Sunday, August 26, 2012

Looking back and forward

Farewell to the Apennines, at last hill before Fornovo di Taro

What an inspiring and wonderful experience this journey has been! How difficult it is to explain why this was so special.
One of principles I started with was to be well equipped to be self-reliant to have no pressure to find a sleeping place or food to make it to the next day. In the Italian part this worked well, in Switzerland I had more problems with this because of the weather. One wet night is still OK, but subsequent days of wet weather  becomes a problem with my tiny tent. Another element I had to pay attention was the route  schedule, because of the arrangements I did make with the friends that joined me from time to time. But overall I was quite flexible to alter my route depending on the needs or opportunities that crossed my path.
Another element was the decision not to take books or music with me, to ignore TV sets at the overnight places and not to read papers. The communication channel with the external world was limited to my mobile telephone to call my family at home and very limited access to the Internet. This was important to be open for what I encountered on the road. This was even enforced by the fact that I walked most of the time alone. Until I reached the Black Forest in Germany almost without encountering other people besides the hosts at the night stops. One of the surprising facts is that you never feel alone, it seems that you need to be isolated surounded by other people to feel lonely, not so in a forest or on a mountain that feels familiar. I enjoyed the spare talks with people along the route or in the evening more than a lot of bla-bla all day long could do.
I never considered giving-up, although I feared sometimes to be forced by external conditions. The weather or the path was never bad, although sometimes it was demanding. In the morning I was from time to time uncertain what the day would bring. But I always arrived sooner or later than expected and in good condition in the evening. What is more beautiful than the sunshine when it stops raining, how well does it feel enjoying a panorama after a steep climb?
The religious places in Umbria and Lazio and the wonderful architecture in the small towns impressed me a lot, before I crossed the Apennines with its splendid and diverse nature. The lovely backyard of Italy. Lovely but these are also the passes between Tuscany and Emilia has also been the battlefields of World War II. It makes me think how import the European union has been to make this as something of the past. Further up the PO plan has a lot of charming places. The stretches along the Serio and Ogno rivers are far from dull tracks. And a city like Cremona is like a pearl to the Po crown. It should be pity to skip this part of the route to or from Rome as some do, but you need to carefully plan the route to avoid the straight asphalt lanes. But paved roads you always will have in this part, this was the reason I also did some 30 kilometres by Bus to avoid problems with my feet. My advice is not to plan day stages that are too long in this area.
After Bergamo I entered the Pre-Alps. What’s in a word! Before you get to the Splügen pass, it goes well up and down between 100 and 2000 meters in an area of old trading routes being used for centuries. I was glad not having taken a by-pass through the valleys in this part although it would have been possible. Leaving Italy entering Switzerland it’s a luxury to have everywhere well marked paths. It allows you go without detail maps and to enjoy the overwhelming nature of the Alps. Crossing the Rhein in Waldshut didn’t mean stop climbing, it goes straight back up to 1300 meters showing me the Alp’s painted as a fresco in the sky. This brought me in the Black Forest with the more than 100 year old westweg. A well-equipped road and used path until today. After crossing the Rhein again near Drussenheim, I entered first the North Vogues and the Saarland, two regions I didn’t know a lot about, but again walking paradises. This wasn’t different with the trails in the Ardennes. So close to home and so surprisingly. Walking the E5 in Luxembourg is like walking in the decor of a fairy tale.
But this journey didn’t come to an end yet, there is the phase before and the phase after. This last part still can go for a while, writing down my memories, arrange photographs, provide some details for people walking same direction. I like to refine the Strada del Nord, some parts I plan to walk again or to work out some alternatives. This route is just like a toy for me.
And what’s next? Making another trip of four months might be difficult to realize. But I’m still dreaming to extend the Strada del Nord, from the South to Rome and from the Low countries to the North Hanse cities. See you again in 2014?

Result AMAR sponsoring

The final amount that will go to AMAR for support of the projects for the integration of children who lives on the streets in 
Rio de Janeiro is 2563€.
 1,06€ For each of the 2413 kilometers that have been walked.

A lot of thanks to all the people who brought this amount together!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Elevation profile of the track

When setting-out the route rather paths in the mountains have been chosen than the paved roads in the valleys. During the trek some parts have been replaced by easier paths for several reasons as to respect the schedule, weather conditions or the need to slow down a bit. And in the end it was not the the days in the mountains that was the gave me problems but the long stretches on paved roads.

Hereby a graphic of the GPS data of the entire trail, with some marks that I added.

  1. Monte Pancrazio near Vasciano 917m
  2. Castelmonte near Patrico 942m
  3. Alto San Egido near Cortona op GR50 1050m
  4. Prati della Regina a Alpe di Catenaia op GR50 1420m
  5. Poggio di Scali near the Passo della Calla op GR00 1520m
  6. Monte Falco on the GR00 1660m
  7. Monte Peschiena on the GR00 1150m
  8. Monte Scalette near Gavigno 1190m
  9. The river Serio near Fornovo 111m
  10. Monte Argegna nearj Giucugnano 1014m
  11. Monte Contremerio near the Passo Di Cisa 1101m
  12. Po river at Cremona 30m
  13. Crosnello near Cantremerio in Brembana 1138m
  14. Baita Maffenoli near Lenna in Brembana 1455m
  15. Passo San Marco near Morbengo 1996m
  16. Lago Di Como near Colico 193m
  17. Splügen pass Italy-Switzerland 2122m
  18. Kunkelspass near Bonaduz 1359m
  19. Vorder Hohe near Amden 1536m
  20. Rhein river at Waldshut-Tiegen Switzerland - Germany 320m
  21. Feldberg-ord in the Black-forrest 1297m
  22. Mumelsee in the Black-forrest 1046m
  23. Rhein river at  Drusenheim Germany - France 130m
  24. Soultzerkopf in de Nord voge 486m
  25. Hemerskeil on the Hundsruck 600m (No GPS elevation data of this part)
  26. Gröestaen closte to the frontier of Luxemburg and Belgium 529m
  27. Maas river at Huy 70m

Sunday, July 29, 2012


During the trip I have spent quite some time taking pictures. Walking on the track this was an excellent way to give myself some rest. Looking at the pictures once I got home was a bit disappointing as reality or better the experience I have of the reality is that much more exciting that the photographs. But anyway going thru the pictures allows me to look back and remember the good times on had. For those who will travel this road, it will give an idea of what is coming. But what they will see will even be better.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Status AMAR sponsor initiative: Almost arrived!

102 Euro cent per Kilometer.

Total sponsor amount received is 2245 Euro. 45 Euro on top of the initial objective!

2413 kilometer have been walked this is also above the estimated 2200 km.

Thanks a lot for all the people who sponsored, it has kept me going!

More info on AMAR and how to sponsor.

Minister Magnette on a recent visit to the project in Rio

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Some statiscs

After some fix and repair actions on the data from my GPS it is possible to provide some statics on my trip.

For six days I had no altitude figures due to the problems with the GPS  unit, for these days I used an estimate. The distance is traveled by foot, but here and there, I made some local walks, and these are included.
  • Number of days walked: 93
  • Number of days not walked: 7
  • Kilometers walked: 2.413
  • Average distance walked per day: 25,9
  • Hours walked (excl rests): 591 or 6h24min average per day
    Average walking speed: 4,1 km/h
  • Hours on the way: 922 or 9h54min average per day
  • Total vertical meters ascent: 65.103 meters
  • Average ascent gradiënt: 5,4% 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6 July to 20 July, Homeward bound

After Trier it's just a few kilometers to cross the border with Luxembourg in Rallingen. At this point a join the GR5 that follows the German-Luxembourg Felsenweg. Here I am passing through a very special piece of nature. The first day I stop at Echternach. For the last month I will enjoy the company of family and friends bringing me step by step closer to home. The GR in Luxembourg continues as a wonderful path through villages as Diekirch, Beaufort and Witz. The walking  roads in Luxembourg are well marked, which makes it easy walking. We cross the Belgian border on a small road near Houfalize. From there we will follow the river Ourthe in the Ardennes before we cross the Meuse in Huy. We reach the Flanders region in Hoegaarden, the location where my forefathers lived in the 17th and 18th century before they came to Antwerp. It’s fun to walk the same roads between Hoegaarden and Leuven as they did some 200 years ago.  Before arriving in Antwerp I have my last stop in Nijlen where a son of me lives. My wife, some of my children and my grandchildren are joining as well, and it is here that I can see for the first time my 3 new born grandchildren. The greatest wonder I encountered on my journey. 

Arriving in Antwerp is a like the last stage in the Tour the France, feeling light and relaxed through the well-known streets now that the battle is over with all the memories of a most remarkable journey.
In the Central Station, the Antwerp Cathedral of the traveller, my family, some journalists and the mayor of Edegem are awaiting me and offer a beer of Edegem that has been introduced while I was away. After a most enjoyable reception in the station hall we take the city bus home to conclude this part of the story.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2 - 4 July At Trier, crossroad of Roman roads

Yesterday, I arrived at Trier, the Roman Capital of the Nord with his impressive Porta Nigra. My wife is joining me for a city trip of a day and a half, before a start with the last section Luxembourg and Belgium. During the last 2 weeks I will have some company from my Sons an a Friends. Some 1800 km have been gone, and some 400 are still ahead.
Good news from the AMAR front, we passed the 2000 Euro, some 10 more sponsors and we reached the objective of 1 Euro for each kilometer. I´m curious who will reach first his objective the sponsors or I arriving in Antwerp.
During the last days I had to deal with some rain, which doesn´t bother me a lot, it is like it is. But what was more annoying was the fact that my GPS didn´t function correct anymore. As my road map was on the GPS and I used it to inform me about current height, the map and direction to go, I had a problem! So I had to fall back on a bike and trail map that I did bought at the youth hostel and in a tourist office, with the help of my manual compass. But this showed me the Saar - Hundsruck - Steig trail, a very nice trail that goes from Nonnweiler to Trier, through the land of Celts, Germans and the Roman history.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

16 Jun - 1 July Germany and France

After crossing the Rhein, the Alps are over but not the climbing. The first day it was up again from 310m to over 1000 meters, with an etappe of over 40km on a hot day, I was nearly out on my first day in the Black-Forest. But I keep a good memory of the view of the Alps, like a wall of Mountains. After this first day a made some shorter days to recover from the Swiss adventure. It took me six more days, with the help of my brother in law and his daughter to walk through the black forest till I reached Bhül where I crossed the Rhein again. This part of Germany was new to me, but every day changing terrain and with splendid panoramas on the Voges and the Black-Forest range. Before getting back to Germany in Saarland I had a few days in the Northern Voges with their typical villages and Red stone rock formations and castles, here I was again alone in the Forest opposed to the Black Forest where a lot of people are travelling with or without backpack. Now I have a few more days before I arrive in Trier, where I will spent a day with my wife Chris, before the last phase Luxembourgh and Belgium can take off. Hoping to arrive in Antwerp on 20 July.
Hasemann hutte in the Black Forest

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jun 11 - Jun 15 Bye-Bye Switzerland

Today, I crossed the Rein river in Koblenz ready for a new phase in my journey from Rome to Antwerp. with this 2/3 of the trip is now completed. What concerns the sponsoring for AMAR, the news is even better we already have 75 times 1 Euro cent per kilometer or 3/4 of the objective set. I still believe both goals can be obtained. I fixed now the calendar for the remaining part with adding an extra day at Trier where I will met my wife Chris before the last stage in Luxembourgh and Belgium will begin. This means that I hope to arrive in Antwerp on 20 July.

Near Amden
What happened after I arrived in Amden? As I changed the stopover place, I had also to update the route to keep-up with my schedule, for this the last pass in the Alps went to the Togenburger valley where I followed the river Thur to Wattwill. Because the many rain showers and the slippery wooden constructions downhill the mountain the decent was not easily done. But I arrived wet and healthy in Wattwill. The next day I went to the Fischingen Kloster , this time it rained from the moment I woke up till I went to sleep. With the result that not only I but also part of my luggage was completly wet. Fortunally this monastry lies on the Swiss St Jacob route and is well foreseen to take care of the recovery of wet pelgrims. Anyway the rain didn´t disturb me too much as my thoughts were with my two grandchildren Sander an Rhune who were born today.  The next morning I wake up at 5 o´clock to attend the vespers, at this had a positive effect as it stopped raining when I started walking the next day. But at noon when I had a last climb in the pre-alps it started raining again. When I was close to Winterthur someone who traveled himself a lot on foot, bike and ski invited me to stay over at his home where I had a nice evening talking about the journeys each of us made in the past. To finalize the Alp adventure I walked the next 2 days first along the Toss river and then along the Rein at beautiful paths close to the river and this time again with a sunny sky. For my last evening in Switzerland I stayed at a farm using the Schlaf im Stroh formula witch was a nice expedience and budget friendly!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

May 25 - June 10

May 25th By leaving Cremona I went by the cemetary, something very special! For the rest of the day I followed bicycle path next to some canals, veru quiet and no traffic. I put up my tent in Parco Del Oglio Nord near to Genivolta. May 26th Today I am camping by the river De Serio at 15km from Bergamo. May 27th Sunshine! A few more kilometers by the river De Serio in company of joggers and cyclists. After that, to Bergamo where I get the company of Koen, who'll walk with me for a few days. May 28th Today is the first day in the Alps. We're going untill 1100m where we can see the Po and enter a nice village. After that we descend trough a steep road to Pelligrino Therme at the Brembo where we find a nice hotel. May 29th Today at first we're walking next to an old railway with a lot of tunnels to Giovanni Bianco. After that a pass at 1450m en a steep descent to Olmo and further to San Brigida where we are welcomed in a nice little hotel. May 30th We are following a mountainriver untill a reservoir at 1500m. After that, it goes 400m higher to Rif San Marco where we can sleep and see marmots. May 31st Today is the last day with Koen! I am going to miss his company! We go higher a little bit more to the Passo San Marco untill 2000m where there is still some snow left and we have a nice view on the mountains ahead of us. After that, back where we can from, we descend by the Via Priula, a road from the 16th century, to Morbengo at 230. I have walked 1150km untill now! June 1st We have to get up early because Koen is taking the train back to Bergamo. I need to search a little bit to get back at the North side of the lake but then I see an old Pelgrim path over a cliff next to the Lago Di Mezzola to the Church San Fedelino. I need to climb a lot to get to the church. De road next to the Mera is thankfully a little bit easier. After looking for a while, I find shelter in a farm in San Cassiano. June 3rd Sunshine! The rains begins at 4pm. My tent is very wet but I'm still dry. I looking up to the challenge of this etappe alone in the rain and the fog a little bit. Once I'm on the road though, I'm feeling better. The path goes next to a steep rock up on the mountain to a fairylike scene. Wet till the body I find shelter at 1900m where I can take a hot shower and eat a nice spaghetti. June 4th When I leave for the 1st km to the pass there's an icecold wind and it's snowing, but the fog is gone. At 1900m the snow is steady on the ground and I need to exchange the path for a real road. At 2115m I'm at the border of Switserland. In Switserland it's not snowing anymore but there's still a lot of snow on the ground and the fog is back untill I come closer to Splugen where the sun shines a little bit. A little further in Sufers I find a hotel at the lake. I am now for a 100% in de Alps of Switserland. June 5th The 4th and last journey from the Via Splugia goes next to deep, narrow gaps where the Rheine goes trough, a big spectacle! Almost at the end of the tunnel I trip over a root but at first sight, I seem to be okay. June 6th The fall from yesterday is keeping me out of my sleep because of pain in my shoulder. Thats why I decide not to take the pass from 1850m to Safiental and go next to the river to Bonaduz. This will give me an extra day to rest. And there are a few more beautifull mountains ahead of me anyway. June 8th Today I need to walk a lot of kilometers and climb again. But it's more than worth it and my shoulder is not really hurting anymore. After the Kunkels pass lays the Tamins valley. In the valley are the Bat Pfäfers and after that an impressive cliff with a lot of waterfalls untill Bad Ragaz, where I'll be sleeping tonight. June 9th I have to choose between the road in the valley and the road trough the mountains that goes untill 1000m. I choose for a road in the middle. the first part is trough the mountains, thats only 300m higher and a wonderfull view. For the rest I take a path trough the valley. The roads in Switserland are well marked. I arrive at Walenstadt at the Walensee that I want to cross with a boat tomorrow. June 10th The day begins with a journey in the pouring rain to the lake to the boat thats gonna let me cross over to Quinten, a village that's only available by boat or by foot. There, I follow a path that goes high above the lake next to rocks that rise straight from the lake. In Amden, an old ski-envirement, I stop because the cabin where I wanted to spend the night, only opens at the end of July.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

24 May Crossed the River PO

Popies near the PO river at Cremona

It's the first time since I left the lago Transimeno on 1 May that I have Internet access. But thanks to my daughter EVA updates could have been posted from time to time. Tell you what happend with the route. After the passo di Collinia the GEA route goes higher in the mountains and as refuges and hotels on the passed are still closed it became difficult to continue on this route, therfore I decided to shift 27 km to the west and follow the valley of Garfagnana which is less demanding. This valley separates the Alpi Alpuani at the coast from the Appenies. This allowed me also with some extra km's to get back on the original schedulue recovering the days I lost in April. In Pontremoli I joined the via Francigena with some good facilities and also the occasion to meet some people on their own camino. Yesterday I left this route and today I crossed the River PO, who bring the waters from the Alps and the Appenines to the Adriatic sea. In 3 days I hope to arrive at Bergamo where I can start wih the Alps.

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18th

Every day, there are some new surprises! Today, the city Bagnone, a treasure to walk trough. The conquest of Pontremoli didnt go easy, a walk of 45km, 80% on a concrete road. But once he arrived, he found a nice bed... .

May 17th

After a long journey, Luc put up his tent in Panigalleto, behind Fivizzano. At 2km of Fivizzano there's no path to come off the mountain. the consequences are 10 extra km. Luc got to see the sea and also some animals, a deer, a fox, a hare and a snake!

May 16th

Church of San Biagio
Today Luc walked trough the valley of Riv de Serchio where there are a lot of nice villages. After a journey of 32km he arrived safely at a camping place, height 1050m, where Luc can sleep in a trailer. He hopes to get to the Via Francigena tomorrow.

Having some family over to join Luc on his trip. Ofcours, it's also important to take a break from time to time... .

Day 22 LaBurria - Murraglione

This morning, Luc was dropped off on his way to Passo Di Callo by a group of 5 CAI-men next to an old Roman path. They went up pretty fast. After the Monte Falco and the Falterone he came down 1654m to Castgno d'Andrea at 750m. From the end of the winter, to spring. To find shelter and food is a challenge in this area but Luc is taking some food and a tent with him, just in case. 

Day 21: Bradia Pretoglia - LaBurria

They predicted a lot of rain and thats what Luc is getting today. But also fog and sunshine in all kinds of combinations. In the open woods there are deers, squirrels and pigs but no humans. Passo di Callo is abandoned but Luc can get a ride to Corniolo to spend the night. He is now at the height of Firenze but 50km east. 

Day 20: La Verna - Bradia Prataglia

Rainy day but Luc doesn't mind. The roads are marked well so everything goes smooth. Already in Badia Pretaglia for 4hrs where Luc can warm up by the fireplace and enjoys a nice soup. After that, more climbing on the mountain to a cabin where Luc can make a little fire.
Wild boar with piglet near Badia Pretaglia

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 19: Fonte Del Bargengo - La Verna

Today a short trip trough the morning fog to La Verna. According to the GPS, Luc has walked 504km, in the land of churches and abbeys, truffels and boars. The moral is great! The feet are doing a little bit less good. Nevertheless, it has already been a trip to never forget!

Day 18: Colonia Di Poti - Fonte Del Barengo

Luc planned to walk 25km today... it turned out to be 34km!
When he was descending Monte Castello, he has spent 1416m in the wrong valley. Trough Fragiolo, Luc ends his trip today at 20h, after walking for 12h.

Day 17: Dellafoce - Colonia di Poti

After a beautiful day, Luc arrived in Scheggia, behind Arezzo. Tomorrow he will be on the Monte Castello, this mountain is with 1400m height the highest mountain of the region.

Day 16: Celle - Della Foce

At this moment, Luc founds himself in Palazzo di Pero, in between castiglione Fiorentino and Arezzo. The concrete roads are fading and it's becoming more difficult to look for water during the day and to find food and a place to sleep in the evening.

Day 15: Tuoro - Celle

Erremo di Celle near Cortona
Trough Eerimo de Celle to Cortona, incredibly beautiful! It's the first time above 1000m. Giacomo predicted 50% chance on rain --> Before noon: bright sun, after noon: pooring rain! :s
While walking, Luc came across some little boars... !

Monday, April 30, 2012

Good news from the Sponsor side

My wife Chris is keeping track of the status of the sponsoring for AMAR. Uptill now we have 60 Eurocent for each Km that is done! Thanks a lot for all those who contributed, this keeps me going!

Day 14 Lago Transimeno

Lago Transimeno not far from my camping place.
When I wake up, I do not feel too well in my stomach, but the trail is very nice and I can follow some marked trails, which makes it easy to find my way. On the last climb before arriving in Vernazzano I'm really out of Gas and not feeling well, but on arrival I find a bed to sleep and refill the tank. I decide to stay here for more 2 days before I continue the 5day walk to La Verna on the GR50, that will bring me in the Apennines. The Apennines that I will be in for about one month. Up till now I have done in 14 walk days 378 km's, and I do not regret of a single step I have set.

Day 13 Around Perugia

I'm still 25 bird km's from the Lago di Transimeno, this will not be feasible in one day. See where we can get. This quest is a journey through Space-Time&Emotion to me. Today it's the Emotion that's the most significant as my daughter gets her second child, as I'm informed by GSM the boy is named Cisse. Its not be because there is a physical distance, that I'm far away of what is taken place. The scenery is dominated today by the Monte Tezio, a mountain that gives a nice view on Perugia, Assisi and the Lago Transimeno. But today I will go to the top  and sleep for the first time in my tent near Castel Rigione where a have an excellent outlook on the Lake. A camping place with a view!

Day 12 Crossing the Tiber

It's a smooth walk down to the Tiber,  the last km's in what was in the millennium BC the UMBRA territory. By crossing the Tiber I will enter the land between Tiber and Arno where Etrusks lived. The Tiber is going his slow way back to Rome but I have to climb to 650m out of the valley between Perugia and the Monte Tezio, the sun is burning and by refilling my water bottle, I forgot my stick: Penalty 2 un-sponsered extra km's and some 100m back down and up. At the end of the day I find in MonteBagnolo a AgroTourismo run for more than 30 years by a gentle German couple. The treat me with all hospitality they can give, and that a lot!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 11 From Foligno to Assisi

Today I go from Foligno by the Roman city Spello to Assisi following a trail on the Monte Subasio. I choose to follow a trail not too high on the Mountain, the top lies on 1230, and I did this before. This is the first day that the rain is not invited to the party. I'm not alone as everywhere people are searching for the delicious green asspargi. I cross an lovely old chapel in the middle of the wood, but for how long it will be more than a sign on the map? Arriving in Assisi I feel a bit uncomfortable with all the people crossing around, although I admire the figure of St Francis I can not associate it with this tourist city and the country around gives a better fit for me. So it's not Assisi, because the streets are pretty and buildings impressive and its not St Francis but the combination of these 2.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 10 Direction Subasio

After the sunny day yesterday I should not complain about some rain today with the forecast of a sunny period in a few days. The first go to Bavanga a little town, but with great architecture. I can follow for a long stretch the path along a river that brings me to the heart of Foligno with his magnificent palazzo Trinci. I think that's here that Esher learned how to paint his palazzo's.

Day 9 Through the valley of Spoleto

Once again the scenery is completely different from the one of the day before from the wild Umbria to the mild one, the land of agriculture. When I left Spoleto for some km's I pass by a enormous prison in the fields, people waiting outside to visit their relatives. What I contrast with the free bird I am, this makes me silent. The city of Trevi is present the whole day the landscape. It's a flat day until the final km's when it goes up to Montefalco, the balcony of Umbria with a great view from Assis to Spoleto, and on the mountain range that separate us from the Tiber, a river that we will meet again in Perugia.

Day 8 To Spoleto

The sky looks grey in the morning and the trail to Spoleto goes over a mountain path crossing a 950m pass. There is only one tiny village with 9 inhabitants, and another abounded one on the way. So I doubt if I would do it all alone as there is an alternative to follow the Nera and then and old railroad track, a nice trail with a lot of tunnels and bridges that I did before, but I decide to go for it.
The nature is wild and so is the wether as my personal meteo Giacomo has primsed, I didn't regret I enjoy every single step I did on the way to Spoleto, coming out of the wood I see this city in all his glory for me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 7 Collescipoli - Ferentillo

As I can not often connect to the Internet it not easy to let you known how its going, but tomorrow I have a short walk planned and I will arrive in Foligno, so I hope can take the opportunity to bring the blog up to date. From Collescipoli I left the Terni valley by a steep road to the village Miranda, worth wile to overview the valley, and the road I followed the day before. On the way down I passed by the waterfalls of Mormonne. Further down I arrived in the Val di Nera. A really beautifully valley, with water that flows all seasons because it is provided by the karsten stone under the Sibilini mountains. Along the valley beautiful towns are build on the mountains.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 6: Umbria - Collescipoli

Heavy trip today! Luc walked 29km.

There was some heavy rain but he arrived safely in the nice youth hostel of collescipol, by Terni.
Youth Hostel

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dag 5: Vescovio - Umbrië

Arrived in Umbria! The landschap is changing a lot, it's becoming wilder.

Calvi d'umbria

Today, first the first time, Luc has met some other travelers.
Full of good prospects, he continues his journey.... .

Day 4: Farfa - Vescovio

Walked 25 km in pleasant spring weather.

He enjoyed visiting 'il santuario di Santa Maria' (5th century), which is located near the excavations of an ancient Roman city. A beautiful place to visit!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 3 Abbey of Farfa

I Left early in the morning with the train at the Lago Transimeno, to continue my route where I left it 3 days ago.
My feet seems to be reasonable and the first days to come are not too long 15 till 20km a day.
I arrived in the abbey of Farfa the afternoon. The abbey used to be an important centre of religious and civil governance in the region. It has the largest collection of medieval copied books and documents after Rome. A sculpture depicts the 1500 year history of the Abbey.
Because of the renovation works I could not sleep in the abbey but stayed in the nearby monastery.

More info can be found on the website of the Farfa abbey.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Senatorium Tuoro sul Transimeno

Second day first obstacles

Castel Chiodato

After escaping the morning rush in Montorotondo and crossing the autostrade del Sole, I pass by a lovely wood reservation with a lot of flours and a swine not to far from me shuffling around. The way is now even more hilly than yesterday with a lot of ups and down's so I decide not to pass by MonteFlavio but take the direction to Montelibretto, which is a shorter way to Farfa. Today it rains a lot in the afternoon, and when I arrive in Montelibretto I have 29km on the counter, enough for today. But my feet suffer from blasters, when I go to the pharmacy the man want to see my pelgrim feet and instructs me not to continue for some days. That's why I decide to take the next day the train to Tuoro, to rest for 2 or 3 days. But no panic moral is still OK.

Leaving Rome

12 April, early in the morning my sister, brother in law and I take the train from Terontola to Roma Termi to start the trip. At 9:15 we are in front of the impressive Pantheon ready to go. It is a sunny day, and it is a lovely walk through the parks in Rome. After crossing the Tiber we have some asphalt lanes but the traffic is reaonable. Once the ring road is crossed, the teriffic lazio landscape opens, with snowcapped mountains in the background. The first days ends in Montorotondo after 33km, and already some hills covered.
Crossing the Tiber in Rome

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 0 Brussels South

Day 0 Brussels - South

Safely arrived in Charleroi. My son Mathijs , my wife Chris and three little wolves: Ferre, Lore and Lieselot didn't mind to wake up at 5:30 to bring me to the airport and wave goodbye. Yesterday evening the other children passed by to say goodbye as there is much that is left behind. First gate has been passed : a backpack of 17 kg  was no reason for Ryanair to skip to procedure B , it must have been the early hour. But in Tuoro I'll still have to see what is really needed to carry with me. The problem always comes when you stuff your sack strictly according to the packing list and the time of recharge arrives: the panic attacks that you forgot the ultimate items that will faciliate the trek. The last days were not hectic but the tension grew day by day to get everything done at home and for the trip. Now we can slow down again, both my wife at home and I on the trip. My sister Magdaleen and her husband Andoni will be waiting for me at Perugia Tomorrow morning we will drive to Rome for Day 1, some clouds and rain in the forecast wont stop us.

The 3 wolves

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Two months ago a made a To-Do list, things that should be done before a left on the trip. At that time there was still no pressure to have things done, but today I would have been lost without my golden-list and a good portion of items I do not have to worry anymore.
A few days after the list was set, problems with my shoulder almost forced me to cancel the project, but fortunately nature was with me and the lime on my shoulder broke avoiding a medical intervention. 30 days before the departure date I got the green light for the trip, and from that moment I really came into a countdown mode with little time extra. As the pressure rises before day 0 I’m looking forward for the lift-off moment, the day I can start walking and that’s it!

Fix gaps between waypoints, distance between 2 points never more than 3km
Way-points for peaks and the surrounding locations
Route per day stage
Upload Maps, waypoints, routes, tracks reference to GPS
Print daily stage for e-Reader
Maps: Topo (25000) and Roadmaps
Inventory with link to the waypoint numbering
Scan missing maps
Mark waypoints on scanned versions
Upload maps to e-Reader
Go to doctor for immunizations
Check and complete first aid kit
List of what to pack
List of what I put aside to send to any postal address
List and buy what is still missing
Overnight in tent test
Backpack adjusted at store
Backpack load
For home
Overview of route, schedule and contact addresses for home
Pictures of the home front to copy on e-Reader
Explanation relating to items that could be needed to send to me
Administration and documents
Copies of important documents, scan and send to e-mail address that will be accessible
Post interrupt newspaper subscription
Post interrupt auto insurance
letter of attorney for tax declaration
Boarding document for flight to Italy
Agreements with sponsoring association
Announcement to Family, Friends and Interested and sponsor of Blog Action
Evening for meetings with friends who want to join for some days on the trip
Arrangements for transmitting warnings to bad weather on the way
Appointments with someone who can post messages on blog
Contact information addresses for overnight stays