The book describes the author’s 561-kilometre pilgrimage from Rome to Bari, a continuation of his earlier 2,000-kilometre walk from Canterbury to Rome on the Via Francigena. His followed the Roman Via Appia and the Via Traiana to Bari, one of the traditional embarkation ports for pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land. He continued by ferry, train, bus and foot to the Greek Orthodox Monasteries on Mount Athos. From there he travelled by bus to Istanbul and on to Eceabat in Turkey, his base for exploring the evocative Gallipoli battlefields of World War I. After a gap of three years Robert walked from Jaffa to Jerusalem, thus completing a multi-year walk that began in Canterbury.
Walk with him as he struggles to understand and explain the reasons that drove him to undertake his arduous journey. He says, “Sometimes when a soft breeze tugged gently at my sleeve I felt that an unseen companion was walking with me and giving comfort when I flagged and was full of doubt; reminding me that I need not be anxious, there would always be that unseen arm to lean on when the way ahead seemed dark and uncertain and the trials of life pressed heavily on me.”
He met some unforgettable people on his memorable journey; who provided the inspiration to continue when fatigue and the pressures of his long walk tempted him to give up. It is a reminder that there is much good in our troubled world, and that there are people who will always extend an unconditional helping hand to strangers who struggle and are in need. He also met Kurds in Turkey and the descendants of Iraqi Kurds in Jerusalem and learned something of the troubled history of these persecuted people.