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Posts Tagged ‘travelling’

I got back yesterday after working away for 5 weeks and opened my vast pile of post….

It’s like Christmas really 😄😄😄

And in the pile were my last 4 Conqueror medals 👏👏👏🏅🏅🏅🏅

In order of completion, from left to right

Great Ocean Road, Mt. Fuji, Conquer 2020 and Alps to Ocean which I completed this month. Awesome 😃😃

My target for 2020 was 2,020kms and I reached that on 31 December 2020

I probably walked wayyyyy more than that, but I mostly count ‘boots on’ mileage and if I’m stuck indoors at work and unable to get out for my break on any particular day, I count my indoor walking, which extraordinarily sometimes amounts to 12kms between going on duty at 8am to 2pm when I take my 2 hour break. Mostly I try to get out to walk, but sometimes like these last few days, I get snowed in, or its pouring with rain….ergo, no good for walking if you don’t have the right gear.

I first started these virtual challenges on 26th March 2020, and the Alps to Ocean is my 9th challenge completed. I have 5 to do this year, as well as the Conquer 2021 challenge which is a compilation of all challenges walked during the year. Of course they may well introduce more…in which case 😁😁😁 and ‘boots on’ and getttt walking!!!

Also in the mail were my next two Cicerone books: The Thames Path, which I’m planning on walking in April for my birthday. Its something I’ve wanted to do for years, and years, and of course I’ve walked many miles along the River Thames between Hampton Court Palace and as far as Greenwich – not all in one go, but different sections over the years, and right along the whole length between Rotherhithe and Lambeth, also at different times.

And of course the South Downs Way is a desirable walk for this year too.🤞🤞🤞 because so many factors affect that possibility.

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When there’s something you’ve wanted to do for a very long time, and suddenly you make the decision to do it and it’s nerve-wracking…..which is weird really but there it is – I’ve finally put a date to my Camino.

It’s been a dream of mine to do ‘The Camino’ for a very long time. I’m not sure when exactly I first became aware of The Camino, that, is lost in the mists of time. But some years ago my father planned to do The Camino on his bike and suddenly I was like….Oh okay….then during some visit or other to the UK he and I discussed the possibility of doing it together but due to the fact that he wanted to cycle the route but I wanted to walk…unfortunately we never did get that off the ground.

me and dad 2011 (1)

My Dad and I in 2011, the last photo ever taken of us together

Although he did do it again last year with one of my younger sisters, albeit not very successfully apparently as by then he was in the early stages of dementia and not only lost his passport but was terribly slow and struggled along.  But since he was in his mid-80’s by then, he could be forgiven for struggling. And of course he has since passed away (not connected to the Camino).

Doing the Camino was one of the ‘things’ on my ‘list of things to do’ once I got my British Passport 🙂 and like the sorting out of my possessions in South Africa the time has now come. And so project #Camino2016 has begun!

I immediately started doing some research on routes and best time of the year to travel etc etc. What I discovered is that there are numerous routes besides ‘The Way’!!! I finally decided on the Portuguese Coastal Route starting from Porto. Besides the fact that it is relatively flat in comparison to The Frances route which is 790kms and traverses mountain ranges, I have always wanted to go to Portugal so this was a great way to combine the two. I would love to go to Lisbon of course, but since it’s a lot further and I don’t have unlimited time, I settled on Porto as my launching point. However, on the plus side Porto looks amazing, so I’m really excited about starting there.

I’m planning on spending 3 days in Porto to explore then on the fourth day I shall head over to the Cathedral and start my 285km Camino journey from there.

I joined a group on Facebook; exclusively for women, the group allows women who have already walked the Camino, no matter which route, to offer advice and encouragement to those planning their journey. It allows us to ask for help or information and allows women who are already walking to post photos and tips and hints on what to wear, where to stay, what to expect en-route, what to look out for (like insane gropers), where to eat and also just some of the most stunning and amazing photos. It’s certainly made me impatient to start!!! LOL I’ve also starting studying photos on Instagram. Ohmygosh! Some of the places are just stunning.

Next was suitable gear…..I had bought my jacket while I was in South Africa as well as pants with zips and lots of lovely pockets (I love pants with pockets). I also bought a thermal top and leggings, socks, shoes, gloves and other bits and bobs. So thrilling to start getting my gear together.camino 2016.05.24 camino(4) Once I got back to the UK, I started doing more research on what to take and what to leave…keeping in mind the recommended weight of 10% of body weight…..I’m trying really hard to NOT lose any weight so I can take more with me!!! Hahaha.

I got online and ordered a whole lot of goodies from Mountain Warehouse, a parcel I received with much excitement and couldn’t wait to get it all on and start wearing it in.  I’ve also bought stuff that I will clearly not get to use (go figure) and some that after trying it out I have found to be unsuitable.2016.05.31 (1) So it goes I guess. But slowly I’m whittling it down to what I will or won’t take. Veterans of the Camino recommend weighing EVERYTHING and note it down…apparently after carrying the backpack for a couple of days for up to 8 hours a day, the pack gets heavier and heavier. Hmmm.camino (2)

I also got online and started to plan my route. As I say the Portuguese coastal route appeals to me the most…there’s also an inland route, but the thought of walking alongside the seas (well ocean actually) for 5 days appeals greatly. So I zoomed in on the maps and listed the towns along the way; potential places to stay and noted the distance between each. I don’t want to walk my feet off, so I’m limiting my distance to 28kms on any one day.

I also noted places that have lots of historical buildings and churches and things to see.  I can’t go to Portugal for 2 weeks and NOT explore….that would be sacrilege. And so after many, many hours online I have identified the best places to explore where I’ll stay for two nights, and which towns I can just sleep over and leave the next day.

Working out the various stages has been fun too…I worked out the distances with great care since as I say I didn’t want to walk more than 28kms on any one day…some places just don’t play fair…33kms!! So it’s been a real challenge to plan each stage. I’ve also learned so much I never knew about Portugal…I may just end up not coming back to the UK LOL. Portugal sounds absolutely fantastic. The towns have so much history and having looked at photos of some church interiors, I can tell already that I’m going to be taking a LOT of photos.

At the midway point of my journey, I’ll leave Portugal from Valenca, cross into Spain and walk the final stages from Tui to Santiago de Camino…oh my word, when I write that it gives me a thrill…of anticipation and a healthy dose of fear. I love walking and that will be a real pleasure, I love being on my own so that’s something I’m looking forward to and exploring is right up my alley….it’s looking to be a really amazing journey. The section from Tui to Santiago is the most important stage, I’ll do this over 5 days via Vigo and at just over 100kms it will qualify me for my Compostela….the certificate you receive from the Cathedral in Santiago for completing the route as a pilgrim. In order to ‘prove’ you’ve done the required 100km’s you get stamps in your Pilgrims Passport along the way from all sorts of places, churches, alburgues, restaurants and other such places…not always easy to identify but apparently once you say you’re a ‘pilgrim’ the locals are mostly very happy to help.  I am planning on learning some Portuguese and Spanish so that I can communicate.

My sister is loaning me her Spanish phrase book so I guess it’s time to start learning a new language.

Bring on the Camino!!!!camino 2016.05.24 camino(3)

 

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Travel; what is it about that word that conjures up a whole vista of possibilities?   Could you imagine what your life would be like without travel?  Is it possible to not travel?   Whatever you do and whatever your reason,  travelling is a part of most people’s lives.

For centuries now people have been travelling, not just locally, but right around the world.   The reasons over the centuries have been different and yet remain the same, just in a different context.   Our forefathers travelled.  Ancient civilizations travelled.   New world’s were discovered, different civilizations and different cultures.   Their reasons for travel were vastly different and yet remain the same; to explore and conquer.   We all travel in one way or another.

There are different reasons why people travel:

1) Many people travel because they want to see their families and friends, whether they live near or far. Invitations from families and friends, for weddings, birthdays, or any other form of celebration are a good reason to pack your bags and travel.

2) Some people may travel seeking love, because they want to find their soul mates, believing that there is only one person for them and if they haven’t had much luck in their area, perhaps they will be luckier elsewhere.   With millions of people around the world, there is a possibility they could find love in some other place.

3) People travel to seek employment, perhaps having been unlucky nearer to home, possibly because they want to have a different experience e.g. volunteering.   Admittedly work may be hard to come by in your hometown or country and so some people decide to work abroad because they are looking for greener pastures.  They could earn more money abroad or perhaps their expertise is not favourable where they currently reside.

4) People travel because they want to learn about other cultures, to experience the differences between their’s and other cultures.  They travel and learn because for them learning while travelling is fun.   One very popular reason for travelling to another country is to enjoy and learn about the food.

5) People travel because they enjoy writing.   They want to share relevant information about the places they visit, write articles for their readers or find information for a novel perhaps.  There is a whole industry based just on travel writing.

6) People travel because they want to explore the landscape of different countries, take photographs as souvenirs or for commercial purposes.

7)  Many businessmen travel to promote or extend a current business, or start up a new business in other countries for expansion to increase their profit margins.    Business is nothing without profit.

8) And today, more and more people are travelling for pleasure, on vacation to exotic places.  Baby Boomers are currently the driving force behind the travel industry.   Born between 1946 and 1964, many of these people are now retired or coming up to retirement.  They’ve worked hard all their lives, invested sensibly and now they want to make the most of their later years, enjoy different experiences, see different countries and perhaps even relocate to warmer climes.

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Hello and welcome to my blog!

I hope that you find something of interest to you and that you enjoy my posts.

As I head off ‘Over The Hill’, I find that I am in fact enjoying the view, and am having way more fun now than I did 40 years ago (ok so that ages me a bit 🙂 )

You are cordially invited to join me on my journey as I explore the realms of the older and (hopefully) wiser generation.

My posts will be of no particular genre, merely a reflection of things I enjoy and do and I invite you to comment on those posts or request anything you would like to read about.

I am Mother to a wonderful daughter, not yet a granny! and I am passionate about travelling, saving our Planet, saving wild animals before they become extinct.  I love, cycling, photography, reading, Personal Development, writing (hence the blog), all sorts of music, dancing, a starlit night, sunsets and sunrises, the sea, the mountains……in fact I love just about everything.

Thanks for joining me, I hope we can have some fun times together.

Have a great day! 🙂

old_lady2

Not Just a Granny!

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