That wasn’t true when I lived out in the middle of nowhere because there was nowhere to go. In order to be happy when I walk, I need a destination.
Now I walk to do everything. I walk to the bakery, to the farmer’s market, to the supermarket, to the pet supply shop and to the train station if I’m heading out of town. For that matter, I walk to my car when I use it because the nearest free street parking is ten minutes away. I walk to do all my errands and then I walk to window shop and read the posters around town to see if there is anything interesting happening.
Some days I take a longer walk. Up until now I had two routes for my longer walks. Neither was great. Both were acceptable, but both were also within the city limits. What I wanted was to find a cami, a footpath that would take me out of the city and get me to a reasonably interesting destination.
So recently I went to the tourist office to ask about footpaths. At first they wanted to send me off to nearby villages, but I told them no, that I didn’t want to drive first. I wanted to walk out my door, walk to a footpath, and then walk to somewhere.
It turns out that it is possible. It took two attempts to find the start of the path that the tourist office agent marked for me on the map, and this week I found it. It is a path that goes from Figueres to the nearby village of Vilabertran. Unfortunately, by the time I was within shouting distance of Vilabertran and could see the church tower, it was well into lunch time and I was hungry, so I turned around and went home. But I will walk that path again soon and explore the village where I hear there is a pretty monastery.
The Figueres-Vilabertran path isn’t spectacular. It crosses agricultural land and some irrigation canals and makes for a pleasant walk. But now that it has been snowing in the Pyrenees, there are some impressive views of the mountains, even on a hazy day. Enjoying those views was a personal revelation. In recent years, when I’ve seen something beautiful, I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it; I missed having someone to share it with, to say “Look, how beautiful!” But this last Sunday, when I turned and saw those mountains, I simply exclaimed aloud “That’s beautiful.” It wasn’t a question, not even a rhetorical one. There was no one there but me.