A circuitous route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Stage One beginning in Munich, Germany ending in Jerusalem - traveling through Austria, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel. Second stage from Vienna, through Germany, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain.
Final destination - Santiago!

Post Script: The changeable situation in Jerusalem has led to a change in plans. The Rome to Jerusalem leg of this journey has been changed to the 'End to End' in the UK, after which the journey will resume as above in Vienna.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Some random facts on this journey.

I haven't had much chance to compose a list in the past few weeks, with catching up with people, and also the conference, but I thought you might like a couple of facts from the year of walking, in no particular order:-

  • I left home on the 18th June, and will return on the 17th June.
  • I calculate that I have walked about 5,500kms, probably more.  The "End to End" in the UK was in excess of 2,200 alone.
  • I had to buy a new pack half through the UK as the other one had worn out.
  • After 6 months I had to buy a new shoulder bag in which I carry my camera, tablet, wallet etc, as the Pacsafe one had wires protruding and was scratching me, the stitching had worn, and the zip had broken!
  • I am on my 4th pair of boots, with probably about 800 kms left in them!.  
  • I began with two sets of summer socks, exchanged for two sets of winter ones in October, the latter ones still in use and only just lasting the distance.
  • All my underclothes have been replaced and the old ones have gone into the bin!
  • My first raincoat leaked and so had to be replaced.
  • Physios treated injuries about 8 times on the way to Rome, and about 10 times from Leipzig to Santiago.  Interestingly in the UK I never had to see a physio, though I did see a doctor about an eye problem who then referred me to the optician.
  • My sister in law, Joan, walked with me for the first week, my friend Julie for four weeks in Italy, my friend Charlotte for a couple of days in the UK,  my niece Greta for a week on St Cuthbert's Way (UK) and lastly my son Emrys for two weeks in Germany.  Otherwise I walked alone.
  • I have walked in:- Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, and of course the UK.
  • I posted guides books and maps home as I finished with them - the cheapest post being in the UK where I was able to send it surface mail, everywhere else had only one rate - expensive!.
  • Emrys couriered my winter gear to me and I posted the summer gear home.  Posting the winter gear (thick jackets, trousers etc) home I just continued in the same walking gear as the temperatures have yet to get to temperatures high enough to make my trousers and shirt uncomfortable to walk in.
  • I bought some long trousers (as opposed to ¾ Capri pants) in Inverness in September, and have worn them, with the exception of the occasional rest day, every day since! (and I'm very sick of them!)
  • I was warned about the risk of travelling without a flu vaccination as the flu season had begun when I left, and listening to the ABC I will return in the flu season. I didn't have the vaccine and didn't get the flu and have avoided colds thus far.
  • I avoid making comparisons and saying what was my favourite thing, but there are definitely a couple of things that stand out for various reasons:- the Opera in Verona, "walking the poles" across the sands to Lindisfarne in the dawn light, walking in the snow near Leipzig, and arriving in Assisi, Rome and Santiago.
  • In the summer season I carried around 8 - 9 kgs and in the winter around 12 - 13 kgs.  This depended on how much food and papers I was carrying at the time.
  • I always bought meals at cafes, restaurants etc, but also carried a little bit of food for emergencies.  Muesli bars  (some better than others!) were my staple emergency food.  I work on the principle of a meal of muesli bars won't kill me for one night if I have to resort to that, which I did a couple of times as no food was available where I was.

I'm off to London now, and will spend four days there, before heading home.  

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