Sometimes things aren't what they seem at the time. I began shortly after 8.00am to start what I thought would be a 28km walk to Gijon where I expected to arrive some time between 4pm and 5pm, however, I did not walk into my hotel in Gijon (there being no albergue in this quite large city) until 10.15pm, having covered about 45km in the day. It was a day of mistaken directions.

A couple of kilometres from Villaviciosa, a town about 6km from where I commenced the day's walk, I missed a turn when I got distracted by a man chainsawing wood. This didn't cost me too much except I had to do these kilometres along a bitumen road.

I was feeling terrific all morning. I walked the first three and a half hours without a break. I was very energised by the support of my cancer support group who were meditating between 10.30am and 11.00am (my tme). Thanks to you all. After walking the three and a half hours I stopped for food. At this point there two ways to go, but it was only later that I realised this. One way was heavily arrowed and the other not at all except there was a usual pedestal with a ceramic plate of a scallop shell fixed to it. Things went awry from here. The way I took was the path to Oviedo where you commence the Camino Primitivo, a different route to the Camino del Norte. I ended up in Valdedios at the Monasterio Santa Maria de Valdedios,
established in 1200. Valdedios means 'God's valley'.

I went into the church to light a candle and say some prayers for my friend Naomi who is doing it tough after a second cancer operation. I did this during a chanting session by three monks. I also lit candles for my cancer support group and for people I know who are suffering. It wasn't until I came out of the church and spoke
to a pilgrim at the monastery's albergue that I became aware of my mistake. Some mistake. I'd gone about 9km out of my way. The pilgrim had made a similar mistake but had decided to stay at the albergue, having slept in open the night
before. I was told that Gijon was another 30km away.

What was personally fascinating was my attitude in getting this news. There was no question of me staying at the albergue. I decided immediately I would walk to Gijon. After some time walking I picked up the yellow arrows near Nievares. But that was not the end of it. Sometimes it seems that staying on the bitumen road would have been a better option. When I turned onto the path outside Nievares the road sign said 2km, which meant I had another 7km to get to Peon, the next town on my list. Not far from the 2km sign a yellow arrow directed the path up the side of a mountain. It was a tough climb for about an hour. When I got back onto the bitumen road it was near the 3km sign. So I'd covered about one kilometre in that hour.

Between the 4km and 5km signs there was an arrow directing the path down the mountain instead of following the bitumen road. At the bottom of he mountain I saw no arrow pionting in the direction I thought I should be headed, instead they pointed the opposit way. What I should have done was to stop and contemplate this situation for a short time, but I immediately chose to slavishly follow the arrows which took me on another difficult mountain climb. This climb led me back onto the same bitumen road near the 3km mark. All this meant that I'd spent about two and a half hours descending the side of one mountain, doubling around and climbing another
maintain which took me back to a point a couple of kilometres before the point at which I'd left the road to do the descent. When I realised what I'd done I laughed out loud and said, “Good one John”.

I checked at Peon to see if the was any accommodation, but there was none so I pressed on to Gijon. On the way into town I stopped at a supermarket and got enough food for dinner, breakfast and some left over for less than a��10. I walked into my hotel feeling physically exhausted but in great mental shape. I didn't need any particular mental resolve to make it to Gijon. I just did it without any any doubt I
could. All I had to do was put in the time and I'd arrive at Gijon. I feel like there has been some type of breakthrough: a toughening of my mental strength.

On arrival at the hotel my feet were none too happy. It took three hours for them to settle down after being bathed twice in hot water and constantly massaged. I should add that it rained on and off from the time I left the albergue until about 3.00pm.

Released as a single in fall 2000, it was a belated millennial party anthem, driven by an over-the-top autotune vocal and highly conducive to extended live remixing