Long distance walking is addictive! There is something so beautiful and simple about the sole goal for the day being to walk from A to B carrying everything you need to survive on your own back. Something so uncomplicated but at the same time one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. Usually at some point throughout the day your body wants to sit down and give in to the relentless aches; which leaves it up to your mind and mental stamina to force one foot in front of the other and push on. Pushing through your boundaries and feeling like you can conquer the world is what creates those endorphins and makes you want to go back for more.
Since completing the Camino de Santiago across Spain in late 2014 there’s been a little voice in the back of my head saying…. What’s next??? Well… this is what’s next. In early July I will be heading off on the European Peace Walk. This is a long distance trail that criss-crosses in and out of five European countries from the starting point in Sopron, Hungary all the way to Trieste, Italy. We will literally be having breakfast, lunch and dinner in three different countries on a couple of days as we jump borders between Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Italy.
Clocking up 570km in a three week trek towards the Adriatic Sea we will be walking up to 30km a day through teeny, rural towns and a couple of larger cities that include the charming Ljubljana and Zagreb; the capitals of Slovenia and Croatia respectively.
So now that the European Peace Walk is just over 100 days away I am slightly panicking and the training countdown is on! In my opinion the only way to train for walking 7 hours a day for 3 weeks is to walk as much as possible. So I have been frantically cramming in short walks 2 or 3 times a day. Luckily I also have parts of Te Araroa (3000km pathway of NZ) on my list to complete in the next couple of months as well as the Hillary Trail and Abel Tasman Track – two of New Zealand’s most amazing walks.
Bring on the sorest feet imaginable made better by local wine!
I will no doubt be posting some amazing pics throughout EPW so please follow along on social media if you’d like to see more or subscribe by entering your email in the right-hand column.
Note: There is a small registration fee for the European Peace Walk and walkers pay for all their own costs along the way.
Note: For the last 2 years the EPW has started in Vienna and been through 6 European countries. This year the trail has been altered slightly and walkers have time to visit Vienna and Bratislava before starting.
Note: There are still spots available for this year and more information can be found here.
Photo credit: Photos provided by European Peace Walk Facebook group with permission.