August 9: Leaving Santiago de Compostla has left me wondering about my feelings for it. I’ve had a very differnt experience to my previous three. There was none of that excitement of being there and wanting to stay longer. I was more than happy to leave. I suppose my feelings simply reinforce the importance of my journey and not its destination. Every journey has to finish somewhere.

The train trip to A Coruna, all 34 minutes of it, was in one sense a minature cameo of parts of my walk with views, albeit from a speeding train, of forested hills and valleys, farmland, farm animals, and tiny villages in between.

I’d arranged to meet with Fay in London. After taking an hour and a half to clear border control and another two on the underground I didn’t arrive at Paddigton Station, near where her hotel was located in Bayswater, until around 7.30pm. As I was making my way towards Sussex Gardens I saw her walking down the street in my direction. So began what has become for me a quite surreal experience. There is more to this experience that being in one city in one country in the morning and that evening being in another city and country quite different socially, culturally, and politically, but this is part of why I feel like I do.

The riots and looting provide another dimension, although not occurring in Bayswater. They have occupied the TV for the past three days. That night we went for a meal at a Lebanese restaurant on Edgeware Road. On the TV was a continuous coverage of these latest events and on the street there were no less than about twenty police cars and trucks, sirens blazing, heading not far away towards Harrow Road to where there was some disturbance. At least this is what the restaurant owner, who had lived for three years in Hawthorne in Melboure, informed us when we chatted with him after our meal. There is a large Lebanese population in this
area. As you would expect it is reflected in life on the streets, a most obvious example of which was men sitting outside cafes smoking ‘Hubbly Bubbly’ water pipes, an activity that was offered on the restaurant menu.

August 10: Last night I got myself one of those tiny single bed rooms in the same hotel as Fay who left to go on a tour early this morning. There are many of these hotels in the one terrace on Sussex Gardens. I needed to sort out my visa for Brasil, not knowing if my current one was still valid. I stayed up until midnight to call the Brasilian Consulate in Sydney. They don’t give advice over the phone. With a little
more research on the net and a visit to the Brasilian Consulate in London I knew I needed a new visa. I had to decide what would do: wait in London for a new visa to be issued or return home. My trip on the underground to Oxford Circus, near to where the consulate is located, the walk along Oxford Street, and the implications for me of time it was going to take to get a new visa, sealed my decision to return home immediately.

Waiting for a new visa meant another 7-10 days in London. As I walked along Oxford Street which is full if shops selling fashion and jewellery I felt very strange. It was
an experience so totally at odds with my life for the past four months. I just wanted to get off the street. I couldn’t cope with the thought of becoming a tourist for a week or more, not after the most nourishing of experiences I’d had while on the road. This afternoon I bought myself a ticket for a flight tomorrow evening which will have me back in Sydney very early Saturday morning.

I needed to return to Sydney for medical tests preparatory to the hyperthermia treatment in Germany. (They are outrageously expensive to have done in Germany.) I intended to get these done after being in Brasil. It seems that circumstances have
prevailed to provide me with a better option: return home now, have the tests, get a visa for Brasil while home, and travel to Brasil before going to Germany. A month of meditation in Brasil immediately before my treatment in Germany will be an ideal preparation for it. So I’ll be leaving Australia for Brasil around September 3. I love the ability to be able to change plans as spontaneously as I have even though it was the surreal feelings that drove that change.
I will eternally remember this as the theme song for the new york yankees as buy cheap essay they toppled my beloved philadelphia phillies in the 2009 world series