Three and half years ago when I started this recreation, this walk across Europe, I had a laptop, a portable hard drive, and a lot of material typed in the British Library. Plus my Merrells. Now I have an IPad. I turn it on and the GPS, plus my wikihood app tells me where I am, what’s around, and who has been here; then it maps it out for me. IBooks and a Kindle app let me read a myriad of out of copyright books – I’m weightlessly weighed down with Goethe, Cervantes, Erasmus, Homer, well the list is long and old skool. I can write, read, communicate, shop and learn with a thing about half the size of a baking tray. Is it the future? No, it’s the here and now, and will – has – change travel forever.
Perhaps it is good that I start near the mountains: perhaps the signals will be down, and I can move into the mood more slowly. My mood is different from 2007 anyway, and I’m sure it will show. First thing: a flight to Zurich at half past horror tomorrow morning. Thusis by lunchtime, I think.
And I still have the Merrells. UCL want me to donate them afterwards in a Coryat-ish gesture.