I have to say, at first I was not interested in reading this book. I was distracted with a hundred other things, and I found myself wondering about the future. I started the book anyway, and I’m glad I did. I realized very early on that I’m not interested in the history, at least not now. Not interested in the details. What I was interested in is the people. Who is hiking? Why? What were they thinking? Why did they do this? Could I do this? Why haven’t I done something like this already? Do I really want to do something like this? And then I realized this is precisely why I SHOULD be reading this book. David Downie’s Paris to the Pyrenees is a about a long walk across a land so rich in history it makes Orange County feel like a newborn. David and his wife, a photographer, take up a pilgrimage route and start hoofing. As you would expect, it’s funny, strange, cold, wet, hot and perhaps life-changing in ways you may or may not expect. Where I found most poignant were the small lines regarding the lifestyle that arises when one takes off on foot. Wandering gives you time to think, and this can be dangerously inspiring. A few samples below. Now, time to get out there and take a walk.
“Sometimes you need to wander. The meandering seems pointless, but it isn’t. Nothing is wasted, nothing is pointless, and nothing comes from nowhere.”
“Walking was like still photography-deep, slow and meditative.Riding in a car was like a movie.”