309/365: Downhome – The Road To Santiago
On my flight to St. Anthony a couple weeks ago, I picked the November copy of Downhome magazine from the seat in front of me looking to kill some time. I’m thumbing through, giving this a read and that a look-over, when I see a title that rings a bell in my memory. I see “The Road to Santiago”, and under that I see, “Story and photos by Phil Riggs”. Then I remember an email Phil sent me some time before, letting me know he had an article coming up in the November issue of Downhome magazine. Well, sure enough, there it was.
I first met Phil and his wife Lyla when we were living in Qikiqtarjuaq. They were teachers there, and Phil was the principal of the school. Anyway, there’s way to much to tell about those days, too many stories of get-togethers, dinners and potlucks, cups of tea, April Fool’s jokes (one more elaborate than the next – I’m laughing out loud as I write this, thinking about a few of those) and the odd drink here and there. It was only a few years, but when you’re in a small town about 100 km inside the Arctic Circle, you get to know people rather quickly. And Amy and I quickly came to realize what excellet people Phil and Lyla are, and we’ve always been happy ever since to of had the opportunity to meet and get to know them. Ah, they were good times.
So, I’m on the plane and when I realize this was the article Phil was talking about in his email, I get all excited and give it a read. You see, Phil and Lyla were trekking to Santiago, in northern Spain from France. This is along the pilgramage trail which stretches about 800 kilometres. During their trek, Phil would send us emails from time to time, giving us an account of the things they saw and did, the food they ate, and the people they met. And if you know Phil, you know these emails were laced with humour and you were almost certainly in for a good laugh. So on my boring flight to St. Anthony, I was delighted when I discovered his article. It was a nice read, and of course it was funny, but it also changed the mood of the flight I was on. It made it a little better, because for just a little while, I felt like I was flying with a friend.
Well, I guess this being December, it’s probably a little late in telling you to pick up the November issue of Downhome, but if you see one or have one laying around, give this article a read. You won’t regret it.