It’s been more than eight years since my first cancer diagniosis and more than four years since the second. The journey to find a solution to these problems has occupied all that time: I’ve walked long distances, given up my career, experimented with unusul ‘therapies’, become a more spiritual person, complety re-structured my way of life, and always maintained a belief in myself, and a belief that everything I did was integral to finding that solution. Traveling the road to Abadiania is another part of my journey.

I’ll say something in my next blog about the healing that happens here in Abadiania, but for the moment let me share some of my experiences in getting here. This is not my first visit: I was here for two weeks in December 2009, and again for another
week in early January 2010, this latter occasion with my two sons. For the boys, Abadiania must have been quite incongrous after we all had spent a week in Rio de Janiero celebrating the New Year at Copacabana Beach.

Abadiania is about an hour and a half drive by car south of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, located in Goias Province in the centre of the country. It’s easy enough to get
to for us Sydneysiders with a direct flight to Buenos Aires, and then onto Sao Paulo and Brasilia. On the flight to Buenos Aires I had three seats to myself: this has never happened to me before. One of the first things I noticed was the age of the cabin crew who all looked older than fifty. However, they managed vegetarian meals for me although they were not ordered in advance. The female staff member who did this was the one who didn’t blink an eye as I was about to step into a rear toilet after the fasten seat belts sign had been illuminated for take-off when I showed her a packeted syringe while telling her I had to inject myself to guard against a deep vein thrombosis. They’ve heard and seen it all before.

It’s an odd experience changing time zones by 13 hours: I left Sydney in morning daylight, flew into darkness before it was due, and then flew back into daylight again – all in the space of about 10 hours of flying. It was announced that we were going
to be an hour and a half late getting onto Buenos Aires because of a change of flight path to avoid a volcano. But the change of course gave us a spectacularly clear view of the Andes with it’s snow-capped peaks and occasional flat stretches that looked like a brilliantly white sheet had been thrown over the landscape. The further east we traveled the mountains gave way to a vast, flat, brown plateau etched with long,
narrow, intersecting roads that appeared as if someone had taken a pencil in a lighter colour and drawn them in.

There was a lesson to be learned in Sao Paulo. After I arrived I had just 50 minutes
to clear immigration, customs, and re-check in my luggage on a domestic flight to Brasilia. There had to be a hundred passengers in front of me at immigration and with only about half a dozen staff checking documents this process was going to take some time. I looked around for someone who appeared like they could make a decision to allow me to jump the queue but didn’t see anyone capable of making a decision of that type. After spending about twenty minutes in the queue I resigned myself to the fact I would miss my flight. It was a good lesson in acceptance: I had no power to alter my circumstances. It would be a waste of energy thinking about what might have been.

I was concerned to call the driver I had arranged to pick me up at Brasilia airport. If I didn’t get to him before 7.00pm he would likely have left his base in Abadiania and a futile trip was going to cost me an additional $120.00. it’s marvelous how quickly we can learn. It was just before 7.00pm when I cleared customs, but I managed to find out where to buy a phone card, buy one, make a call and put my driver on hold
until I’d got a new flight. I eventually arrived in Abadiania at midnight, exhausted after 25 hours in the air, standing in queues, and hanging around airports. As the
Europeans kept saying to me while I was walking the Camino, “Australia is such a long way away”.

Few top ten hits have using internet to help with assignment ever been more autobiographical or more foretelling of the future