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There is snoring and the rustle of plastic bags as pilgrims awake on the Camino de Santiago. Rosie packs her bag with the usual rhythm – up, clothes, bag, pack, bottle, laces, go. She has been walking for 33 days, and tomorrow will complete her 800km journey on foot and arrive in Santiago de Compostela.
Rosie is amazed by the willingness of her fellow pilgrims to share their stories; Sue from San Francisco who battled leukaemia, Alexander from Norway who struggles with loneliness, and Saskia and Paul from Holland who are trying to live life to the fullest in the face of terminal bowel cancer. But as much as others share with her, Rosie struggles to be as open with her new found friends. She only wants them to see the best version of herself (and she’s no longer sure who that really is). Rosie did not come on this walk searching for some great epiphany, but as her fellow walkers share their stories of grief and loss, hope and celebration, Rosie listens to these myriad ways of being and belonging, and finds a place for herself in the process.
In 2016, playwright Sarah Peters walked the Camino de Santiago, an 800-kilometre hike across Northern Spain that has been travelled by pilgrims for centuries. Drawn from encounters with real people walking ‘The Way’, Blister explores what happens when daily life is reduced to a 10 kilo pack, a pair of boots, and a series of yellow arrows pointing you in the right direction…most of the time.
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Starts on page 22
EXTRACT: Iâ€™m not married. Donâ€™t have children. Iâ€™ve always found it hard to start speaking to people, never found it easy. Iâ€™m a simple man, really. I like my regular routines, having a drink with friends, doing my work. Gardening. And itâ€™s good, Iâ€™m not complaining. But I thought maybe there needs to be something more. That Iâ€™m not making many significant memories.