#10 In the Dutch mountains

Pieterpad- Gramsbergen to Hardenberg

On the way up

On the way up

For the introduction to this (hopefully)480 km journey, please click on the heading,’Walking the Pieterpad’ in the black bar above.

This stretch of path took me into hilly (comparatively!)country. The ‘mountain’ I climbed was, get ready for it- 75 meters high. But here in the flat lowlands, it is as much of a mountain as you’re going to find. I called Rende from the summit to tell him I’d reached it and was feeling altitude sickness coming on 🙂 – he enquired how the sherpas were doing and if I’d used all my ropes and caribiners.

View from the top

View from the top

I walked 50km over 4 days. Ample time to think, the space outside creating space for new thoughts.

I kept to my resolution not to book any accommodations in advance of the day of travel. Rende asked me why I didn’t just call and ensure that I had a place to stay, especially since it was the weekend. And I thought about that on my walk. Yes, for someone like me- used to organising everything in advance so as to prevent inconvenience or discomfort- it cost me some sleep to leave it open. But I realised it also gave me a chance to solve things as they came up. I’d first decided to not book in advance on this 480km walk so I could gain a little of the feeling of wayfaring, where you’re thrown back on yourself and  have to let go more to trust the universe to provide what you need.

So far, I’ve not once been stuck for a place to sleep, though sometimes it was a close thing. In the case of not being able to find budget accommodation I still have the option of an expensive hotel- or finding transport to another town. On this last walk, my host and hostess were helping me decide where to stay the next night because there were only 1 or 2 options and no hotels in the next stopping place. While I was trying to find possible public transport in case they were booked, the woman of the house offered to drive down and and pick me up after the walk, and bring me back to stay with them, then drive me back down there the next day.

When you solve everything in advance yourself (an illusion anyway), you don’t give other people the chance to help you. I didn’t need to make use of the woman’s kind offer, but I was really touched and it made me trust more and let go to how things were unfolding.

Here are a few shots from this trip.


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