Hello there! I’m back! Back on the blog, back from a long adventure in New Zealand. During my travels overseas, I soon discovered that I’m not made for blogging while travelling. First of all, hiking – or tramping as the kiwis call it – is exhausting. On ‘zero days’ (hiking jargon for days of zero walked kilometres, but not to be confused with rests days) I was happy if I could get a little bit of rest, because usually zero days were filled with ‘camp chores’ such as resupplying food, and doing laundry. I also tried to keep up with my personal diary, and instead of blogging I tried to frequently post short updates on instragram. Even that was a challenge from time to time. Blogging is even more time-consuming and frankly, although I like writing very much, I like hiking and travelling even more. So I decided to fully live the hiking and travel life. But here I am, back in the Netherlands. One of my resolutions is to incorporate blogging in my normal life. Before I share my resolution and reflect on those of last year, it is time to look back at 2016 (even though we’re already entering spring…)
I’m freaking out. I bought a plane ticket to New Zealand. So what? That’s nothing to freak out about. I know, but I’m planning to hike there. Yeah, of course, New Zealand is a hiker’s dream come true. Well, I’m going to hike the length of New Zealand for 5 months continuously. From Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the south, following the Te Araroa Trail. Can you see why I’m freaking out?!
Last time, I shared my best bits of the West Highland Way, the first long-distance trail I’d ever hiked. Sure, it was amazing or ‘awesome’ as everyone keeps telling each other nowadays. I’m an optimistic person, but I don’t believe that long-distance hiking is continuous happiness. I mean, come on! For me at least, hiking – as life in general – is with ups and downs.
“They made me a heartless murderer – although I plead self-defense: it was them or me”
The West Highland Way is the most famous long-distance trail in Scotland. Not without reason; it is perfect for novice hikers who wish to enter the realm of the highlands. Being a newbie to multiday hiking at that time (or any hiking in general if I must be honest), but longing to discover Scotland by foot, my friend Eve and I decided to walk the WHW.
Five years ago, a hiker was born. The West Highland Way has infected me with the hiking virus and since then, I can’t think of anything else to spend my holidays.
Given the immense popularity of the WHW, much has already been written about it. So I won’t bore you with numerous facts or long walking reports. I’d rather share the best and the worst, learned lessons, and some personal insights and tips about the WHW in an upcoming blog series.
Last time, I shared the first five ideas for small-scale adventures like section-hiking Holland’s Coast Path. I could continue listing nearby places that I would like to adventure (I know it’s not a verb, but it should be!), such as the Vosges in France and the Mosselsteig in Germany. I could also tell you that it is possible to visit volcanos and a geyser without going to Chile, Iceland, Yellowstone or New Zealand. And although I have to admit that these volcanos are not active anymore and that this particular geyser only spouts cold water, the Vulkaneifel in Germany is definitely on my to-hike list.
I could go on and on mentioning specific places, but frankly, Continue reading