7 things I would like to do in Spain

I have been to Spain before and every time I discover new things that I would like to do. That’s why I like to share the 7 things I would definitely like to do in Spain.

Visit Gibraltar

I would love to visit Gibraltar. It seems unique to me. And well it is actually a piece of Great Britain in Spain. Must be unique to be in a Mediterranean Great Britain and see Africa across the ‘street’.

Visit Seville

Visiting Seville is still missing on my list of major cities visited in Spain. I liked the other big cities in Spain so I want to see this one too. Plus the environment must be very beautiful.

Camino Ingles walk

The shortest route of the Camino routes. Yes you must have walked it. So I like to walk this piece of Camino soon. It is not a difficult route, but it seems to rain more than elsewhere in Spain.

Camino del Norte

This is one of the toughest Camino routes, but also one of the most beautiful I think. Especially the views from the rocks. A lot of climbing on the way and certainly not done without training and preferably in dry season.

Visit the Canary Islands

I have heard a lot of good things about these islands. A mother of an elementary school friend also came from Lanzarote. I was and still am curious about the islands. Who knows soon.

Visit the Balearic Islands

Another island group from Spain that has my curiosity. As an island girl I am curious about other islands. And these islands seem to have beautiful vegetation.

Live a winter in Spain

I would love to be a whole winter in the country. Preferable on the coast of Spain or the south where the weather is reasonable in the winter. I imagine Spring temperatures in the winter. What a beautiful winter it would be.

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The 5 types of hikers

In my opinion there are 5 types of hikers among the hikers. I would like to share with you those 5 types of hikers you can encounter on a walk.

The time hiker

This kind of hiker wants to start on time. Preferably the first and also the first to be back. This walker is all about getting off the trail as quickly as possible. Often they hardly talk to other walkers.

The fun hiker

The fun comes first for this hiker. This person prefers to chat with other walkers all the time. As an introvert, these walkers are the most dangerous for me :-). Although a chat is occasionally quite pleasant.

The fitness hiker

This hiker almost runs to keep his or her fitness level. Time is not important. The motto has been sporting for another day. These walkers walk at a nice pace, but also have an eye for the environment and fellow walkers.

The environment observer

The environment is the main reason that this hiker walks here. This hiker enjoys the environment. Nature or the district / city are of interest to this walker. You can recognize this walker because he or she often walks with a camera and occasionally stops to discover and view things.

The cheater

This hiker sends husband / girlfriend / friend to the highest / furthest post for stamp at checkpoint and waits with a drink. This walker wants a medal, but does not want to hike the entire route.

Which walker are you?

Which of the 5 hikers are you? I am the environment observer. I thoroughly enjoy my surroundings and definitely stop for photos on the way. I always have a camera with me.

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7 reasons to walk a 4 Days hike

 

While walking my 2nd Four Days Marche I have thought of 7 reasons why you should walk a 4 Days hike in your life.

The feeling of the 4 Days

You must have experienced the feeling of the 4 Days in your life. It is a separate feeling of togetherness. We do this together and we will all reach the finish. It is uplifting each other when necessary, sharing stories and especially walking and enjoying the environment.

You see more of the environment

You see more of the environment when you walk than when you are in the car. Especially if you walk in the area for 4 days. You see the details and get in touch with locals and other hikers.

Group protection

You walk protected by the walking group. You don’t have to feel alone or fear, because everyone walks the same route in the same time frame. You walk alone, but not alone.

Get more out of yourself

It takes a lot of you to walk long distances for 4 consecutive days. You build a condition, but you also need perseverance. Especially during the moments of pain or not seeing the further walk.

Route is fixed in advance

The route is mapped out in advance for you and on the way you do not have the choice to take another street. You hardly have to think about the route. Just follow arrows or other signs. And sometimes the crowd like at the 4 Days of Nijmegen.

Enjoy Burgundian food

If you walk 20 or more kms, you burn enough energy to eat extensively without fear of gaining weight, because you will certainly burn some energy along the way. Especially if there are some hills and mountains in it.

The medal

Afterwards you always receive a medal. I usually want a chair and never walk again after completing the walk. The appreciation of the medal comes later when you realize that you have walked the entire route and that you have conquered that one mean climb.

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Farewell to Strijp-S in Style

How do you say goodbye to Strijp-S in style?

I lived in Strijp-s, Eindhoven for 2.5 years and saw the marathon runners and runners passing by, but never organized walkers. After my move I found out that the Eindhoven marathon has a walking edition the Saturday before the marathon. The perfect farewell in style!

Walking edition marathon of Eindhoven

So I registered for the 20 km. The perfect farewell in style, because with the 20 km you mainly walk in the area where I lived. So I went to Eindhoven Strijp-s for the start and walked there through parts of Eindhoven that I knew, but also pieces that I did not know. Even though I had lived very close to those places.

Farewell to Strijp-s in style

The weather was good, read dry. It was already autumn, so we needed a coat and sweater. This walk was also a perfect preparation for the 4 Days of Marbella that I would walk later in the year. The weather was not comparable, but the distance of 20 km was. Even though I would walk 20 km 4x in a row in Marbella.

The finish

The finish was great, because it was almost at the door where I had lived. So the perfect farewell to Strijp-S in style. What more could you want in the same street where you lived received a medal as a farewell to Strijp-s.

Bye, Bye Torenallee & Eindhoven!

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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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