Pieterpad, Glimmen to Rolde
For the introduction to this (hopefully)480 km journey, please click on the heading,’Walking the Pieterpad’ in the black bar above.
It has been quiet here but after a month taking care of the house while Rende was away, I’m back on the Pieterpad.
This time was different. After being housebound I was wild to just get going, so I threw a few things in a daypack, waved to hub and dog and took off- without any real idea how long I’d be gone. This is so uncharacteristic of me- the list maker and planner, and worrier par excellence: ‘what if I can’t find a place to sleep! I’ll end up being a bag lady’, etc.
It is true, in high season the few affordable accommodations are usually booked, and they were. But in those cases, I was lucky to simply bump into people who directed me to a private address where, in need, the owner would provide a bed and hearty breakfast for a reasonable price ( from around 25-30 euros). Some of the chiquer B&Bs were asking €70!
Influenced by my immediate surroundings after living in caution for so long, I need to learn to trust more and not try to control everything. This risk-taking suits a part of my nature which has been dormant for years and reminds me of my youthful hitch-hiking trips through the western US.
I ended up walking for 3 days and it was the most beautiful part of the route to date. After day 1 the weather was hot and sunny. I mentioned that the landscape would change from our stark northern spaces to a softer, forested environment. There were miles of sand tracks going through several nature reserves. It was so deserted I was able to get relief from the blazing heat and bathe unseen in a pond nestled in the heather dunes of Ballooërveld.
For several weeks previous to the trip, I’d been immersed in Charlotte Du Cann’s book, ’52 flowers that shook my world, a radical return to earth’. And I travelled accompanied by this sense of communion and connection. And with questions about passion and life path brought up by rereading of Du Cann’s own journey to self discovery. One can’t help be challenged by her stark honesty, and bitterness transformed, to confront the parts of one’s own identity that no longer burn true. Du Cann’s stripping down process has brought her to an incendiary core, it seems. Anything false is immediately consumed. And being in proximity with that kind of unflinching honesty forces one to try to locate the same kind of truth in oneself.
I walked among trees and dunes, in quiet, listening to birds, listening to my breath and footfalls, listening to my heart and thoughts, in peace and joy and belonging. I stopped when I was tired, ate when I was hungry, slept in clean sheets in the homes of kind strangers, and took more steps towards inner healing and finding one’s truth.