Monday, May 30

On The Road Again Coincidences

On The Road by Jack KerouacSince returning from holiday I've been saying that I have itchy feet and would like to be on the road again.

I went to a car boot sale and while there spotted a paperback of a book I read as a young man: the classic On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I dug in my pocket for 25p (about 35c) and bought the book. I thought it would be good to read it again from a somewhat older perspective.

On The Road had impressed me years ago. The book synopsis describes the story:

"Sal Paradise, young and innocent, joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberent ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom."

Just the read for a young mind!

Thought no more about it and then today read that they have now made a movie of the book, and this should be released towards the end of this year.

So a bit of a coincidence I thought: seeing the book and then reading that it had been made into a film.

My wife came in, having popped out to the local shop for a couple of things. She had with her a bottle of red wine, which she had free with some sort of voucher coupon. I looked at the bottle and there on the back was the name Jack Kerouac again! The reverse label stated:

"American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac, whose first major novel On The Road was autobiographical and based on his travels around America, was once a brakeman on the Coast Starlight railroad."

The wine is a Starlight Coast Petit Verdot from California.

So three links to Jack Kerouac and On The Road.

Since I bought the paperback I started to read the book again, but somehow it no longer has the appeal. I'm not sure if I'll even bother to finish it. Sometimes, perhaps, it's best not to revisit things but to retain the version already stored in your memory instead.

But I shall drink the wine!

P.S. I put the radio on, after finishing this post, and Willie Nelson was singing On The Road Again! And that's before I've drunk any of the wine ...

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  1. Quite an array of coincidences. The question is are you going on the road again? Soon? Great post.

  2. ive been on the road and got back last night. had a couple of coincidences and will email them 2 u

  3. was nearly coincidence that suzie and i commented at same time 1 minute out

  4. The road is certainly calling to you!The punctuation point, that bottle of wine with another Kerouac mention, really tops it all off.

    So where to next?

  5. I love your travel blogs because they are not a "hedonistic search for..." but instead are great to read with a glass of wine. So there is a Starlight Coast or California in your future? :D

  6. Anonymous18:25

    I’m still travelling, having taken up backpacking again at a late age.
    But when I’m at home I’ve become a bit of a couch potato, so decided to start doing Zumba classes.

    I’ve always had a hankering to see the Alhambra, so last year I decided to visit Spain for the first time. But just going to Granada for a few days seemed silly, so I made a plan to see some of the cities of Andalusia, to put the Alhambra in context.

    With Spain on my mind, and Zumba having raised my fitness level to heights I hadn’t even achieved in my teens, I also began thinking about walking the Camino
    Santiago de Compostella, and decided to do it a couple of years hence, aiming to arrive on my 70th birthday.

    In February I booked my flight to Seville and my first hostel, to arrive in April. Suddenly I was filled with excitement – as if something special was about to happen.

    At first, it seemed the opposite. ‘Ruinair’ mucked up my flight and had me arriving near midnight the previous day. I was annoyed. But when I boarded the plane I found myself sitting next to a guy who was setting out to walk the Camino – only from Seville. He said it was a flatter and quieter route.
    Co-incidence? Maybe. But that was only the start…

    I arrived at my hostel – to find I’d booked into the hostel from which pilgrims began their journey. Ok – so THAT’s why I’d been so excited. Walked the first stage with a woman from my dorm, just to try it out; it was easy walking. And people at the hostel who’d done it before were eager to share their experiences. Decided not to wait two years – I’d do it myself a year later.

    Moved on to Cordoba, to the youth hostel. The manager said I’d have the (dorm) room to myself, but when I got back from my walk another woman had arrived. She was walking the Camino - by yet another route – and showed me her scallop shell recording her Caminos every year since 2004. Again! (‘What I tell you three times is true.’)

    BUT – Granada came next. When I arrived, I took a bus to the town centre and my next hostel. At the next stop two young American girls got on, talking in English. One said to the other “Is it next week you’re starting your Camino walk?”
    At that point I looked heavenwards and said “Ok, ok, you can stop now. I’ve really got the message!”
    From then on I didn’t see or hear another word. But yes, I’m walking the Camino this year. My flight and hostel are already booked….

    1. Thank you for your story - and best wishes for your Camino walk.