Not Far Now …

Well, I’m nearing the end of what can only be described as an extraordinary 26 days.

I have 7 left and short of Claude (my bicycle) and I completely running out of steam or getting squashed by a truck, we’re almost there. Being the eternal pessimist however, yet always full of hope (and no I don’t know how that works), I’m never one to count my chickens and it certainly ain’t over till the fat lady sings as they say.

Most of what has happened will be in ‘the book’, but suffice to say I have enough material to write a trilogy.

I have laughed until I tears have streamed from my eyes, I have cried, wailed, howled in pain and in fear, and screamed at myself to dig deep, not just once, but almost daily.

And the outcome? I have found a strength not just physically but mentally that I never knew existed. I have been alone and sometimes desperately lonely … and sometimes just simply desperate. I have lain in a tiny tent being battered by storms for 48 hours, convinced that at any moment in the darkest of nights it was all over.

And yet, I have found kindness and generosity, laughter and warmth. I have been propositioned by men both younger and about forty years older than me and have also discovered that camping au naturiste doesn’t mean a beautifully natural site in the pine forests, at all … I have been given a standing ovation, snarled at, snapped at and had to deal with handfuls of drunkards. And that’s only scratching the surface.

And for what you might well ask? Why would any sane person put them self through this? A personal challenge? A midlife crisis? Or perhaps simply a woman looking to find where the girl in her had gone. The girl who was once fearless and strong but somewhere through that inevitable process called life, became lost, became frightened of everything but most of all, became frightened of the negative voices in her head, the unutterably foul, burdensome and oppressive voice of a demon called Betty.

Katie xx

Has your past restricted your future? And how do you intend to remedy this?

Ps. If any of you have got this far with my drivel, you mightn’t believe me if I told you that I’m in a bar and La Vie en Rose is playing … I’m in heaven.

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52 thoughts on “Not Far Now …”

    1. It’s been difficult to post as WiFi is limited and it uses up a lot of battery but all is good. Tough day today, lots of bad weather but I’m warm and dry now in my little tent. Never thought I’d appreciate a sleeping bag and tent so much! Katie

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  1. Well done and be proud? What next? Cos you never know while you like back on this and realising the confidence it has gave you, along with finding your strengths, that something inside of you will be thinking of other things you’d like to try. Just as I have been discovering and blogged about recently and this has only sparked these things off, from having driving lessons.
    I also admire your bravery for going alone in a tent. Xx

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      1. I am having no more driving lessons, something I have mentioned on my blog a few times, but just not the fully why I am not continuing. Money is one I have expressed,but it’s more than not affording to run a car. You will probably gather the other reason already. It’s something I will one day blog about soon, as I feel ready to. But it wasn’t a waste. Xxx

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    1. Aw thanks Lee! I’m nearly done now … only 6 days to go although today was pretty tough; I’m getting increasingly tired and I guess that’s when mistakes happen so I’m having to try to keep focussed. Thanks so much for reading! Katie

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      1. I’m with you on the tiredness. I seem to be at my worse if my body is fatigued. I hope you got through the tough day. Not long to go now! Very Inspiring. Lee

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    1. You’re super kind!! Must confess that I struggled today with poor weather and I had to take shelter under a tree for a while getting jolly chilly! I’ve seen enough pine trees to last me a lifetime but I do so love the smell of them. X

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  2. Go Katie, go Katie, Go Katie, Go Katie, Go Go Goooooooo! I am so glad you have found Piaf at the exact right moment but I am most delighted that you have found you! The new you is the old you. The journey that has taken you back to her is pretty much the same as the journey to mislaying her. LIfe. The ovations and the heckles, the laughter and the tears, the bravery and the fear, the long winding road that can be wandered off for a while but now you are back on it and you will stay on it. Betty can Boop off because she is not wanted in your parade. She will try and push in from time to time but you are now that strong, fearless lass once more and no-one can take that away from you. So when you have moments of terror you need only reach into the nap sack in your mind and recall how you made it from top to almost bottom of France on a plucky bicycle called Claude. And if this is to be a book, I do recommend reaching for Susie Kelly – particularly ‘Best Foot Forward’, ‘Travels with Tinkerbelle’ and ‘The Valley of Heaven and Hell’. Good reference points …. and she started out self-publishing and was picked up by Blackbird by dint of her Amazon rankings 6 months later 🙂 xxx

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    1. Golly, I must look into Susie Kelly on my return – sounds excellent. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement – you wouldn’t believe how much it really does help. Yes, the music last night was just perfect and so timely – I wanted to hold onto that moment, it was utterly magical. Thank you xxx

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  3. This is so awesome – I’m so impressed with you I don’t know what to say. This achievement is nothing short of incredible, CONGRATULATIONS! You kick some serious *rse!!!!!!! xx

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    1. Ha!!! Don’t be impressed honestly! I think I’m just trying to put right the things that I got so wrong for so long. I think I just fell off the path for a few years but didn’t realise it. Anyway, I’m nearly there and when I get there there will be a big whoop whoop from me so loud that you might even hear it!! Thanks very much for being so supportive and kind. Kxx

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    1. Ha bloomin’ ha!! I’m so tired I’m going to sleep for a week … besides I might be confused with one of the monkeys in Gibraltar… I haven’t seen a hairbrush in 3 weeks. Saw a dead wild boar today … HUGE! I don’t think I ever want to see another canal or pine forest in my life! You have a lovely peaceful evening and think of me hunched over my little stove cooking up some ghastly concoction! Oh for a steak, chips and massive salad!😩😩

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  4. Hey! Congratulations on almost-nearing the end. I have been reading bits and pieces of your journey and may I just say how brave it is of you to embark on this!

    I do not really feel limited by my past, but I cannot really imagine a future for myself in which I am adventurous and do things which result in that. 😛 I guess I am too used to the usual way of life, even though sometimes I feel it would be amazing to sit in a Himalayan meadow and meditate. Maybe someday.

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  5. Well done Katie – what an achievement! I’ve been thinking of you out there in that ‘strange’ land and praying for your safety. But what a tale to tell when you get back. I’m sure you’ve so much more to tell us about your gallivants and I’m sure you’ve learnt loads. Looking forward to hearing more when you’ve landed back on home soil, thrown Claude down (nicely) and had a large glass of something bubbly. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much … I have finally done it! I’ll do a post on it tonight or tomorrow, but in all honesty I’m absolutely exhausted! Both physically and mentally …. it’s been the best, the absolute and totally best experience and adventure that I’ve ever had. It’s been demanding beyond belief but so utterly worthwhile. Thank you so much for your support …. I really do appreciate it! I shall also try and catch up on your posts now that I’ve got WiFi and life in the battery! Thanks! Katie x

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  6. That touched me so much when you talked about the little girl inside you that you felt you had lost, I was right there with you and your right life throws a lot of things at us and it can be hard to remember who were were all those years ago. La vie en rose, i wrote a blog with that title a while ago , who lovely, keep at it. x

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