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    2000km naar SantiagoDeCompostela
    Pelgrimstocht naar het onbekende
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    Pascal stapt naar Santiago de Compostela (4april - 15juni)
    ten voordele van de mensheid  ;-)
    Ultreia! De lange weg van ontmoetingen...

    01-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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    11-06-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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    My dear friends,

    The 1st of juin I stood at the "Cruz the Ferro" where I left a stone which I carried from my starting location some 1600kms ago in France

    Symbolicly we celebrate this as the removal of our sorrows and sufferings and to bring hope for a brighter future for everybody

    Like me, some 100000pelgrims more will have done the same this year
    and next year there will be even more for sure

    So, this is where I will symbolicly leave my writings and will let the pictures speak further on while I complete the last steps to Santiago

    Best regards and C U in july or later on


    03-06-2009 om 14:49 geschreven door Scali  

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    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Today the serie of massive walking days stop...after arriving yesterday in Leon, I will take the day off to visit this beautifull city with its imposant cathedral

    Within a few hours I will meet a good friend (Kris Aumann) who has been working in Spain since 4months
    and he will join me for the last part to Santiago de Compostella which is about 300kms to do...
    Well, at this moment he should already be in Santiago where he will leave his car and take the bus to Leon to meet me..
    But no champagne yet for him in Santiago He will first have to prove me that he is a worthy pelgrim the next 10-12days of walking

    So tomorrow we'll start with a small day of only 60-80km

    For the last days i'm struggling with a cold which is quite funny regarding that the average daily temperature is around 25degrees
    But this is ofcourse due to the cold mornings and we quickly forget that most of the Camino in Spain lies at high altitudes (between 800-1000m)
    even the landscape is completly flat the last days (highplain)

    Much thanks to my good friends (Kevin, Stijn B, Nele, Stijn M, Kristin, Stijn G, Johan, Nico, Anneleen, Herve & Kyra) for the inspiring post
    I have not been too curious to open the rest of the post which has been given me as a nice present before my departure


    28-05-2009 om 09:54 geschreven door Scali  

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    For the last three days Satan was in deep shit

    Kicking out a massive 50km three days ago, which means a personal day record up till now, and two days of 35km afterwards, helped me to progress a big part forwards toward the holy grounds of Santiago de Compostela so I left the devil a long way behind me

    After the days of very few distance walking but with meeting a lot of interesting people and the visting day of the very beautifull Burgos, I felt ready again for an intensive physical workout In Burgos I met again some pelgrims who I met a lot in France but hadn't seen them yet in Spain, so we could share our experiences about the Camino in Spain

    The landscape still is of outstanding beauty with the highlight being the Mesa (a tableshaped mountain) where I had an unforgettable view for over more than 100kms over the green highplains of the area between Burgos and the next big city Leon...In the far distance I could even see the snowy mountainpeaks of the mystical Galicia where lots of people are talking about, but which I have not seen yet...According to what I heard about it, it must be something like Ireland...a region of astonishing green beautyness which is unforgettable when it doesn't let's hope I'll arrive there when it will be that special rare moment of dry&sunny weather

    Some technical updates:
    - I have opened a second photo album due to restrictions in picasa...The first album contains pictures untill the 21th of May...The second album starts from the 21th of May...I'll try to post as much pictures as possible to offer you the most of my experiences
    - I still have no mobile phone and now my pincard is not even working anymore, so there is no phone contact possible..only email please

    Some 15days of walking rest me achieving my goal, but actualy there is no goal hidden in Santiago...the goal is ofcourse to exploid every day of this journey at a maximum

    Much Greetings and be aware of Satan

    25-05-2009 om 21:50 geschreven door Scali  

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    I am quite ashamed to admit that I have only walked 40km the last 4 days, so that 's easy to calculate my daily progression...

    The weather is still getting quite hot and keeps completely sunny all day

    Due to the many encounters the walking has somewhat dissapeared on the background but I promise I will make it up to you with a 45km walking distance for tomorrow After 4 days recuperation time I feel I can start all over again..There is just so many to see and to talk about to others on the Spanish part of the Camino

    Yesterday evening I arrived in the magnificent city of Burgos where I´m doing a whole day of visit today...the cathedral is truly breathtaking and I have never seen such a masterpiece up till now..I think this must be one of the most impressive cathedrals in Europe...

    Sleeping in the albergues which are always filled up to almost 150pelgrims is very nice for the ambiance but still delivers me a lot of sleepless nights, well its part of the game ofcourse and tonight I'll try a little more luxury sleeping place (hostel) to regain my sleeping hours

    With these low distance walking days I had the pleasure to regain contact with some people I met more than two weeks ago in the France...this is a nice moment and so we talk about our experiences in Spain..all the people coming from a long way in France had quite the same shock when entering the crowdy Camino in Spain but are now very excited about its beautiful landscapes and friendly encounters

    I try to post picturs when I find a better pc

    You behave there


    22-05-2009 om 16:34 geschreven door Scali  

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    Time goes on and my feet continue day after day some good progression towards the west

    The Northern Spanish countryside is of outstanding beauty and quite far more greener as I expected and this in contrast with most of the dryer and yellowisher parts in Spain

    I have the feeling that the days are advancing very fast now and the list of international meetings is getting longer and longer...I try to spent walking with as many nationalities as possible most of the day
    My beard and story about 1200kms being underway seems to impress always a lot, so little Belgium is getting quite famous now on the road  

    Sleeping quality is of a very low degree since some 70% of the largely filled sleeping rooms are being taken by snorers...
    I almost got to the point of killing someone but I must be able to reach Compostela without any sins

    The Spanish weather is already some days completely sunny with 22-25degrees, which means high summer in Belgium but this is just the normal weather for the time of the year here

    Much Greetings

    18-05-2009 om 19:14 geschreven door Scali  

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    Arriving in Spain means arriving in a complete different world...This is the land of 'EL CAMINO DE SANTIAGO' or 'THE WAY' which surely has to be written with CAPITAL  LETTERS!!

    Leaving France is leaving a life of 35days walking mostly in complete silence and sleeping some nights alone in refugees or my tent...I must have met some 15 other pelgrims in total during the 1200kms walking in France

    Entering Spain is entering a life of 30days to come which I will be walking together with at least 300 other pelgrims bewteen every daily etappe and always ending up sleeping in refugees which are completely filled (40 to 150 sleeping beds)

    Since my last etappe in France, I was already meeting more people beceause just before the last city in France (St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port) all the main historical routes come together..but this amount of people is clearly unsignificant compared to the people I meet in Spain

    Crossing the border from St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port(FR) to Roncevalles(ESP) means crossing the Pyrenees so a 23km long climb was waiting for me and for some 100 other people who just started in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port(FR)...This last city in France is a main starting point for a lot of people (mostly not Spanish) so I truly discover that from now on 'El Camino' must be one of most international orientated walking path in the world...I spent the whole climbing part walking together with people from Brasil, Canada, New Sealand, Corea, ... All those new starters suffer a lot ofcourse since they all come for walking on the famous route but were quite not prepared on their first day of steep climbing...since I have already 1200kms in my legs I can play the VETERAN and tell all my new compagnons that I started in Vezelay some 35days ago which always results in surprised faces towards me

    Ending up the first stop in Spain (Roncevalles) brings me in a very disturbed mental state...Roncevalles is not even a small town, it is just a church with 2 hotels and an older church which has been transformed in a refugee where 120sleeping beds are waiting to be taken in a minimum record time...the friendly dutch hospitaleros tell me to quickly subscribe me because the past days all the beds were taken quickly and the hotels are not cheap...It gets to me almost the impression of an attraction park when some busses with freshly new euforic Espagnols arrive to deliver them to the refugee and the hotels...they are in such an euforic state because doing 'El Camino' appears to be one of the most unlackable things in their life...It is as if they cannot get a job or get married without having the official Compostella document proving they hace completed 'El Camino'.......................I was already walking soooooooo looooooooong already in France in quitness and now this

    So the first 2 days in Spain meant a very big change in experiencing my journey to Santiago, but today I feel already totally adapted to this new way of heading towards Santiago...I meet so many people so this means that exchanging many many stories will be probably the main issue from now on...In France the main issue was the long walkings in silence,the communication with the local people and the few other pelgrims

    The weather in Spain is already hot and a lot more sunnier beceause of the Pyerenees acting as a barrier for the rainclouds coming from France

    Today I had the funny experience of meeting a group of blinded people who are doing also 'El camino' with their guiding dogs..two of them started walking behind me and where even chasing at me and telling to speed up so I have put some gears up...they could still follow me while they were clearly enjoying following this Belgian experienced pelgrim...After some 20minutes I forget there was also a guiding man and woman with them who couldn't follow us and they were lost out of there was I standing with two of these blinded people with their dogs trying to explain in my best Spanish (I know almost 5 words ) that they have to stop and wait for their guide...Haha that was funny moment!

    So far so good in Spain and for sure still enjoying at the maximum this splendid journey!!

    Bonnas Tardes senores e senoritas 

    Pascalos el pelegrinos

    13-05-2009 om 19:31 geschreven door Scali  

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    So, today I celebrate my first month on French battlegrounds where i've spent the night almost at 30 different locations

    Well, I must admit...almost 30, beceause i've spent 2 nights at the same location (St.-Foy) but i promise not to do it again for the rest of my life

    For the last week i've been walking without any mobile contact to the outerworld due to a heavy rainstorm which destroyed my GSM, so sorry if you haven't yet recieved any message back if you tried to contact me...

    I will try to have a new GSM, but finding a decent tourist-respectfull store in France is the main issue first...well, i explain this a little bit more:

    Buying a GSM in France to use with your own pincard is as rare as being able to tank gasoline during the night in a French town where you don't need that shitty "Carte Blue" to be able to tank

    So, the major companies like Orange & SFR have blocked the GSM's so they can't be used with pincards from other countries which obliges me to find a deblocked GSM somewhere or ask to use my pincard in a GSM from a pelgrim college of not-French origin...i hope maybe in Spain i can buy a new one...

    If I would have the final vote for introducing Highway taxes in Belgium, i would vote yes, but only for French people


    29 april (Visiting day Bergerac)

    Today I took the train through the Valley of the Dordogne to visit the wonderfull city of Bergerac which i haven't seen yet even when it's the 4th time i'm in this region of France...

    I must admit that the old 'Historical Center' of Bergerac is of outstanding beauty and i maybe ran some twenty times through it to admire it in every kind of perspective..this is and will certainly be the most lovely citypart i've visited during this hiking journey through France...not being able to find a decent tourist-respectfull GSM-store in Bergerac is largely compensated by it's beautyness ofcourse

    I spent the evening at a nice&old cottage near Bergerac where the hosts made me a good meal and we watched the movie 'Ben Hur'...i must admit I hadn't seen this magnificent movie yet, but seeing it now feels like the perfect timing i think But dam'n the movie lasted almost 3,5hours... 


    30 april (Visiting day of the Dordogne Valley)

    After a good breakfast, the host brought me to the station of Bergerac where a took the train further on eastwards through the Valley of the Dordogne...I got off in St.Cyprien where I made a 20km walk towards the lovely towns of Beynac, Castelnaud and Sarlat to admire the Dordogne region at it's best part. This region always seems to impress me like I came for the 1st time...

    In Sarlat I took the train back to St.Foy where I arrived two days ago and made this break to visit the Dordogne Valley..So there i spent the night for the 2nd time at the same gîte which was now occupied by 8 other pelgrims, so i was obliged to sleep in the hall...Damn those older pelgrims!! Some of them always wake up at 6am so everybody started to pass my bed in the hall so early in the morning...


    1 may (St. Foy - La Reole 48km)

    Well, then i too got up that early (6am) and decided to do a monstruous long walking of 48km today...Please don't try this at home  

    I've been walking through the region of the Gironde now, which is the region where the large vinyards are located which deliver you some of the best wines of France, the Bordeaux's...

    The landscape was lovely to walk through and i'm impressed by the vast amounts of vinyards

    It's after a week again very sunny day and I got burned a little bit because after a whole week of rain/grayiness you make quickly the mistake of not putting enough sunscreen...But I also forget that i've made already quite a lot of progress in the southern part of France..

    In the evening I stayed at La Reole with a Duth women and a Suiss which I had seen in Vézelay, but not anymore since we've exchanged a lot of stories during the evening.


    2 may (La Reole - Bazas 28km)

    The 28km of this day felt quite heavy because of the long day before, but after more than a month walking you don't know anymore the word "giving up"

    Again a nice almost-summer day of 23degrees and blue sunny sky to let me largely enjoy the day

    I slept in an old school place which they had transformed into a gîte for pelgrims


    3 may (Bazas - Bouriot 40km)

    Yep, it's me crazy walking again for 40km...I've passed today Forrest Gump, he's no match anymore for me

    Today I entered the region of the Landes, which was one of the few regions in France I hadn't seen before...I've always regarded the Landes as a region with very long&flat megatouristical beaches with a lot of towns which are probably "villes jumellées avec Blankenberge"  ...the landwart part is completely flat with extensive areas of pinetree forests

    But walking through these extensive areas of pinetree forests was quite okay for some was also quite a climbing adventure since a very heavy storm in january had destroyed vast areas of the forests and a lot of walking paths were still barricaded by many fallen was sometimes quite an impressive view to see al those big trees brought down by the storm, which according to some people must have had wind speeds of up to 200km/h


    4 may (Bouriot - Bougue 33km)

    Last day of long walking with lots of fallen pinetrees which I've refused not to count anymore...


    5 may (Bouriot - St. Sever 19km)

    A short walking day and I arrived now at noon in this lovely town where i will rest for the rest of the day

    6 may (St. Sever - Hagetmau 17km)

    And today again a short but very satisfying walk so I arrived at noon at Hagetmau were I can relax again&enjoy this amazing summerday with 27°C !!

    At almost the end of the walk I got a very special moment when suddenly on top of a small hill (yes, the Landes are almost done and becoming more hilly now) I got a view on the snowy peaks of the Pyrennees which are still at some 90km distance...when seeing them so suddenly it gave me a "chicken feeling moment"..This was really THE moment I've realised that I've progressed so far in France!!

    The next days will provide me very beautifull views on the Pyrennees which I will cross within 5days

    Sooooo, there's only 4 days left on French territory and it gets already clear that i've accomplished a major part of my hiking journey...

    Some 1100kms in France will be history within 4days and some 800kms in Northern Spain have still to be conquered:wink

    Much sunny greetings


    06-05-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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    I was last time too fast to say that the summer was here

    Now its again autumn with a first full day of rainwalking, but when leaving for such a long time it is unevitable that there will be a week bad weather...we'll survive ofcourse

    24 april (Thiviers - Sorges 18km)

    A short walking distance and i'm not complaining so i could enjoy the last summer day for the moment

    I stayed at a house which is funded by the community of Sorges specialy for pelgrims and volunteers host the house every two weeks
    and take good care of the pelgrims so i enjoyed a delicious evening meal and the good company of the hosts

    25 april (Sorges - Périgeux 25km)

    Today the first full day of rainwalking and being packed well with my good raincoat i didn't almost see anything else besides my feet during the walking
    These kind of days are ofcourse not very enjoyable in this kind of hiking journey

    Today i'm for the 3rd time being hosted by english people and start to think of maybe doing a hiking tour in Great Britain to meet French hosts again

    26 april (Périgeux - St.Astier 26km)

    In the morning i took a few hours to visit this very beautiful city because it was not raining yet

    Périgeux has a citypart of Medieval age and one of Roman age which are well worth to visit..two big cathedrals from the both ages impressed me a lot
    along with different other buildings which you can admire in the pictures. I came already 3x to this region (Dordogne), but i didn't knew that Périgeux is certainly as important to visit as the other famous cities like Rocamadour, Sarlat,...

    In Saint-Astier i had a whole bungalow at my disposal for only 10euro so i could spent the night cheap and dry!

    27 april (Saint-Astier - Mussidan 24km)

    A dry and warmer walking today with a few nice typical southern towns that gave me the feeling of being a lot advanced on my journey since the start

    I realise today i've been walking already 23days without a full day off and have the idea of visiting Bergerac for a day the day after tomorrow...
    i must see this city ofcourse!

    28 april (Mussidan - St.-Foy 35km)

    Today a full walking day in heavy rain & sometimes heavy wind....this was a though challenge for my endurance abilities but i managed to reach my goal without too much bad cursing
    Sadly this was one of the most beautiful walking roads in the region which should offer magnificent views over the valley of the Dordogne, but the heavy rain made it al look quite unenjoyable

    I ended the trip with 4 other pelgrims (the dutch couple and 2 french men) and we were trapped at the end above the hill where the last steep path downhill was transferred into a torrent stream so we had to make our way around before ending finaly this long trip

    Luckely we had the whole Presbyterie of St.-Foy at our disposal and ended up with a good sleep

    29 april (visiting day)

    Today a full day of visiting the Dordogne valley and i will take the train and stop in various towns like Bergerac, Sarlat...
    It is not raining so i can enjoy the day better than yesterday

    Much greetings to you all


    27-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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    It seems that the summer has entered France since my last report

    I think i entered now in some kind of physical/mental state where walking a whole day with my backpack seems to be the normal way of life...
    Well, this kind of normal way of life has now evolved for me about 1/3 since i checked yesterday i have still to do some 1188km and almost 600km done

    18 April (La Souterraine - Châtelus 40km)

    In the magnificent house of the English couple i had a very royal breakfast in a nice dining room with six other people: two other French pelgrims who i met about 8days ago and they won't make the whole trip, only till the French border and a Belgium couple with child who spent the night here while driving in two days back from the Provence, so i could finaly practise my 'Beschaafd Vlaams' again

    This was a day of military marching, which means brains on zero and going on to make the very long walking. Luckely i was compagned by quite nice weather: those kinds of huge april-heavy rain-clouds which luckely didn't lose a drop and enough sun between them. The last 5km of the walking i had to go from around 300m up till the highest point around 680m and then go back to around 300m, which is not that big, but after already 35km it is quite challenging. This is the highest point of the route in France without the Pyrenees, so heights will now be relatively low again.

    In the evening I was invited to dinner at the house of again an English host were i also met the Dutch couple again..they thought i took a taxi to catch up with them

    It's amazing for what small price you get always satisfied with quality food to end the evening.

    19 April (Châtelus - St.Leonard 30km)

    Again a long distance to walk but today in the company of the Dutch couple. It was a more difficult walk since the 40km of the day before were still in my legs, but we managed to do our daily job and arrived at a pelgrims gîte where already 6 other people were staying. So i met a Belgium couple who started the 1st of March at their house in Boechout, a guy (Johan) who started the 15th of March at his house (Leuven), a Dutch women who started at here house also in March and a French couple who started like me in Vézelay, but the 1st of we were all courageous people exchanging their stories during a nice evening in the gîte. It feels that it is getting crowdier the longer my journey is during and the closer i get to Santiago. At the French border it will probably get very crowdy since all the different routes from France come together there.

    20 April (St. Leonard - Limoges 21km)

     Today a shorter walking which i did with the French couple in the morning so i had some time to visit Limoges in the evening where i met Johan (the guy from Leuven) again and heard about whis journey so far. This is the kind of guy i knew i was going to meet: for most people it is a challenge to reach Santiago, but for him it is the purpose to reach it as fast as possible: doing 40-45km each day, not a day less, he arrived already in Limoges in 5weeks (from Leuven) with a backpack which weights about 23kg. He looks very burned by the sun, so i think stopping to put sunscreen on his body is a waist of time for him probably

    He can explain it all very well and wherever he comes, he seems to create immediatly a network of social connections to find a place to sleep. So quite fast he arranged that we could spent the night for free at the local scouts from Limoges. The money i saved i used to buy him a few beers in the evening. I discoverd a brown French beer (Pelforth) which i have to admit is very good being NOT a Belgium beer

    Limoges has a nice quarter off Medieval Ages which is very worth visiting and also the very large Cathedral with a nice Botanique garden.

    21 April (Limoges - Les Cars 27km)

    I first thought to stay in Limoges for a visiting day, but after almost 15days in very quite&peacefull surroundings, i have difficulties already with these kinds of overpopulated places Better be gone then...

    Johan had already left the scouts place around 6am in the morning...he's an early morning bird and needs ofcourse to do 45km to satisfy his needs..

    In the evening i have a gîte all for my own in Les Cars

    22 April (Les Cars - La Coquille 30km)

    Today summer seems to begin here with a clear blue sky and temperatures more than 20degrees...yippie, but since i'm already advancing closer to the south of France enough suncream is necessary!

    A few km's before my arriving point, i found a Zen Monastery which was not marked in the road guide. I was curious and entered it...luckely i read some books about Boeddhism the last years, so i managed to talk me in I was invited by a so-called Zen Master to drink tea with him and we had for about an hour a very interesting conversation about Boeddhism and the way of living in a Zen Monastery. Doing a 2000km walk to Santiago is also some kind of veeeeeery loooong meditation trip i explained to him which he sympathisised

    I spent the night in a gîte where the host made me a good meal and i had a ZEN SLEEP

    23 April (La Coquille - Thiviers 18km)

    Today a 'short' distance which i finished at 1pm and left my backpack in a chalet on a camping. The rest of the day i rested in the sun and accessed internet to bring you the latest news

    Please be ZEN there and much sunny greetings from me

    (they announce rain sunday )

    23-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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    Again in a bigger city means internet again

    I'm pleased to anounce i'm back in good shape and the kilometers are starting to fly again underneath my feet but my beard is luckily not growing that fast...thanks to you all this is the first time since my birth that my beard is staying for two weeks now

    So let's see were we were


    15april (Cluis - Gargilesse 13km)

    Last time writing and putting photo's on my blog in a bar took me so much time i left it at 5pm still having 16km's to do and it started raining a lot in the meanwhile

    But the bigger goal has to be kept in my mind, so i continued and rain or no rain i camped in the wild next to a small river in a forest where i was a little bit safed from the rain...only 3km from my goal of the day (Gargilesse)

    16april (Gargilesse - Crozant 30km)

    i suppose i don't have to tell anymore what sleeping in my tent means...but i never get upset by the lack of good sleep..the energy is still coming from the enthousiasm

    This has been the most beautiful walking day up till now...the landscape changed into a quasi Ardennes-like scenery with Gargilesse as the first beautiful town to enter.

    Ardennes-like landscape means steeper paths to cross ofcourse and i walked an impressive GR-path next to a very big lake (Lac de Chambon) which was artificial made by a big hydro-electrical dam which delivers enough energy for a small city like Leuven. The whole way the GR-path was going up and down so i can't remember how many times i walked some 50m uphill and downhill...the weight of my backpack is at least much more comfortable to support these kind of walkings. A few km's before Crozant i had an amazing view off this town which lies very nice on top of the rocky valleyside.

    Before i checked my information on sleeping availabilities, an old lady of a shopping store stops me and informs me that the school of the town is not in use any more and is now used to give a sleeping place to pelgrims passing for only 4euro i had a dry and good sleep and felt again like a child in school

    17april (Crozant - La Souterraine 25km)

    I had a good morning walk still in the rocky rivervalley and later on walked on a higher plateau with in the far distance higher hills already lurking at me (600-700m). I will cross these hills next days before reaching Limoges i suppose tuesday..these hills are the most western outcrops of the "Massif Central"...i think there in Limoges i will take my first full day off to visit the big city and to let rest my legs a little bit..if i don't walk 30km in the city ofcourse

    So again like always, entering La Soutairraine before being able to take a look at my information, a guy talks to me and sends me to a big old house which has been renovated by an English family who made a beauty out of it and it offers 12rooms to pelgrims. The man owned a restaurant in England before and came to France to be the owner of this lovely house&job. I met some other French pelgrims who i crossed about a week ago. Always fun of meeting others again and exchanging our stories.

    The weather was colder (14degrees) today with very big rainclouds but luckely just a few raindrops dropped on my head. Tomorrow will be the same, but the temperature is ideal for the bigger etappe (40km) which awaits me. I will try to catch up with the Dutch couple since i heard of my English host that they were staying here last night.


    Much greetings to you all



    ps photo's are updated (see link in "mijn favorieten")

    17-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (1)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.1st message from France


    This is my first message from France and the first time i managed to find a computer since the middle of France is quite deserted

    Everything is very fine with me and i have now already 11 walking days in my legs, with an average of almost 30km a day and 20km the last
    two days because i had to take it more slowly due to a small injurie at my heel. But today i feel back in shape again and thanks to some good
    friends (Kevin, Thomas & Hervé) from Belgium who drove all the way to join me for 2 walking days i could give enough stuff with them to make my backpack less heavy...this was putting too much pressure on my legs with probably the small injury as a result of that..Now i lightened up my backpack for as much as 4kg! It's a though decission to decide which stuff to leave in their car, but i have to manage with less clothes and other things, otherwise te wheight could get me in bigger trouble over a longer period.

    So, lets write something about the first days of my very inspiring journey where i met already quite much interesting people and stayed at nice and variated locations to spend the's fun to be surprised every evening where to sleep..the weather has been very good so far...lot's of sunny days and only two half a days walking in the rain..this is very good especially because there could still be snowstorms in the first half of april in this's a nice spring now and i'm very hopefull for the next 60days

    It has been a kind of official departure for me, since my parents were so nice to rent a holliday chalet in the vicinity of Vézelay for a few days. Vézelay is my official departure location to start walking to Santiago de Compostella as i mentioned already before. I decided to postpone my departure for 1 day (so start on the 5th of april) and we visited a very beautiful town (Noyers) of Medieval Ages which is classified as one of France's most beautiful towns. In the evening we went already to Vézelay to subscribe me officially so i'm an already famous pelgrim know in Vézelay  ..i got my fist two stamps to prove at the end in Santiago that i did the whole way from Vézelay. I asked if i could get a pelgrim blessing which is the ritual people do before starting their very long hiking jouney, but i would have to go to the mess the next morning at 8am for this..i didn't manage to be on time in the cathedral next morning..bad start..

    5april (Vézelay-Varzy 30km)
    My brother and the family dog joined me for the first walking day of 30km, which was a very suny day so putting enough sunscreen was already a necessary task to not put me into troubles for the next days. We officialy started at the portaal of cathedral of Vézelay..the town with its very large cathedral lies on a hill (+-350m) which makes an impressive view from far distances in the lower lying surroundings. In the middel of the trip the dog had to be "depannaged" because of the heat and he was not into long distance walking that day. So i finished the first official etappe with my brother in 'Varzy' and after a last evening meal with the whole family, i said goodbye to them and found a camping space in the garden of the pastor's a fresh pelgrim this is the best way of starting my journey ofcourse in the right spirit. Since i brought my tent with me, i have a lot more freedom to look for places to sleep. Sleeping places like gîtes, hôtels, youth hostels,particular houses,... are quite common on the official track to Compostella, but it takes a bigger part of my finances ofcourse

    6april (Varzy-Prémery 40km)
    The 2nd etappe was almost 40km but with very beautiful nature and i most admit the time flies bye even when you're walking alone..spending so much time alone was one of the reasons which scared me off a little bit the last month at home, but it's wonderfull how fast i got used to me, myself and Pascal It brings you in peace and i have had no badfeeling moments untill now...there seems to happen always at the right time something which brings you back in the right good mood..every day at least 4-5people stop me to start a conversation which always starts with the sentence "So, you're heading to Compostella..." and then the conversation can get quite long...

    In the evening i asked to an old man in his garden to who belonged the grass field next to his house, but he didn't i walked furher and 2minutes later his wife ride after me in her car to stop me and invited me to camp in their garden..this kind of hospitality happens almost all the time, it seems people love to invite pelgrims going to a good&special feeling! I spent the whole evening in their house drinking pastis, wine and being overloaded with good much generousity!

    7april (Prémery-Nevers 40km)
    Sleeping good in a tent is not a i'm getting used to wake up a lot during the night...i thought all the birds would be sleeping, but it seems some have to work night shifts , but luckily after some effort in the morning getting out of the tent, i'm always fit enough to start the next walking day..this day it's raining, but before i thought slipping away out the garden, i was invited to join for breakfast  by the generous hostsand then i headed to Nevers..Quite a big city where i spent the night in a monastery due to the rain..the sisters gave me a nice sleeping place and a good breakfast next was a very long walking day (almost 40km) and that feels in your legs...

    the landscape until today (15april) is very green and slightly ondulating, which reminds me somewhat of the Voerstreek in Belgium...i love it and it will change starting today with more relief and rockier sights towards Limoges 

    8april (Nevers-Grossouvre 28km)
    no rain anymore and quite sunny...leaving Nevers i walked a long time next to the Loire, a big river covering a large drainage basin in France with beautiful green riverlandscapes i enjoyed a lot...then i passed trough Aprémont, which is one of France's most beautiful towns so i took a longer break to discover its beauty..having a drink in a bar in the evening at my destination of the day (Grossouvre), the owners invited me to camp in their garden so i accepted their generous offer. I had a good meal in the evening and spent some time drinking pastis (again) at the bar..i was informed that job opportunities were so low in the region that some people even go working by car/train in Paris (350km) every day, so i immediatly forgot my everyday 1hour transportation to back and forth to work   

    9april (Grossouvre-Vernais 27km)
    Camping means getting awake a lot, but it's again a sunny morning and the enthousiasm to continue is still very good. I took a good shower&breakfast in the café and headed for a whole day of walking next to a channel which started to be a little bit too monotoneous at the end of the day..i spent the night camping in the wild, a deserted field which has turned into a wild nature place with lots of plants&trees..i didn't noticed first i put my tent on a bumpy place, so i spent the night turning around&around not finding a comfortable position to sleep..that's life when hiking&camping

    10april (Vernais-St.Amond.Montrond 25km)
    sunny day again with still some 10km walking next to the channel..i arrived early at the small destination city where i met a Dutch couple and had a good conversation&drink at a bar..they also enjoyed their hiking trip already a lot and we felt we could talk endlessly about the evening i started to feel pain at my heel and concluded that i needed to reduce the weight of my backpack beceause it puts too much pressure on my legs& a few days 3 good friends from Belgium will join me for 2 walking days and then i could give them some stuff to bring back to patience is needed and i took it more easy the next walking days

    11april (St.Amond.Montrond - Le Châtelet 24km)
    i woke up with quite some pain in the heel ('ontstoken achilles pees'), but the show must go on so i kept on walking at a slower speed. At noon i met the Dutch couple again and we got offered a drink by someone in the bar who feels sympathy towards us because he did the trip also some time ago and he gave us some good tips..i walked in the afternoon together with the Dutch couple and we spent the night together in a big house which is entirely at the service for pelgrims and at a very comfortable price..i could finaly put my clothes in a washing mashine. Have not much shorts, shirts means using lots of deodorant I drank my first Belgian beer (Leffe) agian in a bar that evening..

    12april (Le Châtelet - Châteaumeillant 13km)
    Had a very good sleep in a comfortable bed and agian fresh&dry only a short distance to walk and this does quite good for the recuperation of my heel...In the evening my good friends (Kevin, Hervé&Thomas) arrived by car from Belgium to join me for the next 2 walking days..i reduced the weight of my backpack almost 4kgs by giving back some stuff (hard choices to decide what) to them..we spent the night at a family's house on their first floor which they especially comforted to offer logement to pelgrims. That gives again a nice social feeling with the local people. In the town was a wine festival so we had a very good evening

    13april (Châteaumeillant - La Châtre 19km)
    Again a shorter distance and we took a lot of brakes walking through the slightly hilly and very green landscapes. Having been now almost 10days away i feel quite 'turbulated' when having again long discussions about work, politics,... it feels amazing how i was "out of society" before they forget quickly about our stressy&bizzy live in Belgium..this means that the journey is going well ofcourse and its purpose is delivering results

    La Châtre is quite a big town where we spent the night in a youth hostel and had some pizza

    14april (La Châtre - Neuvy 19km)
    Today we enjoyed the landscape somewhat more beceause we discussed less
    The bad feeling in the heel is gone and i used enough medication to solve to problem
    We got a whole house at our disposal in Neuvy where whe cooked a nice meal and had our last evening together

    15april (Neuvy - Gargilesse 24km)
    My good friends went back to Châteaumeillant where they had left their car and are heading back to Belgium now

    I'm back on my own and have to get used to it far the Belgian intermezzo..
    But sharing my experience now with you on a laptop in a bar already puts me back enthousiasticly on the way to Compostella!!
    THE SHOW GOES ON and still 60days to go....ULTREIA

    Please behave you all in Belgium
    Much greetings, Pascal

    15-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (6)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Nog snel de laatste fotookes...

    En wijle weg



    In den beginne woog ik...                                                          En plots woog ik... ...en dat voor de komende 70dagen

    03-04-2009 om 12:20 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (2)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Last day in Belgium
    Klik op de afbeelding om de link te volgen Hoi allen,

    Eindelijk is het dan zover...

    Als kind liep ik soms eens weg van huis...
    Als volwassende doe ik het nu nog eens over, maar dan wat meer voorbereid en niet omdat ik m'n ouders heb kwaadgemaakt ;-)

    Na zowat één jaar mentale voorbereiding en een 10-daagse oefentrektocht in Zuid-Frankrijk (GR-route in de regio van de Verdon)
    zijn we nu klaar voor de grote uitdaging, met name 2000km in +-70dagen afleggen vanuit Vézelay (Bourgondië) tot in Santiago de Compostela

    Het weer ziet er momenteel veelbelovend uit en zo ook het enthousiasme om eraan te beginnen!

    02-04-2009 om 12:48 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (0)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Materiaal
    1- tent : Vaude Odyssee 1-2pers (1.7kg)
    2- schoenen: Kayland +-1jaar in gebruik
    3- slaapzak: Lifeventure comfort bij 5°C extreem -5°C (0.9kg)
    4- slaapmatje: AirMat 7.5plus: oplaasbaar - 7.5cm dik (0.6kg)
    5- rugzak: Deuter Aircontact Pro (70 liter) (3.3kg)



    01-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (0)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.De route
    1- Traject in Frankrijk

    Start in Vézelay op 04april2009

    Gevolgde traject: Via Lemovicensis (rood traject) langs Nevers, Limoges, Perigeux, Bergerac

    Totale afstand +-1200km

    Kaartje >>

    2- Traject in Spanje

    Aanvang vermoedelijk vanaf 20mei2009

    Gevolgde traject: Camino Frances (rood traject) langs Pamplona, Burgos, Leon

    Totale afstand +-800km

    Kaartje >>

    Het traject in Frankrijk en Spanje voor Google Earth

    Camino francés.kmz (4.7 KB)   
    GR-France.kmz (162.1 KB)   

    01-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

    >> Reageer (2)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.De documenten voor onderweg
    1- De geloofsbrief moet de pelgrim in staat stellen om in nood deuren te openen om onderdak te vinden. Kloosters, abdijen enz.

    De inhoud van de geloofsbrief (opgemaakt in drie talen) luidt als volgt:

    "In naam van het Vlaams Genootschap van Santiago de Compostela verklaar ik hierbij dat het bovengenoemd lid van ons genootschap te voet/per fiets/per rijdier een pelgrimstocht onderneemt naar het graf van de heilige apostel Jacobus de Meerdere te Compostela in Galicië (Spanje) in de geest van de pelgrims van weleer. Ik vraag aan alle ingezetenen van kloosters en abdijen, aan vertegenwoordigers van de overheid en speciaal aan de Compostelagenootschappen dat ze voornoemde pelgrim alle bijstand en hulp verlenen om de tocht tot een goed einde te brengen. Met dank en pelgrimsgroeten.".

    2- Het stempelboekje dient bij officiële slaapgelegenheden voor pelgrims voorzien te worden van een stempel waarmee de pelgrim bij aankomst in Santiago de Compostela kan bewijzen dat hij een lange tocht ondernomen heeft en zodoende een officieel certificaat op de bestemming zal mogen ontvangen als aandenken aan zijn tocht

    3- De route in Frankrijk wordt gevolgd aan de hand van twee boekjes die uitgebreid het hele staptraject documenteren met stafkaartjes en tevens alle voorieningen onderweg (slaapplaatsen, winkels, restaurants, transport,...) vermelden. Het traject in Frankrijk bestaat uit twee GR-routes die gevolgd worden en waarvan elk boekje de volledige GR beschrijft.

    4- Stafkaarten in Frankrijk op schaal 1/200000

    5- Een boekje dat de staproute in Spanje even uitgebreid documenteerd als de GR-boekjes voor het traject in Spanje

    6- dagboekje gekregen van de collega's en dat mij verplicht om wat te noteren ;-)




    01-04-2009 om 00:00 geschreven door Scali  

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