain. One man has been walking for four years. Joseph, from Rome to Santiago and then onwards to Jerusalem. He was carrying a cart behind him, of 60kg.
We all have our burdens here, but they are a joy and are addressed simply. We pick sheep´s wool from barbed wire to tuck under blisters (which are yet to appear) and we talk through our lives. We hope for sun to dry our damp equipment and to lift the condensation from our tents. Selina´s socks are drying on a nettle bush, thorns for pegs. We share the weight of our food and Ollie has a walking stick, plucked from the woodland when his knee began playing up. It is a small miracle that he has walked this far.
Emma is, as ever, fixing things.
We are happy together.
We left St Jean Pied de Port at night on 12th October to find our first camp. About 6km in and a fair way up the side of a mountain the dim glow of my head torch rested upon an opening into a farmer´s field. Ollie and I scoped it out. The sheep were huddled in the corner and stared at us indifferently. They had covered the field fairly comprehensively with their shit but we found our spots nonetheless. We always do.
6am saw us striking camp and pushing for a breakfast spot. We cooked pasta and as the sun rose we were astonished by the Pyrenees, rising from the dark.
Down below we watched the farmer tend to his sheep, exactly where we had been sleeping an hour ago.
Anthony, 5km outside Pamplona, Spain, October 17 2012