I made a conscious decision not to write poetry on the journey, leaving it perhaps for a later time, but I tried to find a verse or song for each day to borrow words for the experience of the road. I hope to use the experience to write poetry, perhaps imitating the amazing example of Paul, the Irish poet I met. For what it’s worth, this is my record of the journey, my attempt to share with you the amazing last eighteen days. I am truly not unchanged by this journey.

Today has been a day in waiting, wandering around the harbour enjoying the autumn sunshine that, perversely, has decided to reappear now as I leave Galicia. The water shone and reflected the little boats while fisherman told stories and argued among their nets and the seabirds called.

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So now I am back in Santiago, having shopped and with no inclination to be a tourist. I write my blog for one last time on the journey and wait for my washing to be delivered, for dinner (they have a cheap Galician menu which saves me a cold walk into the centro), before a final pack and, I hope, a good nights sleep.

I tried to think of a poem to conclude this attempt at journalism, something wise that captured the bittersweet sense of ending, but nothing seemed to suit. Probably the appropriate response would be to go and get roaring drunk with some mates, but my companions are scattered, some on their way home, some on the road to Finisterra. And then there is the song that became an ear worm yesterday as I catalogued all the music that had references to roads, streets, avenues, highways, byways and Ways. You won the Mars bar if you came up with more than one song for each noun, but you might be surprised at the words that followed my footsteps up the hill to Finisterra. Helen would understand, perhaps, for it is a song that speaks of all roads being, ultimately, about a road home to those you love. To live in love is, as best we can, to live without regret and to love without restraint. If I’ve learnt nothing else in life, it is that.

And so, as trite as popular music can sometimes be, but as deep, here is a truth about all journeys. I’m on my Way to you. Read it as you will.

So often as I wait for sleep
I find myself reciting
The words I’ve or should have said
Like scenes that need rewriting
The smiles I never answered
Doors perhaps I should have opened
Songs forgotten in the morning

I relive the roles I’ve played
The tears I may have squandered
The many pipers I have paid
Along the roads I’ve wandered
Yet all the time I knew it
Love was somewhere out there waiting
Though I may regret a kiss or two

If I had changed a single day
What went amiss or went astray
I may have never found my way to you
If I had changed a single day
What went amiss or went astray
I may have never found my way to you
I wouldn’t change a thing that happened
On my way to you…

If you want to hear Streisand sing it, it’s on YouTube, just don’t watch the slideshow!

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