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