Flying Pans & Flowing Knives!
After Australia and Peru, I flew back to Europe for the final part of my journey. On the way I had a nice chat in the interrogation room of the Miami airport for a few hours, because the US border protection people get a little bit edgy seeing a bearded man with a Finnish passport that has five Pakistani visas and one Iranian visa.
I barely made my connecting flight but I’m glad I did, because I had one fantastic night in London before heading off to Portugal. My original idea was to stay in Portugal the whole time, but Porto was so cold that I ended up renting a car for 15 days instead to go somewhere warmer. I payed only 108€ and it became my home for the next 2 weeks.
I spent the first night watching the sunset on the beach and falling asleep in the freezing car. The next day I headed up the Duoro river into the port wine region and went all the way to Toro in Spain..
Toro is apparently one of the best places in the world to grow grapes, and the friends I went to stay with make some of the most beautiful wines I’ve ever tasted that go by the name of Dominio del Bendito. Unfortunately the weather that is perfect for grapes was still too cold for me so I kept going.
I drove passed Madrid to a small place called Cuenca to see a close friend of mine. I had a wonderful 4 days there with snow and -6 degree weather, while my friends in Finland were enjoying the sun at nearly +10 degrees celsius.
I figured that the Mediterranean coast would be warmer because of the water mass, so I drove down to Malaga. I met some nice people at a gin bar, and having spent the night with them I slept on the side of the road in my car.
I continued to Algeciras and took the ferry over to Morocco. I spent only 2 days there to check out the place for later, but I still managed to have a great but very intense experience.
I came back to my car in Spain and drove along the coast back to Portugal. I went all the way up to Lisbon where I spent 2 nights roaming around the beautiful city, and learning about it’s history from a very enjoyable free walking tour.
During the last days I drove along the coast between Lisbon and Porto watching the waves and falling in love with the beautiful country and beautiful people.
The last week was coming back full circle. I saw milestone people from my past, and I got to fulfil a promise made 12 years ago.
My last flight was back to London and I continued straight to Bristol. The next night I hopped on a bus to Brussels for one evening to see Hope. My oldest friend had just been going around castles and haunted mansions in Germany, so I got a lift back with him.
We road tripped through the Netherlands where I quickly saw a very dear friend in Utrecht, and continued into Germany and Sweden. We had the chance to see a few castles on the way, and in the end I was given a lift straight to Juho’s place where a potential tuk tuk recipe dinner and a 150 year old sauna was waiting.
Many asked me what the idea was behind starting a round the world journey right after having finished the tuk tuk adventure, because rationally thinking there was no good reason to do it. To tell you the truth I don’t know why. All I knew was that my heart told me to go, so I went.
Monday, 28 January 1963 Don Juan said,
“You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere.
My benefactor’s question has meaning now. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”