Category Archives: Hiking

Information about hiking adventures & trails.

Blue Horizone Ahead – The East Coast Trail in Newfoundland

IMG_0513
Morning…

Length: 300 km

Distance hiked: 65 km

Just found some toilet paper in my rain jacket. It was a little reminder that I hiked a part of the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland a few weeks ago. And here is the deal: If you don’t expect the unusual hot picture perfect weather that we had, this will be the perfect destination for your next trip! What a coast line, hardly any hikers on the path (about 4 to 6 per day in peak season) and a handful of beautiful waterfalls waiting for you to be explored. The East Coast Trail is very easy accessible and moderate in terms of the degree of difficulty I would say. We hiked 60 km from St. Johns to Bay Bulls and had to stop only because I had some problems with my left foot. There are 26 wilderness paths and it adds up to 300 km altogether, if you hike the whole trail.

Plan ahead however and be prepared for rain or cold weather. There are not a lot or hardly any options to buy stuff once you are one the trail. Backcountry food, minute rice, nuts, waterfilter and camping equipment are essential on the trail. If you are running out of food you will end up hitch hiking to a super store (like we did) or find yourself knocking on a door of a local Newfie. There is a good Outfitters store on Water Street in St. Johns, if you need anything. They also sell great maps of the East Coast Trail (37 $, so quiet expensive, but it’s worth it).

Wilderness Camping is allowed on the trail (with a few exceptions, e.g. around the “Spout”) as long as you carry everything in and out again (no littering!!!). The drinking water sources are also fine (filter or treat the water), so no need to worry about that either. Make sure not to carry more then 8 to 10 kg (for women) or 12-14 kg (for men). We had too heavy backpacks in the first few days and stored stuff at the light house in Cape Spear. If you are flying to St. John’s ask the owners of your B&B, if you can store all the stuff that you don’t need on the trail at their place. They will help you for sure, because they want you to have an incredible experience and they aim to support the tourism industry. 

How to get on and off the trail? There are affordable privat shuttle services availlable.

Looking for more helpful tips how to organize your adventure?

https://newfoundsander.wordpress.com/east-coast-trail-guide/

https://www.hikebiketravel.com/a-hike-on-the-spurwink-island-path-east-coast-trail-newfoundland/

http://www.canadatrails.ca/hiking/nf/eastcoast.html

Advertisements

Camino Francés: From St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona

Length: 800 km

Distance hiked: 70 km

You might wonder why I stoped writing all of a sudden!? Well I went on a walk at the end of May, without any technical equipment really, so I just wrote my diary. In June I started to work full time in a new position at the Academy of Performing Arts in Ludwigsburg and since then I lost track somehow. On the Camino you walk, you talk, you eat and you sleep. I really enjoyed that!

In the working world you work, you eat and you sleep. I’m struggeling to adapt myself to the office circle of life at the moment…maybe that is why I was thinking about the Camino experience again tonight. I’m so glad that I joined Chris and Deanne for that one week. It was not my idea to walk the Camino but such a wonderful opportunity to meet friends again and try out some pilgrimage. They wrote a great blog about their camino experience, that you can read here by the way. A few days before I left Frankfurt (Germany) for Bilbao (Spain) I found out that Angie, a friend of mine from Halifax (Canada), was also one her way to walk the Camino. Unfortunately I was not able to meet her, because we started 3 days earlier and I had to return on time to start my new job, but Deanne and Chris did met her on the way. What I learned from all this is, that the world is such a small place nowadays. You just need to communicate your ideas. Maybe a friend would be up for the very same adventure you just dream about, if you would ask. Most often we stop dreaming and say naaa, it’s not gonna work out…but that’s not true. So it’s time to share some picture and dream about traveling tonight.

We have met up in San Sebastian and bused to Bayonne to catch a train to go to St. Jean Pied de Port. Make sure that you print out the way to your hotel from the train station in St. Jean Pied de Port to the place where you are staying and be prepared to get lost in France anyway. It’s really funny. Such a small village and thousands of pilgrims from arround the world, who arrive there every year, but they don’t put up any sings at the train station. We have made it anyway – no worries – and once you are on the trail you are fine. I really loved the walk over the Pyrenees and it’s a good thought to know that I already did the most beautiful and most difficult part of the walk. Thank you Deanne and Chris!!!

I walked the fallowing stages:

St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles (27.7 km): The weather was bad in the early morning, good when we started to walk at 9 am and very rainy and cold from 1 pm on until we arrived in the very comfortable albergue.

Roncesvalles to Zubiri (21 km): Good weather conditions, no complains.

Zubiri to Pamplona (20 km): Great weather. Very sunny day, but we missed Deanne as she had to catch a bus, because of knie issues.

Eveybody we met on the trail had some knie or uncle issues. I guess it’s because the very first stages are very difficult. So what you really need to walk the Camino is a knee bandage, anty inflame cream guys and a good jacket to protect you from the cold on top of the Pyrenees.

I catched a bus from Pamplona back to Bilbao, but I would like to continue my walk some day in the future and I already know it’s easy to get there. 😉 So if I decide that I’m unhappy in the office, but don’t know jet what else I would like to do I could just continue this journey and see what happens.

Walk on and take care!

PS: Yes I visited the theater in Pamplona. Guess what: they only have 14 permanent employees. I don’t know how this art system works…unbelievable.

20160525_115209
Teatro Gayarre

Take a Hike – My Camino Day I

 

20160127_142757_Spanien

Yes I am on my way to walk a bit of the Camino de Santiago! Just arrived in Bilbao today and will drive to San Sebastian tomorrow and from there to St. Jean Pied de Port. I took the chance to join Deanne and Chris, good friends from New Zealand, for a few days. It´s so awesome to meet someone again that you met at the other side of the world a year ago. I worked in their lovely restaurant on Stewart Island and had a wonderful time, so of cause I took the chance to take a hike with them. I also found out today that a good friend from Canada is on her way to do the Camino. Unfortunately we will miss each other I guess, because she starts a few days later, but it still is a sign. All good things right here and I am so excited. If I would not start a new job on June 1 I would just change my plance and walk a bit longer. Camino is raeally calling me! Weight of my backpack 8kg, without water. The weather forecast for our first and most difficult stage on Sunday over the Pyrenees is not so good. It´s suppose to rain. Today was great and I had 25 degrees in Bilbao. I love Spain. All the people sitting outside with a wine or a beer and tapa.  And guess what they speak a bit english at least and I am able to communicate somehow! Should get some sleep! I will catch a bus early in the morning!

 

 

 

Fresh Orange Juice is a Lifestyle

Barcelona
Barcelona (view from Tibidabo Hill

Are you ready for a Week in Barcelona!? No preparation necessary. Just go for it! Barcelona is a perfect destination in the fall, especially, if you are traveling alone and are hungry for sunshine, arts and culture. I was sick of the rain in Germany and booked the flights spontaneously with Lufthansa for only 138 Euros. The costs for accommodation are small as well and you can expect to spend about 15 to 20 Euros per night in the off-season.

I stayed in a single room at the Pension Francia for a few nights in a part of the town that is called La Ribera (a great location). What makes the city so vibrant is the fact, that life takes places outside. The waterfront is a big playground, the pubs and restaurants are packed and it’s lovely to get lost in the medieval streets.

20151121_115931
Montserrat

I went hiking for two days in the Montserrat area as well and spent a whole day to explore the forest around Tipidabo Hill. The last few days I stayed in a place that was called Teatro Hostel, because I was up for a bit more company.

Hostel
Teatro Hostel in Barcelona

It’s a comfy little place to stay right next to El Raval, where you can find small theaters, galleries and bars all over the place. On Friday they have a Mojito night at the hostel, which was a lot of fun. Thanks to a guy that I met in the hostel I ended up in a lovely little Gallery with a small stage that is called Sala Fenix (La Rieveta 31). Every Monday night at 9:30 pm they have a Jam Session that you should not miss, if you are in town and like Jazz.

My favorite spots downtown include:

Tibidabo

The church La Sagrada Familia (on a sunny day, to make sure that you see the awesome colors of the windows)

Tibidabo Hill or Montjuic (for great views)

El Raval (for Indian food, bars and a medieval flair)

Mercat de la Boqueria (fresh fruits and other stuff to eat)

Restaurant Al Passatores in El Born for a great breakfast with fresh orange juice

Palmen