Ubud, Hiking through the rice fields

Ubud, hike through the rice fields

Back in 2014 I was fierless and went on a Hike through the rice fields of Ubud. Ubud is a very busy city, with lots of tourist. Also it is the centre of religious Bali and art community. Back then it was also the place to be for digital nomads.

Busy Ubud

But I was looking for rest and quietness. That is when I discovered that
there was a hiking track surrounding Ubud. You start at the end of Ubud and
hike through the rice fields and the art villages. Each villages had its own
speciality in art.

The hike

It was a great walk. I loved the views and the art I saw on the way. The
path is not marked well so be aware of where you have to go. Have a coco in the
fields and a talk with the locals.

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40 km once but never again or again?

In 2009 I walked the Vierdaagse van Nijmegen (The Walk of the World), 4 days 40 km every day. Afterwards I said 40 km is too far and too tiring, never again. I stayed with this thought till the beginning of 2019. In the meantime I did a lot of walking, even the Camino de Santiago in 2016. I tapped the 35 km a number of times there, but remained below 40 km each day.

Night of the refugees

Night of the Refugee

A few years ago I saw the night of the refugee passing by and I thought I would like to participate. I forgot about it until this year. Someone I knew registered. I asked her about it and she said walk with us. I registered and thought I am walking 40 km again?!

40 km

In 2009 I was 25 kg lighter and in shape. I played tennis at least twice a week on average and I walked long distance once a week. Yet I found the 4x 40 km in 2009 very tough.

Well then what?

I said Yes to walking and the first sponsor money came in. And I occasionally walked the Pieterpad, on average 20 km each time. There were now 5 kg off again and I also made sure that the counter came to 6 km every day.

Oh, I’m going for it

The date was approaching. The weather was bad beforehand. The person with whom I would walk canceled a few days before. Yet I decided to go for it.

The night

On the day itself I tried to get some sleep in the afternoon. It didn’t work except for a 1-hour nap. I did rest though. I am not a night person so how am I going to keep going through the night? I took another bottle of coke cola and a banana.

Skyline Rotterdam

And then it was time!

It was a nice trip. It was very nice to walk at night and very different from walking during the day. I was entertained with beautiful skies and the sound of frogs and of course the skyline of Rotterdam. What was also very beautiful was the walking to the day.The predicted rain did not come and the pains stayed away too. I walked with breaks included from 0:00 to 10:30 the next day. I was a bit stiff, but it went well. I thought 40 km is a bit too far again.

The route

One day later

It was a super experience. Nice experience and route. And a goal that I support. Slowly the thought came to join again next year, because it is a beautiful goal and a spicy but beautiful challenge for your body. So next year I will walk one of the 3 other routes and hopefully then again 20 kg lighter.

Thank you this years sponsors!

The finish

Are you sponsoring next year? 

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To hike more

Hiking Fair

At the end of last year I thought it was time to take a long walk every year over several days. So I bought the books about the Pieterpad and the Pieterpad project was born. The plan is to start at the end of March with the Pieterpad.

But what do you do after the Pieterpad? The Four Days of Marbella? Also on the agenda, but then …..

So I went to the Hiking fair (Wandelbeurs) in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. My wish was fulfilled. There was enough inspiration to hike my whole life. Unfortunately, mostly in Europe, but it is a start.

So I got to know enough routes on the fair to hike in the Netherlands and Southern Europe in the coming years. Although it wasn’t at the fair, I would like to hike the temple route in Japan too.

In a few years I will go again to the fair to get more inspiration again. If you are looking for hiking inspiration I would recommand you to go once to the fair.

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Curaçao vs Netherlands

I lived both in Curaçao as the Netherlands. So, I am entitled to compare the two with each other.

Public transport

I love the Netherlands for its public transport. It’s good and on time, but too expensive. At bus stops there are signs with bus numbers on it and timetables with the schedule. Curaçao has stops, but no timetable at the stops. So, 1 point for the Netherlands.

Bus stop Curacao

Weather

The changing of seasons has something beautiful, but I dread the cold and all-day rain. It can sometimes rain all day in the Netherlands. On Curaçao it is almost every day the same weather, around 28 degrees and Sunny. And when it rains it is mostly not all day and the temperatures are still good. So, 1 point for Curaçao.

Going to neighboring countries

On Curacao you have only one choice to leave the Island and that’s by flight or flight. In the Netherlands you can take a car to Belgium or so. Or the train to Germany or so. Another option is taking the bus to England or so. A bit further you can take the plane. 2-1 for the Netherlands.

Mondi

Nature

Both have very beautiful nature, but very different from each other. In Holland you can see forest, meadow and moorland. And most of the time it is not faraway. On Curacao you have ‘mondi’, forest of mostly cacti. You have also the beautiful sea with its corals. So it’s a tie on this one.

Nature Holland

Fruits

I am biased on this one. Although you can get almost any fruit in Holland. Nothing beats picking fruits from your own garden. Especially if they are tropical fruits. Fruits from the garden taste better than fruits from the supermarket. Two points for Curaçao on tropical garden fruits.

fruits

Hike

Curaçao is a car Island. it’s accomodated for cars. There are a few places you can hike. The Netherlands although it’s flat you can hike almost everywhere in nature or the city. So one point for the hiking options in the Netherlands.

Hike

It seems like we have a tie. Each one has it’s pros and cons. What else can you compare for these two?

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The pace of walk

The Camino had always appealed to me not for religious reasons but for spiritual one. I always thought I would go to get some closure and before starting a new chapter. I thought I would go in 2014 in fall, then in spring 2015 I started arranging but didn’t go till this year. It was time! Two routes always spoke to me the coastal route in Spain and the Portuguese route. Both because of the coast and more nature and less people.

My preparation went mostly in looking for accommodations I could book up front with single room to ensure a good night sleep. And trying to walk as much as possible along the coast. Also I walked every day for 1,5 hour to get in the rhythm. Till Golenga it was what I thought it would be solo walks with some chats.

But a cold and the interactions on the Camino caught up with me. Although I enjoyed it a lot it was too much for me. And then I thought I can make my own Camino walking a few stages shorter. Taking the train/bus when the route didn’t appeal. Also making sure I didn’t walk in the industrial suburbs. Also making sure I walked the last 100km. Still it was around 660 km walk without the training and walks to touristic landmarks and supermarkets. Oh and not to forget the getting lost parts.

The Camino has a lesson for everybody mine was that I needed to be more in touch with what my body is telling me when it needs to rest. Something I will never learn I think, looking at my track record walking the ‘4Daagse van Nijmegen’ and playing too much tennis tournaments in the Summers.

So I still need to slow down my pace more in sports or maybe in life too sometimes. Follow my own pace in life instead of taking the pace of the people on my path and then I will be ok and I will enjoy life more is something I learnt after slave labor was over and I started being an entrepreneur. I think it would be easier for me to get the slowing done part right in entrepreneurship and working for a boss than in sports.

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