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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Dreaming of My Next Trek

Even my doctor agreed yesterday 
that trekking is the best thing I can do for my health.
So I continue to plan and wait for the day 
I am free again to roam.

For my next trek, I have narrowed it down to 4 options.
Decisions, decisions!

Via de La Plata

From the Confraternity website:
 "The Via de la Plata follows the old Roman road from Seville to Astorga.  Several sections of the original paving have been exposed; many Roman milestones, and a number of bridges remain; and in addition to Mérida, one of the richest Roman sites in Spain, you pass many other Roman remains."

Beginning in Seville, in Andalucia, the route crosses Extremadura and part of Castille and León. At Astorga, you either join up with the Camino Frances, or you can turn west to reach Santiago via Puebla de Sanabria and Ourense. The countryside is spectacular, though dry, and Mermaid Lillian said that in the Spring the land is covered with wildflowers, something I'd love to see!
The views are lovely
Mornings are beautiful!
Finding water at a horse trough

The tiny green spot is me!
In 2009, I walked from Seville to Fuente de Campos, 
but was forced to give up because of extreme heat and lack of water.
I've heard the VDLP is lovely in Spring, so that is one option.

Camino Norte

The Camino del Norte (also known as the Coastal Route or the Northern Route) is one of the longer branches of the network of ancient pilgrim routes which together make up the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) . It runs for some 825 km. from the French border at Irún, through San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Santander to join the Camino Francés, (the main spine route of the Camino) at Arzua. It is also possible to divert to Oviedo and walk the Camino Primitivo (the original route) which joins the Camino Francés at Melide. 

The scenery on this route is fantastic with fine coastal views. The terrain is quite hilly for much of the route, and you are often sent inland to reach a bridge over the numerous rivers. It is much less crowded than the Camino Francés, and because of this, pilgrim accommodation is sparse in places. There is a great Wealth of ancient monuments, particularly churches and monasteries, and the larger cities have excellent facilities.

In 2009, I walked from Bilbao to Santander and really enjoyed this route. The beaches are beautiful. The hills are tough, a great workout! The taste of it I got in 2009 makes me want to begin in Irun and walk the entire route.
You go over hills, then down to beaches like this one!
 I would like to do this route in the summer months, if possible,
and take advantage of the many beautiful beaches
and the tasty Spanish seafood!

Pelgrimspad

My third option is to walk the Pelgrimspad! This is a which begins in Amsterdam and runs through Paris. It continues down through France via several optional routes a person could follow. I'd like to go through Lourdes and bathe in the waters there. This trek would take a full 3 months to walk but could be spectacular!  It begins in the flat Netherland country so by the time you reach the mountains, you are in shape. I really REALLY want to do this trek, and it is possible it could fit in with Option 4.
Who could resist a trek with scenery like this?

In 2006 I biked the first etappe of the Pelgrimspad - BEAUTIFUL!
 Rome to Santiago, Spain

Option 4 is to walk with Mermaid Lillian and Melinda from Rome to Santiago to celebrate our 60th birthdays!  I'm visualizing us walking along the coast at Cinque Terra, then perhaps to Asissi, then turning toward the Mediterranean again and passing through Genoa, Arles, then over the Pyranees.  This would be a 6 month walk, and due to Visa restrictions, I'm not sure how I'd swing this. Since an American can only stay in the Schengen countries for 90 days. I'm looking into doing some house sitting in Wales, the UK, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, or somewhere NOT a Schengen country to split up the walk. So basically, I'd have to walk for 90 days, house sit for 90 days, then return to finish the walk.

Another thing I might do is walk the Pelgrimspad,
then meet up with ML&M for the last 3 months of the trek.

That's it.
Those are my options.
My feet are itching to walk.
My body needs the chelation.
Come on Universe!
Provide the way...
Joe invoking San Roque in Seville
Me and San Roque outside O'Cebreiro


And onwards...

* * *
If you'd like to walk the Camino
but aren't quite ready to do it alone,
see my website:
for more information about
Guided Walks on the Camino Santiago 
and on other Pilgrimage Trails of Europe

2 comments:

  1. Lovely pic of San Roque...did you take it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! Soon after dawn we came upon him. I didn't expect it. The morning was breaking and as usual, it was lovely up there! Cold! Brrrr...

    ReplyDelete

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