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John Joyce's Long Journey

#1
"John Joyce (73 years old) will start the first part of the Via Francigena from Canterbury tomorrow. John walked from Valorbe to Rome last year and will do the first part as far as Lausanne.
Then he will walk to Geneva and on to Le Puy where he will follow the Camino to Irun. From there he will walk the Camino Norte to Santiago. John has walked the Camino France and the Via de la Plata.
The amazing thing is that he had a heart attack a few months ago and thought that he would never be able to do a long distance walk again.
If anyone out there sees him the road - please don't offer him a lift - he won't accept.
Offer him a beer instead!"

I will try to keep you up to date if he reports back.
 

cate

New Member
#2
William Marques said:
"John Joyce (73 years old) will start the first part of the Via Francigena from Canterbury tomorrow. John walked from Valorbe to Rome last year and will do the first part as far as Lausanne.
Then he will walk to Geneva and on to Le Puy where he will follow the Camino to Irun. From there he will walk the Camino Norte to Santiago. John has walked the Camino France and the Via de la Plata.
The amazing thing is that he had a heart attack a few months ago and thought that he would never be able to do a long distance walk again.
If anyone out there sees him the road - please don't offer him a lift - he won't accept.
Offer him a beer instead!"

I will try to keep you up to date if he reports back.
I am interested to know how John's pilgrimage went and huge congratulations for his other amazing pilgrimages that he completed. I am totally in awe just reading this.
 
#3
John got there

"Hi everybody.
Sorry for the delay. Big up date.
After walking from Canterbury to Geneva I then wandered down to Le Puy.
Left Le Puy 22.5.05 France arrived, St Jean 17.6.05. From there I
walked to Bayonne on the coast, then by train to Lourdes. Stayed 2
nights. Then by train to Irún. Left Irún 21.06.05.
Along the northern route, droped down to Oviedo to follow the
primitive route. I found it so nice. I stayed on it to Lugo, then to
Santiago for 3 nights, where I am now (23.07.05) I must say this route
is the best of them ALL. I leave for Finisterre, then Muxia on the
coast, then back to Santiago.
I'am feeling very strong. All my blisters have well gone. Have feet of
iron, but my shoes are finished.
The Pilgrim,
John of Durban

(PS: John walked from Valorbe to Rome last year and has also walked
the Camino Frances and the Via de la Plata. He is 72 years old)
Sil"

I will try and get a more detailed account.
 
#5
A final word on John's journey

Hello William,
John arrived back week before last. If you are old enought to remember Gabby Hayes you will know exactly what he looked like!
John had a wonderful time! Only hiccup was when he had his cash stolen in an albergue in France. Fortunately he was left with a credit card and travellers cheques.
As you know, John did the second half of the Via Francigena last year from Valorbe to Rome. This year he started in Canterbury, walked to Dover, ferry to Calais, walked to Lausanne to do the first half. He took a paddle steamer to Geneva - then walked to Le Puy, to Irun, on the Camino Norte and then Primitive to Oviedo to Santiago. He is a speedy little guy so he got there far too early. So he walked to Fistera where he slept on the beach with a group of pilgrims: to Muxia, got a bus to Lugo where he spent three days then walked back to Santiago.
Abrazos,
Sil,

(PS: John had a heart attack last year and I think he was trying to test the old ticker by doing this Great Trek.)
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#6
Congratulations to John of Durban for such an exploit.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#7
John Joyce's Long Trek

John is actually an old 'Scouser" from Liverpool who washed up on the shores of Durban, South Africa about 20 years ago. He swore that he would never walk in England (only visit his sister from time to time) but after being back a week from his "Groot Trek" he has decided to walk John O'Groats to Lands End next year. He would also like to do the Apalachin Trail, the Bibbulmun Track in Australia, the Shikoku 88 Temple pilgrimage in Japan, etc etc etc ...................
He is fondly called "Little John" but he is 10 foot tall when it comes to walking distances!
Sil
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#8
74 year old (75 in two months time) John Joyce starts his + 13 00km long trek from Lagos to Ferrol (yes - Lagos in the Algarve to Ferrol in Galicia) - on Friday. (He might decide to get a bus to Ferrol from Santiago and walk back on the Camino Ingles instead).
John has walked the Camino Frances (twice) the Camino Norte, Camino Primitivo, Via de la Plata from Seville, Santiago - Fistera - Muxia (twice) : Santiago to oPorto: The Via Francigena from Valorbe, Switzerland to Rome; Canterbury to Valorbe to Le Puy to Irun to Santiago (3 500km): he attempted Land's End to John O Groats a couple of years ago but the weather beat him and he gave up half way - so he hopped a plane to Italy and joined a group walking a 300km southern VF route to Rome.

On 17th March 2008, John ran a half marathon (21.1km) road race and collapsed and died at the end. Fortunately for him, a cardiologist finished just behind him and, together with the medical team at the race, was able to resuscitate him. He was 'dead' for almost 10 minutes and has permanent amnesia about the day before the race, the race itself and most of the week he spent in the cardiac ward.
Whilst in hospital, the President of the Carbineers AC presented him with a plaque that read:

John Joyce
6.10.1933 ~ 17.03.2008 (with the 17.03.2008 crossed out)
"A Race to Die For"


John was due to start his Portuguese walk in April but had to postpone for 3 months. To me
John is the quintessential peripatetic pilgrim - a little man with a lot of courage and a big heart.
 

Attachments

NicoJ

New Member
#9
I walked the VdP in 2004. I saw John's name in several guest books. He was at that time a mystery man to me.Sinced lthen I learnt a lot about the man and he become an idol.

I am glad that he was saved by the grace of God with the assistance of the angel running behinfd him.

Nicholas
 
#10
On the Via de la Plata just recently, I noticed most of us were on the older side. Nevertheless, I am amazed how many people (men) I met who were in their 70s and who had walked the caminos in Spain several times. Angel from Barcelona walked much faster than anyone I met. Manfred walked slowly as he liked to hang out, but had walked from Germany, several caminos and also the length of northern Africa. There were others as well, and all their stories are very uplifting. What models!
Lillian
 

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