Netherlands, Belgium, France ·
121 Days ·
103 Moments ·
And lets all support this cutey pie with good vibes and great energy for writing his graduating rapport on his enterprise! 🙏💞😘
His doing so well and as you can see truly enjoying it! Still I feel really proud as he's been working his ass off for this!
2 days ago
Yesterday during the siesta with pilgrim Meriano, he took off his shirt to let it dry... as I saw he basically had bigger "boobs" than me, which I don't care about. What I do care about is that I CANNOT randomly take off my shirt in a village coz I'm freaking warm and sweating like an idiot. So when, in the evening, I was sitting in the window of our gite, contemplating life, I was wondering the following:
Why the heck does gender exist?! Why aren't we still equal?? What's the freaking deal here? Some people got blond hair, some green eyes, some freckles, some a coloured skin, some people got a penis, some people a uterus and everybody likes somebody differently as long as it's with mutual respect and without harm. WHY CAN'T I TAKE OFF MY SHIRT WHEN ITS WARM????
Thom his reaction: men are dumb and got too much testosterone...
Anyway tonight I'm staying in a monastery and my dinner buddy was a curious and cute cat 😊
And I'm tired so I did nothing all 'noon but lying down!
So at 5a.m. this morning Armando woke up and packed his bag, which, I can tell ya, is really early, especially if I know I don't have to milk any cows... but I survived.
So I left Carcassonne or I tried to leave but I made some mistakes causing me to walk in a circle.. I just don't like cities haha
But then I found the correct route and I met another Italian pilgrim who didn't find the route, as it was his first day. So we started chatting and walking for a bit and then he basically never left me again. And I like company but I did really got the realisation that I like walking alone and being able to pee without having to find "shelter" or to take a break and take of my shoes and roll around in the grass (just kidding I don't do that, or do I?) But on the other hand time past fast as we tried to talk or as I tried to understand a really fast-non-English-or-French-speaking-Italian but it was nice. Obviously we ate pasta together and I've already explained tomorrow I'll continue solo
3 days ago
I have arrived in Carcassone! A medieval city with a gorgeous old castle, notre dame and village! I'm staying in an Abbey in a dormitory for pilgrims, with the Italian Armando. This man is absolutely amazing! We started talking about life, passions, heart-body-connections, yoga, meditation, the Camino, society, technology and so much more! The communication is in a mixed language of English, French and Italian (of which I barely understand anything) but I do understand his eyes, gesture and intonation (which he, as an Italian, uses alot!)
The walk today was kind of weird and I was feeling weird. Had no mood to continue today and took many breaks, I was sweating so so much and I was really happy to arrive!
4 days ago
Yesterday I decided to sit down with myself and find out what it was that was boiling in me. I had a helping hand from meditationteacher Tara Brach and her podcasts and when I embraced that hand the tears just kept on coming. And instead of fighting them I encouraged every single tear to be shed.
The podcast was about going from judgement to self compassion. And it turned out I have alot of judgement, blaming and pain still inside. So I digged a bit deeper to see where this was coming from and got to the source and triggers.
I ended the evening with telling myself I'm good enough and worth to be here without having to prove anything. As Tara describes it I'm trying to open vulnerability and nurture the insecurities I feel. I'm trying to love the parts of me that feel unlove-able instead of pushing them away. Because that pushing away has caused them to turn into bad habits, anger or frustrations and I don't allow that anymore.
So I'm feeling curly and on the right path to being me
5 days ago
'Ik ga posters maken en buiten ophangen. Ben mezelf kwijt, heb jij mij gevonden?'
6 days ago
Today started off with mild thunders above me and I felt like that was a good reflection of my own feelings. I feel there is something boiling in me that keeps me unfocused and I feel rushed. I think by now I should know the answers to life and feel a bliss of some sort.
It feels like I'm running out of time now I'm actually heading to St. Jean Pied de Port (famous city for pilgrims, just before the Spanish border). I don't know what I think I should be feeling and I don't know what else I am actually feeling. I'm just overloading. I'm getting tired of myself and I've been feeling rather lonely in these past few days. I'm trying not to judge and let everything just be and when yesterday, I fell asleep with a podcast of Tara Brach about letting go of controlling and just 'being' I felt heared and trannquility. But now I feel like a lonesome mess walking through French mountains waiting for a big thunderstorm to come out, coz even crying doesn't help me now
Km count: 1145
7 days ago
I woke up with the message, from my mum, that my trip is in the local Catholic newspaper. That's always exciting!
I've left the gorgeous city of Narbonne after a long walk through the city and over a highway, luckily not on the highway tho!
The weather was really windy but I suppose that has something to do with the sea still coz I got treated again with a view on a bit of Mediterranean!
I've passed an old Abbey which has turned into a big touristic centre so I left it quite fast too.
After that the route got complicated as my navigation send me on a road that didn't exist anymore and the downloaded route got stuck in the past too.. so when I arrived in the village of Saint André I was really happy.
I was thinking, hoping and therefor attracting that soon I'd have an public space as accommodation for myself again. So when, at the mayor's office a man offered the rugby centre as sleepingplace I said yes immediately! So that's where I'm at and I'm tired mostly, mentally..
8 days ago
This morning the whole tent was wet but luckily after half an hour in the sun it was much better. It saves in weight if it's dry and I prefer the inside of my back not to get humid.
I didn't really feel like walking as I just couldn't find the sense of what the heck it is I'm actually doing..
But as there is no other option but continuing I started walking on the route again, eventhough there are no indications on the road. But first I met two Flemish Belgians to drink a cup of coffee with.
Then as I left the village I got surrounded by gorgeous green vineyards, big rocks, flowers, a big blue sky and a last view on the Mediterranean sea. I totally enjoyed the walk and remembered I love being in nature and smiled all the way through.
When I arrived in Narbonne I got really enthusiast as it's a pretty city with a nice energy! Unfortunately the hostel was completely booked, but I do have a bed tonight.
For now I'm doing things slow as I got hit by a sunstroke for not drinking enough
9 days ago
So today I've walked 20km to Narbonne-plage. And it has been raining ever since 7.30 a.m.. During my walk I crossed an big swamp-ish and mellowy area which was rather difficult to walk through as my shoes got massive and heavy with mud.
As I'm in a rather touristic side of France there are many people sideseeing and stuff but I felt like I was the biggest attraction walking around in my tomato-like poncho which is, apparently, fascinating and jaw-dropping to see. So I got used to seeing people barely keeping eyes on the road to watch me walk by but when I caught a guy taking photos of me, it was my time to drop my jaw...
After that a man stopped his car to have a talk with me, which I really appreciated as he'd walked the Camino three times himself but then he also just randomly took a picture of me without asking, in the middle of our conversation.. it was so weird!
Oh and this morning I got free food and a coffee at the bakkery in town and a candle to light for them in Santiago.
10 days ago
I'm happy, I'm feeling feminine and I'm feeling strong! I enjoyed staying three nights at the sea and had two lovely elderly people as neighbours who spoiled me rotten and when I left this morning didn't let me leave without accepting 25€ & approx. about 40,- worth of food coupons at shops and restaurants. I got really emotional when saying goodbye as staying multiple days with people makes me love them even more!
So yesterday my period started but after a few little cramps it hasn't bothered me at all and I just love my body and myself at the moment.
& I've proven myself to be capable of fixing stuff on my own!
During the walk I met the Irish Margret (Fr: Margo) asking for directions, instead we discussed the law of attraction, perceptions, dualism, religion, periods, menopause, doctrines, (mental) freedom & commited together to writing down 5 things we appreciate each morning when waking up, so who's with us?
Now I just got hit on by a way older man which was strange
8 June 2019
7 June 2019
Holy moly today was HARD for my feet, they hurt really bad as walking 25km with blisters (yesterday) doesn't do much good to them. So I decided to find myself a nice camping next to the sea for two nights. And I managed finding one, actually that's not so hard, it was more difficult finding a camping with as less stars as possible as I do intent to get to Saint Jacques de Compostella on only my savings account haha. So got myself a lovely place 25m away from the sea on a 3star camping, I'm really happy!
At first I wanted to go to the camping where we were with our caravan a few years ago. But I decided it'd be better if I didn't return there now. I have such great memories there together with my family and it'll never be the same by myself and will probably only ruin the good memories. So I'll make some new once a few km away from the old memories!
I left this morning with a terrible headache and so I'm waiting for the vulcano to burst again...
Km count: 1059
6 June 2019
I bought two delicious cakes today for celebrating the birthday of firstly my lovely and oldest sestra Letty who has turned 25 ❤ and secondly for my very creative, best friend Annelieke who has turned 26 ❤! Happy birthday both of you! You mean the world to me 💫🌍
Today I've walked a long and very straight and therefor very boring 25km. It took ages to get anywhere but luckily I did have a cool sea breeze all along. I've also crossed the little city Sete, which is really gorgeous and I enjoyed very much!
Also I'm frustrated by my blisters because it does make walking so much more diufficult and after a while rather painfull. I had alot of time to think things through and it's my perfectionism that drove me to take a "sabbatical year" and which now drives me to blaming myself for hating to walk next to highways and taking the train... I'm basically capable of turning my life's biggest physical accomplishment so far into a personal shame... Well done Maartje..
5 June 2019
I loved staying with Christole! She's just awesome! And I dedicated the money for my stay to her son as she didn't want it. She needs quite some money because her son is transitioning and will get surgery at the end of this year, so I couldn't think of a better purpose for a little bit of my money!
Then after about 5km I saw a boat named 'Zuiderster' which is pretty Dutch and so are the owners Co and Roos (sharing my mum her roots from Zeeland!) who invited me for a coffee, a tour on theit boat and afterwards for lunch!
Then I continued my walk for 15km along the canal with a nice sea breeze! And at the last 2km I met Pedro another pilgrim, but from Czech, with his two dogs and really heavy backpack (23km) stuffed with donated dog food and loads of water for the three of 'em!
Now I've got two blisters indicating blocked emotions and that's all about me taking the train and disappointing myself so tonight is time for some metta bhavana meditation (loving kindness) & forgiveness 🙏
4 June 2019
I am proud to say that I'VE MADE IT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA!!!!
10 weeks and 4 days ago I started walking southward at the belgium-france border and now I physically can't continue anymore. It is something I'm rather proud of. This journey is so special and that was proven again today! I planned on sleeping at a camping on the coast but then a woman approached me on the street 6.5km before I'd reach the sea. She offered me a bed as her airbnb guest ghosted on her. I went to her house thinking I'd still sleep at the camping I was so looking forward to but as Caroline and I started talking (in English) I really enjoyed her company and her being. She lent me her bike to get to the beach, which broke down after 2km, which I was warned for! I got delicious food and cuddle time with a gorgeous cat. She doesn't want my money eventho she is in need of it and as she didn't want hugs all I can do is say 'Thank you' alot!
Km count: 1002!!
3 June 2019
As I arrived in Montpellier I just went straight to a youth hostel. Where I met a great young lady who studies Italian. She doesn't have a phone nor a laptop, doesn't like using internet but has an email address as you basically can't live without that these days. And she makes her own clothes. I was really fascinated by her and we talked for a long time. As she was still asleep when I left, I left her a message (an old-school written note) at the desk thanking her for who she is!
I was more than happy leaving the big city again eventhough it's a gorgeous place with very detailed old buildings, modern people and a nice vibe.
After I bought some shorts and extra gas for cooking at the decathlon I went in the direction of the sea!
So in a conversation with Richard I figured out how odd it was that I was first walking to Nimes (eastwards) and then to Montpellier. Instead I decided to walk directly to Montpellier. Unfortunately I don't have a route of this on my phone or elsewhere. So I'd use navigation on my phone. The first day, yesterday, this was rather boring. The second day, today, it was rather freaking dangerous as my navigation send me walking next to a freaking almost-highway for TWO FUCKING HOURS! I was literally shitting my pants most of the time as the cars past me really fast and close by. It was just scary and it took ages combined with a nice 25 degrees sun without any wind, except from big trucks passing me or almost taking me with them.
So I have decided, I ain't walking with my own shitty navigation and I won't buy a map because then even more frustrations will arise. No I'm doing this whole trip to de-stress and that's not happening right now. I'm waiting for the bus to Montpellier.. 😤🤯
2 June 2019
So I wanted to leave early again this morning but waited for Richard and his wife to wake up, to thank them for the lovely evening and English conversations! But unfortunately at 9a.m. they were still not up and after waiting for 45minutes I decided I'd continue as the day would only get warmer and warmer. As a 'thanks' I wrote them a little message in stones :P
So when you look at the pictures and get bored, well I feel you... I got bored too during this walk. I went through Alés and wanted to walk besides the river, which was about 2,5km longer. When I got to the river I just laughed as their was basically none. It was about 30 degrees again and with not one single cloud and I've walked 23km AND arrived at 14.00h which is a pretty impressing performance, if you ask my feet 😋
But I'm at a great but small camping and as soon as I arrived I'd put up my tent thrown my stuff in there and ran straight for the intensely cold swimmingpool to get startled by the temperature difference!
1 June 2019
Today was about 30°C and I was sweating so much that it looked like I had pied my shorts.. suppose Lidl isn't the best quality but oh well, I changed them back to my comfy but black trousers (who are also from the Lidl).
I left the camping at 7.45 a.m. bought some bread at the bakker and walked about 2hours without much difficulty. After that I was just a sweaty little hiker. Lucky me my hair grows fast and I could wear it in a ponytail so that safes my neck from wet hair!
When I passed an old castle a big herd of sheep and goats passed by, it was just a great picture with the Shepards and the old ruins of the castle! After that I basically walked on open roads and my Gosh I found a snake, luckily it was dead!
After 18km I asked for a refill of water with a man who's sitting outside and he happened to be (hell yesssss!) ENGLISH! So we got talking, he offered my some coffee and I just asked if I could place my tent in his garden, so here I am! We chat all afternoon and it's lovely!
31 May 2019
Today was warm!! And the route was pretty "boring", mostly on normal roads. But tomorrow morning I'll wake up with a view on the river! And I'm sorry for my neighbours on the camping that they had to witness my brown arms and white body in bikini 🤣
For the rest I don't feel like sharing much, I'm content with myself tonight. Tomorrow I'll wake up early as it'll get more warm than today.
Marti OUT ☺
30 May 2019
DAY 69 (LOL 😉)
I feel like I've been on so many places today and I've only walked 14km!
I had a lovely lay in this morning, which I really needed!
Then I walked in awesome mellowy mountaintops. Followed by a far-off lake view.
Next I came across an ancient and cute village where I walked around for a bit and ate my lunch.
When I continued I was surrounded by flowers! Which I absolutely loved, when I was a kid, no flower was safe for the curious hands of Maartje to make a bouquet or perfume :P Then all of a sudden I arrived on a big mountaintop with an stunning view over a big big lake which I walked next to after I got down.
Next logic step was a really cold beer as I just hadn't had the option to get one in the past few weeks. And for dinner I really needed the little shop to open, on which I waited about 1.5h only to figure out it'd stay closed. Now I'm on a camping and enjoying the nice sun after a great day, on which I saw many many other hikers/walkers <-- that's my karma..
28 May 2019
So it turned out the camping was really kind of abandoned but I wasn't by myself in the end. I met Beatrice,a wonderfull and amazing woman. She is a cool & pure person, we got along really well & laughed & shared alot. She found a four leafed clover which she gave me! Beatrice is walking the Chemin Stevenson for two weeks. So apparently this route is something famous and my own route crosses it occasionally.
Oh yeah and the weather was really really windy and only about 10°C so instead of a Smurf my new poncho makes me walk around like a happy tomato (safety first you guys!).
Today's walk was about 19km but I managed it in 15km, how? Well the gite owner I called this morning saw me walking on the road and as he'd be gone in the noon till 18.00h he proposed to drive me to the gite so I didn't have to wait for 3 hours. And as I was tired as fuck from my freezing night in my tent I was happy to skip those 3km and chill in my room!
Oh btw, the route was stunningly magnificent again! 😍
I've walked an easy but gorgeous 13 km to the little village Luc. I'm at an abandoned camping by myself so I've placed my tent in front of the toilethouse, just under the roof. That way my tent will be dry in the morning as it is raining occasionally.
Km count: 900
27 May 2019
So yesterday I wandered around Costaros and couldn't really find a sleepingplace until I almost walked out of the village and met Carole and her mum Annie. Carole offered to help me and walked with me to her place. I figured I could sleep in her garden but I got a room and a big bed. We ate pizza together with a great friend of hers. First, this morning Carole had to work so I could sleep in and just lock the door behind her as she left. She proposed a tranquil day for me for today. And drove me to me next destination.
I get blown away by the trust people show in me and I almost feel shitty for taking a rest day, like I don't deserve it. Its difficult for me to see how people treat me while I feel like my conscious is hunting me, but I don't know why exactly. I honestly want to be the best person I can be and being a pilgrim on the road teaches me so much. Carole got rather emotional when I left eventhough communicating was difficult. She is a gorgeous person and soul on my Camino! ❤
26 May 2019
This morning the first pilgrim woke up around 5.30 a.m. and as I sleep really light, lucky me I woke up at 5.30 too... at 6.30 all the 30 pilgrims were having breakfast and at 7 o'clock they were all gone and it were just Marcel and I and the volunteers left. We did go to the pilgrim blessing, where about 60 other pilgrims were attending. It was all a bit overwhelmingly after my two relatively solo months. In my first two km about three people told me I went in the wrong direction as basically all pilgrims go to St. Jean Pied de Port after Le Puy. So I explained I'm going to Montpellier and this is the correct route for me :P
I met a really passionate volunteer who gave some really enthusiast advice about the different route options. As I'm quite sensitive for other people's energy while I sleep he adviced to go to the Camino del Norte in Spain instead of the classic Camino Frances. As here there are auberges with more than 200 pilgrims in a room! Shoot me if I'd sleep there!
25 May 2019
I've arrived in LE PUY EN VELAY whoopwhoop... and I absolutely dislike it, it's touristic, big, cars, people, more people and more cars. I think I really love the countryside with all its nature and the contact with village people.
But luckily I've had my part of that today as well! I've climbed --> 300m <--- and I was completely covered in sweat and my underwear and socks were super soaked haha but my God! The view was soooo worth it! And I feel like I can conquer anything (not just right now, coz now I'm tired) but let's say tomorrow!
This city is ancient and holy for pilgrims. So I'm in a house with about 30 other pilgrims what I find quite difficult because I can't connect with 30 persons at once Im not good at small talk..
My shoes are being fixed as I write, so I have some sexy temporary shoes now. And I've bought a new poncho in the Pilgrimshop, those bloody things are expensive as fuck, but I prefer a poncho with backpack!
24 May 2019
There are two things happening in my body:
1. I get really big calf muscles from all those mountain hikes
2. My heart is expanding sooo much, with all these amazing people on my Camino. It honestly makes rather emotional as I didn't expect all of this to happen to me. I didn't really expect anything besides mental ups and downs but this is just a big serendipity! I feel blessed by life and I don't know if all the people I meet and stay with, know how much they change my life and my perception on people in general. I feel so much love for everybody on this trip! And I think I'll have to drive my route again (after arriving in Santiago) to see everybody one more time! ❤
Today was quite challenging again but also gorgeous and I enjoyed it alot! When I arrived on top of one mountain I got rewarded with some curious cows, who just made my heart skip a beat! I enjoy all the wild animals I see but I just love them humorous cows in fields!!
Km count: 850
23 May 2019
Today were the most difficult, longest and most beautiful 14 km of my trip so far. It took me about 7hours to arrive in Retournac. It started with a steep downhill road, which obviously was followed by a even more steep climb up, and three more times like that! The weather was gorgeous but all my clothes were soaked in sweat!
So can you imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the camping only to figure out it was closed. When I checked this with a tiny lady (Chantal) in the streets, she immediately started helping me. She brought me to her house and her Italian husband Lino sat down with me while Chantal started preparing a ton of food! I shouldn't have to sleep in my tent as their son's room is free. And oh before they forgot to tell me, they did have a political get together tonight, so I got the keys from the house and they left. This all happened within 75 min. I'm flabbergasted by their trust in me, a stranger.. And I feel sooooo thankful for people like them! 💞🧚♀️🙏
22 May 2019
I've arrived at a really big gite (alone)in Valprivas after walking 23km with alot of inclination and gorgeous mountain views! I honestly enjoyed today and I'm happy I've walked in the right direction all day.... and I'm really really tired!
I feel like I'm going back in time in this area, as the houses are absolutely adorable and pretty ancient (I think)!
And for the first time in weeks I've seen the Jacob shells again as a sign on my road.
Last night I've met two other pilgrims, Marcel (28) from Nancy and Heimbert (62) from east Germany. They'd met 2 weeks before and kept running into eachother again.
Marcel had 14kg in his backpack which was mostly survival gear. He regularly sleeps in a hammock in the woods or in small hunting houses where he then makes a fire to keep warm. He catches his own fish and prepares them on a grill above a fire. I think that's pretty awesome!! But I'm happy I have a my tent, a pillow and decent walking sticks. Everybody just walks their own Camino!
21 May 2019
This is where I found out I was walking the complete wrong direction... due to skipping the previous villages as Thomas picked me up in Saint Germain. The names didn't sound familiar until I saw Chabreloch was back on my route..
What a freaking weird and fucked up day. I made sure Thom and I had a great breakfast. It was difficult to say goodbye after that and I felt really sad as I just love being close to him but I know it's not necessary for our relationship.
So Thom drove me about 8km up the route so I'd be sure of a sleepingplace. The walk was gorgeous on a mellow in the mountains. When it started raining I discovered that my new poncho was without backpack part so it's too small.. that was a really shitty discovery but nothing I could or can change right now, the advantage: it weighs less and is smaller.
After 11km I took a break only to discover I managed to WALK FREAKING NORTHWARD!!! I've been with my head in the clouds literally and figuratively and with all my emotions of joy, feeling in love and saying goodbye I didn't check properly...
So I started walking back southward and hitchhiked back to the correct route.
I've felt so stupid and dump and I can only blame myself for this stupid error. 😭🤬
20 May 2019
I can honestly say I feel content and happy and lucky and loved and a bit tipsy. Thomas and I spend alot of the time just lying in bed, driving around, cooking/eating and most of the time just joking and having fun and teasing one another as that's what we do best. It's been just great to have him around and to experience what I've been experiencing for the last 2 months.
We've vistied an ancient tiny village and an old castle. And our apartment was just perfect with everything with needed and more. I got to wash all my clothes and eat some eierkoeken!
We finished 6 beers, 1 little bottle of cognac and a big bottle of whiskey while we're sitting on the sofa talking about life and everything else what's happening around us. It made it impossible for me to sleep as Thomas started snorting really loud but I'm just happy I can hear his snor again.
I've got enough motivation to continue walking again tomorrow but it'll be hard going separating ways.. Thank you for all Thommie ❤
18 May 2019
DAY 57 (8 weeks !!)
So today I've walked about 19km with great cloudy weather! I've slept really bad as it was pretty cold during the night and I had nobody to ask for an extra blanket.
I've seen some dairy cows again which has been awhile coz this is the area for beef cattle.
I'm asked over and over whether I'm Italian, especially when I introduce myself as Adriana. I do have an Italian uncle but not by blood so I suppose there's no Mediterranean blood in me, unless my mum's gotta tell me something..?
I was thinking how confusing my different names might be for people who've only just met me.. so let me explain:
My full name is (Maartje/Marti) Adriana Maertynne Fioole. Maartje is an unofficial and typically Dutch name all my Dutch friends and family call me
A.M. are my baptism names and I only use Adriana e.g. in France. Then the name Marti I adopted when I was 16yrs and living in the UK where my name was too difficult to pronounce. So now you all know 😄
17 May 2019
As you may notice on the map I'm not really heading southward. Actually I'm heading highway-ward so Thomas will be able to pick me up more easily than in the middle of nowhere on a mountain.
My daily rhythm is quite changing as I wake up when it gets light, about 7 a.m. So around 8 in the morning I've eaten, am packed and ready to go. To then walk 15km takes about 4hours, obviously I'll take some breaks, so make it 5hours on the route. For all of this I take my time, I walk easily, eat bits, take photos etc. But it means I arrive around 13h at my next destination which is relatively early. It's also the time that basically everything is closed and you'll find nobody on the streets or at home for that matter. This is a very accurate description of today... and as nobody opened their doors, I decided I was just too tired to continue and when I found an old washinghouse I'd put my tent there. My neighbours are really quiet.. it's a nice but slightly humid place. For tonight I'm settled
16 May 2019
Today was the first day my navigation actually lost it self as we were in the middle of nowhere and I loved it. I did feel some hotspots arising on my heels so I quickly taped those, which worked perfect!
It was just a great hike in a gorgeous pineforest.. most of the time tho (see pic. 5 & 6). Some of my rocky roads were also shortcuts for tiny riverstreams (is that even a word?), not sure if this is visible on the picture, but is was pretty awesome.
I couldn't stop thinking how much I would have liked having Thomas with me. And how excited I am about seeing him soon! Our relationship hasn't always been the smoothest 😋 but I do feel very lucky with this young man in my life. He's followed me to the UK last year and now is about to drive 900km to visit it me in France. I don't know many guys who respect women the way he does. He's ambitious, loves nature and is open-minded, but most importantly he supports me on my impulsive adventures. I really can't wait much longer now!❤
15 May 2019
Firstly happy 95th b'day to my grandpa!
I've arrived at a ski gite, I basically had to wait 2 hours before somebody understood I needed a key but that's all fine now. The weather was great with a cold wind. The route was awesome, I felt good and like a real hiker. The views were breathtaking and I've made some mentalpictures as it's never the same on a photo.
And I'm happy to say it's only 3 nights before I can cuddle with my gorgeous blue-eyed boyfriend who's visiting me over the weekend! I think the amount of km he'll be driving is crazy but I suppose Moldova is further away. Luckily I know he is a good driver and it is ok for him and I'll be there to catch him when he'll arrive!
I'm happy my menstruation is getting less and less painfull each month unfortunately I haven't found a solution for the emotional rollercoaster it comes along with.. but step by step. I suppose I have many more years to experiment with that part.
For now I'll rest a bit and enjoy a quiet afternoon!
14 May 2019
THE VULCANO HAS BURST as Thomas would say these day. So I'm welcoming my period and emotions.
As I've had some very tranquil days just before, I think it was okay for me to walk today eventhough normally I'd take the day off. Deep inside me I really felt the urge to just continue and be with myself and not surrounded by other people's energy.
I think the fact that I was anxious about treating Lyme disease made me mentally prepare well for it, as I do QT with the loving intention to help others. And when apparently a bishop didn't allow it, I felt rejected eventho I know it's not personal. I don't understand how the church could deny somebody perhaps a cure without expensive or chemical medicines.. I can't comprehend.
Then my current accomodation is in the middle of a forest on a hill and the ladies navigation instructions on phone were balls and I'm not good at receiving navigation instructions which was a (literally) BLOODY bad combination together with the hormones.. I got lost..
Yesterday was gorgeous day for walking! Most of my walk I didn't pay much attention to my surroundings tho. As I've been catching up with my sister Shamangy on the phone.
Luckily I did feel much better mentally and physically. My knees are still sensitive but are improving. I had a massive headache the day before but that's much better now! I just hope it's an indication for my way over time period.. I think my body is adapting to the daily activity and is there for upset.
I'd arrived at Sylvie's maison, the wife of Dominique, an other pilgrim I've met. She is very kind and generous and I love their dog Batman! As I said before i was nevous for treating the chronic lyme disease with Quantum Touch but there was a funny twist in this story. I never thought about QT and religion but apparently bishops do not allow QT (in the name of God??), even if my intention is only to help. So as Sylvie her life is all about Maria, no QT happened. More food for thought for me about religion!
12 May 2019
I've been mentally distracted all day.. my eyes are tired eventhough I slept like a baby. I'd just taken my tent out and when I zipped the first zipper I found out the second entrance was on the other side.. my thoughts are just wandering off.
I'd treated myself on a dinner in a small but great restaurant yesterday. Mainly because I wouldn't have enough food for today and there aren't any shops around. But I'm really glad because there was some gathering of Belgium people going on and the vibe was great. I'm starting to appreciate doing things like this, by myself as it feels like rehab from always doing something. I had the liberty to fully enjoy and taste my meal and I loved it.
Tomorrow I can sleep at the maison of another pilgrims wife, who I met the day before yesterday. I'll also quantum touch her as she has a chronic version of Lyme disease. I'm looking forward to this but am also anxious as I really want to help her but I'm afraid of the language barrier.
11 May 2019
Thomas has said something interesting about my second thoughts about religion. Because I'm constantly looking inside for reflection in my life and for personal growth. To me religion feels like trying to escape inner reflection. I respect the faith religion moves in people and it brings much good and love in many lives. It brings people together and gives them peace and hope in difficult times.
But when I see people bowing and kneeling for a statue I feel resistance. In my perspective every person has divine, godlike and evil parts. It is for each humanbeing to go through struggles our pure souls choose to go through. So I will bow for the Goddes that I feel is in me and pray to her for inner strength on difficult days and I know she'll guide me through life as this Goddes am I and I'll follow my intuition!
I'll continue visiting church services as I do find them psychologically interesting & I meet many kindhearted people!
I do respect everybody's choices, don't get me wrong 🙏
10 May 2019
Firstly happy 30th birthday to my dear sister Shamangy! Let's all send her lovely energy for celebration! ❤
Secondly I loved the weather today, approx. 17°C, cloudy with an occasional peek of the sun and a little bit of rain! I'll sign for every day to be like this on my Camino.
And lastly it's a freaking miracle I've arrived anywhere as my body and mental state are both bullshit. Since yesterday evening I've felt rather sad after the church service in the Abbey, the singing of the 65 brothers touched my heart but also made me rethink what religion means to me. There were some really young (+/-25yr) brothers and I find it difficult to understand they'll probably never have sex.. It's weird to think about this, but we're all humans. There are different other things that made me feel emotional and I just want to be alone for now.
My knee muscles are all sore and I can only make little steps as over-stretching them hurts A.F.! It took me ages to walk today's 18km but I've arrived...
9 May 2019
What a special stay I've had with Martine! She has touched my heart with her kindness and generosity!
I enjoyed her two cats as company too, they're adorable and really funny. I was blessed to meet a few of her dear friends. And she and I talked about many topics eventhough I don't speak French too well, I understand more and more!
After leaving I felt rather emotional as this woman is very dear to me!
But as life goes on, I met two new adventurers named Deb & Hob from the USA. They've walked about 10.000km of Camino routes all together and I enjoyed learning about their trips.
It's amazing to, mentally, take a step back and look at my own adventure from a distance. I've been experimenting alot with the Law of Attraction and the power of visualisation. My mum had reminded me, again, of saying in present tense what I'd like to see happen that day and as I wanted some sincere connections two days ago, I can tell you, time is an illusion and everything happens right NOW 💞
8 May 2019
Today it was raining ALL day!
Helene offered to call her aunt in the village I wanted to go to, and ask if I could stay with her. This was no problem en we went to Martine her house together, by car 🤐. (I've been walking more km than necessary with my off-route trips so these 7km by car, I'd take for granted) We met her mum again and she wanted to participate in my voyage so payed for my groceries... this is a family with a big heart and I appreciate this so much!
I've visited the city centre of this medieval village eventhough it was raining and everything was closed because today it's the liberation-day of WW2 in France.
In the church I'd found St. Jacques again so of course I had to take a photo!
Yesterday evening it was nice to have a drink and some food with other people and socialise a bit.
For now I'll enjoy my kind French company again next to a warm fire
7 May 2019
Tonight I'm staying with the lovely and kind young lady Helene, who is my age. I walked in the majors house and met her mum who called her! We'll go out to eat something with her friends and I will sleep in my awesome tent in her garage.
We visited her parents farm. Her father and two uncles have 500 sheep and 200 beef cattle.
I wanted to go to an old Abbey tomorrow which it's off the route. It was a difficult puzzle to plan as there is a river between the route and the Abbey. So while I was making my brains work to plan the route. I decided it would be so much easier to just take an extra day to get there..
Life lesson: if it doesn't work in two days, do it three! Life can be as easy as we make it 🧚♀️
And Thomas and I have been discussing whether he could maybe come and visit me in Montpellier and take a little holiday together!
6 May 2019
Well hello again! Today I've walked an easy 18km to a gite with a great man who I just had to hug after he installed me and offered to take a pic of me with THE big man: Saint Jacques!
I felt rather lonely sometimes at the temple with all the French speaking people. Luckily there was Emily a lovely young woman who explained lots to me, in English!
On Friday my mum told me about placing a question in the universe. So I asked to get a surprising hug from an unexpected person, which would mean that I'm doing the right thing and am in the right direction for my lifepath.
And yesterday, on my last afternoon in the temple I got in touch with Maela a brave young women doing a personal 1-month retreat and we hugged. After that Chantal started talking to me for a few hours which I didn't see coming either, and we hugged. After that I met Isabella a woman in search of answers in life and we spoke a bit and hugged.
I suppose the universe is definitely trying to make something clear here 💞
1 May 2019
So this will be the a post for the next few days. I'm staying in a Buddhistic centre till Monday morning. I found this place last week and decided to leave the way to Santiago for a few days of inner peace (hopefully, but probably inner chaos).
As everybody speaks French and barely English it will almost be like a real retreat. I'll switch off my phone for a while and only use it to look up the times for meals and Dharma talks.
I'm curious what these days will bring me. I'm quite happy to get out of the pilgrim zone for a little and just mediate, practise yoga and rest.
I love it that I can stay in the same bed for a couple of nights as being on the road is rather tiring.
And I'm hoping my menstruation will come around the corner in the next few days (jippie!).
Km count: 578
30 April 2019
I'm gonna stop judging myself because there'll always be people who do that for me. So from now on, I'm gonna be authentically Maartje and connect on my own level with nature and people! I'll go spread my Quantumtouch ability and share with as many people, animals or plants as possible!
I'm gonna trust people because if there's one thing I've learned is that so many strangers, during my camino, trust me, so I want to give that back. With a healthy dose of my own safety and intuition of course.
I cherish my dear friends who have stood by me for so long already and put up with my weirdness, energy, love and drama. And my gosh when I get back home Thomas and I are almost 2 years together. And my family well they have no possibility in losing me anyway 💌💞
So dear people, if I can do it, you can too! What can you give back to nature or people around you, just to say or show a sincere thanks!
Let's spread some love because I'm feeling it!!
First of all MARTI IS BACK BITCHESS!
Secondly I've been thinking alot of why I am who I am.
When I was younger I got bullied alot. Kids were saying I'd got a moustache or male arms coz of my dark hair.
When I thought I had true friends they shared my most personal secret with the whole school. The few friends left, I almost lost because I couldn't stop talking about my pet gerbils.
Later on I experienced people yelling, spitting and throwing things at me for walking hand in hand with, back then, my girlfriend.
I've lied alot to my parents and they lost trust in me.. which btw will never happen again (trust me :P)!
And all I felt I had left were my dog Puck, the gerbils and my chicken Aussie. Surrounded by animals I felt safe.
And today I stopped thinking and gave back to mother nature what she's been giving to me for so long. I've hugged a tree and I liked it. I just really really felt the urge to thank everything around me and all I could do was give a warmhearted hug.
29 April 2019
Next stop is at the gite at Glux en Glenn and the owners are (oh my lucky God!!) ENGLISH! So tonight I'll go in and have supper at there restaurant and speak until I physically can't anymore. The price was €21,25 and when I said that it was on my app for €15,- it turned out that's the price p.p. for two people. So I told the kind lady that I have multiple personalities and she found that so funny that I got the room for €15,-
I love the English couple, they are very welcoming, kind and funny so that brightens my mood!
Today I also received a conversation with my soul, made by a colleague of my sestra. It was so comforting and recognizable for me that I instantly started crying and let all the emotions out that had been building up in those 5 weeks. It was one of the best moments of my day besides the gorgeous green forest I got to walk in hour after hour.
I feel a bit better but just very tired of continuously being on the road and missing friends and family. But I'll be okay 🙏🧚
28 April 2019
Today was the day that i kept wondering why the heck I started this trip in the first place and why do it all by myself.
I enjoy solitude but I also enjoy a normal conversation in either Dutch or English without the troubled interference of Google translate..
On the other hand I have two ankles who are testing my limits for patience and my muscles for strength and healing.
I sincerely hope that the rain will stop soon so I won't have to walk awkwardly on them loose rocks again, while going downhill or uphill for that matter.. From now on I'll start appreciating the sun more.
Let's hope my mood and the weather will both be brighter on tomorrow.
In all honestly I'd be happy with going back home to spend time with my dog and cuddle with Thomas in a dark room where nobody can find me anymore.
And yes, I know I can be rather dramatic, it's even more dramatic as I have to deal with all the dramatic thoughts myself. But today I'm letting myself enjoy my self-pityness
Km count: Netflix
27 April 2019
Today was shitty. The weather was shitty. My night was awful. The route was bullshit. My ankle is being weird which doesn't surprise me with those slippery rocks everywhere.. and of course my downloaded online route and the direction indicators on the route decided to disagree again. Which caused stress inside me as I was in the pouring rain in a forest while little rivers were emerging on my path. Oh and another detail is that I basically bought too much food, 5km before this gite so my backpack felt 5kg heavier. All these factors caused my face from going happy to grumpy. But then all of a sudden the rain stopped, a blue sky arose, there were cows and nature was being gorgeous. How the hell could I take my own frustrations serious in this lovely world. So that was more frustrating as I just wanted to be sad and angry for a second but I couldn't coz everything was so pretty and I just felt smile on my face, thanking mother nature & thanking that I arrived at the gite!
Km count: 529
26 April 2019
Today's 26 km I've walked in the memory of my grandma. I spend alot of time thinking about her and how she touched my life. I remember the moment vividly that my dad was suddenly in the milkingparlour telling me she had passed away.
I'm happy I got to tell her that I was thinking about going to India, because this has been such a life-changing experience which she knew about.
That summer I got to spend several days with her and my grandpa and I really got to know and see my 'oma' with different eyes as we spend quite some lovely time together talking and walking around the village.
Another grateful thing is that she knew my love for a partner is not about gender and she never judged this, which I suppose, is rare for her generation, but says alot about her character.
Knowing all these things and having her energy around me today made the walk go easily and I'm thankful for this. I feel happy for her soul to be home and I can't wait to meet her again!
Many hugs for my own mother ❤
25 April 2019
I think I still prefer rain over the sun but today was with a few too enthusiastic rain Gods.. Anyway I was prepared mentally and physically for this weather because it'll be like this all week. I have some plastic covers for my shoes taken from the HAS to prevent my shoes from getting soaking wet and that works fine. Inside my bag I have everything in a big bin-bag in case the rain gets through the three other layers of prevention. So I'm pretty confident that all my things will stay dry, unfortunately I couldn't say the same over myself. I got soaked to the bone and was freezing my hands off. So when I arrived at the mayor's office I was more than happy when the lady offered me some kind of event hall in the building to sleep in. So for tonight I'm settled again!
At one point during the walk I got really angry about all those bloody slippery rocks and small pathways, I don't get why this famous route has such roads! But I told myself to switch to positive thinking instead! 💞🤐
23 April 2019
So farmer Christophe did come back around to fetch me some water. Later he came back with a flower and got me a little something to eat. As I eat vegetarian I didn't ate the "jambon" but the gesture was much appreciated. He also took me on a drive through the valley and into the rough fields with cows and introduced me to his friend, a cow he'd raised by hand as a calf.
The temperature was about 14°C during the night so I slept like a baby and I come to appreciate my private accommodation more and more.
However for tonight I'm staying in a pilgrimhouse.
The route was very hard as it went uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill and those hills are big, I can tell you that! I did have gorgeous views if it was not for the occasional massive rainshowers covering the sky and making the route quite dangerous and slippery at times.
Next few days more rain is expected so finger crossed while I'm crossing parc Morvan.
I do still often catch myself smiling as I walk😄
Km count: 477
Last night one of the ladies in the room was snorting really loud, resulting in a very tired Maartje (Adriana, Marti or whatever name I've used to introduce myself to you 🤣😱)
Do you remember my walk to Epernay with my wonky little toe, well now it's the other little toe that's being weird.. the blister on it, is okay but somehow there is a spot on top of the toe that hurts ALOT..
After 6km I just sat down and didn't know what to do anymore, I was really upset and frustrated by my toe. After a long while I decided staying put in the middle of nowhere was neither an option so slowly I continued. Of course I had to take a wrong turn somewhere too thus I've walked more km than necessary, or didn't I?
Anyway I'm glad I've found myself a sleeping place in an empty shed for beef cattle where I'm enjoying the isolation from hay bales. Unfortunately my next problem is that this place is kind of deserted and I ran out of drinking water.. let's hope the farmer comes back around here.
22 April 2019
Bonjour Vezelay! You are an touristic hotspot but that's coz you're a gorgeous little village on top of a mountain. Which means I had to climb UP that mountain before I got anywhere close to you.. together with my friend the Burning Sun, it was quite the challenge.
Now I get to stay with nuns and tomorrow I'll go to a pilgrim church service at 7 a.m.
There are quite some other pilgrims here and I met a great Belgian guy with whom I shared dinner.
It just nice to occasionally have Wi-Fi and speak to my parents and I got to see my grandma!
21 April 2019
Today I got to realize that the Netherlands is like really really flat. My calve muscles are developing but honestly today's track was incredible steep. I had to check on my phone whether it was a joke that the route was really this pathway. I didn't take any pictures as I figured it is never the same as in real life.
But I survived that's most important and now I'm at a camping in Arcy-sur-Cure. My neighbours are a group of young heifers. The owner speaks some English. They're renovating as they've moved to this location only recently. There is one working shower and a toilet and some sinks, for the rest it's all covered in paintstuff.
For now please no sun for a second! I remembered that India was really warm when I did nothing all day but France is also really warm when you're walking with 12kg on your back. And its only the start of spring and I haven't even reached the south of France....
At least I know I'll have a matching tan with Thomas when I get back home 👕🧦👖
20 April 2019
Today I was feeling good and my body loved walking. I've made a little party listening to my walking-playlist. It contains some Celtic folk music which reminds me of my holiday with Annie. There was some country music making it feel like I was walking together with Thomas and many more varieties of music genres bringing up memories, smiles and sometimes tears.
At one point I felt so thankful for all the friends, family and loved once I have at home. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world and it made me miss each and every one of them, it gives me tears in my eyes even now during writing this. I just love some many people and it's so special to have so many special people, I'm honestly blessed.
Yesterday I rang with Rey for about an hour and he's been my friend for 9 years already!❤ I felt so much joy when I saw he was calling! He asked me what I missed the most and I couldn't say anything in particular. It still feels good that I'm doing this by myself and for myself!
19 April 2019
The reason I write everyday is because this is like a diary for me to look back upon. But like everything I've done in my life I feel like I should write the perfect story and make a perfect trip and have perfect life-changing experiences that everybody else will look up to. I constantly want to impress others and I want acknowledgement from outside. But deep down inside I just want to be satisfied with myself. I want to not fear what others might think. I just want to be me without being insecure. Many people over the past few years and especially the last few months told me how they see me: a strong woman, an empowered female, somebody who's gonna do great things, a girl who knows herself and her capabilities.
But then, why don't I feel like this? Why don't I integrate in myself, what apparently the outside sees in me?
Deep down I just want to be the little girl playing with flowers, lying in the grass not worrying and enjoying how water embraces my body without judgement & with ❤
18 April 2019
Tonight I'm staying in a parish house in Chablis. I think I'll stay here two nights but I'm not yet sure. During the day the sun is bright and not too warm, for walking it's enjoyable!
In a few days I'll be in Vezelay and honestly I'm a bit nervous for this. It's a starting place for many pilgrims and I'm afraid it'll get crowded on the route. I prefer being and walking alone during the day and I feel like I'll walk with many others from thereon. But okay, I am not sure about this so I should just let things happen as they happen.
A few days ago I met a Belgian lady who is only walking till St. Jean pied de Port (just before the Spain border) as she likes walking alone. Because there it's another famous starting point. This made me think about my own route, perhaps I'll walk all the way down south to Montpellier in France instead of going to the Spain ocean at Gijon. I also have no clue on what to expect from Spain. I'm letting things manifest and come back to me when time is ready
17 April 2019
I have arrived in Vezannes after 15 lovely km on my own pace with many breaks and an awesome picknick next to the canal. I've left behind me the Champagne and have now entered the Bourgogne. Just when I started to get used to a daily glass of champagne.. guess I'll have to settle with an occasional wine or beer 😋
I've spend a great deal of the day thinking and writing down my thoughts. Mostly about my Camino and what it means to me to be a woman in this crazy world. That's also when I decided that when I'm sweating and my shirt is soaked, I have the liberty to take off my shirt and let it dry in the sun. I was alone, in between some hills at that point and stayed there for quite some time thinking. I honestly enjoy being topless, as I get to feel very authentically myself. But why is it that I did feel like I constantly had the need to check whether somebody would show up. I'm interested in this topic and I'll let you know when I've found my sincere freedom in being shirtless.
16 April 2019
DAY 25, post 2
The green circle is where we departed. The blue circle is among others a village that we passed during today's walk and where I'm staying now.
And the red cross is where I was, but where no accommodation is. But where as you can see my gps-download does say is a accommodation..
Damn those routes and technical gadgets... not that I'd get far with an old-school map but geezs I can't trust my map apparently..
I should learn two things:
1. Speak & understand French (maybe start preparing my Spanish language skills too...)
2. Read the location of stars and moss on trees for my directions
Emotional state during the day:
- fuck.. it rains
- stay positive, at least I'm not the notre dam in Paris
- enjoying the fresh air
- dammit I need a break and food
- nervous for ringing in French
- fucked.. I understand nothing
- fucked again.. wrong place
- thankfull for the help
- thankfull for the accommodation
- tired as fuck
- hungry again
(Pardon my French <-- word joke)
DAY 25, post 2
The green circle is where we departed. The blue circle is among others a village that we passed during today's walk and where I'm staying now.
And the red cross is where I was, but where no accommodation was, but as you can see my gps-download does say is a accommodation..
Damn those routes and technical gadgets... not that I'd get far with an old-school map but geezs I can't trust my map apparently..
I should learn two things:
1. Speak & understand French
2. Read the location of stars and moss on trees for my directions
So this was a day with many mention-worthy happenings...
At first it started raining at 6 a.m. so Éric and I had a pair of wet tents in our bags. And the rest of the day it rained basically all the time
Éric and I walked the first 13km together again. I enjoyed it but I'm glad I got to walk alone again too. But, here comes today's story.. Éric called this morning for a communal gite special for pelgrims, whether I could sleep there, I wanted to make a reservation because it was 4km off-route. It was all OK.
So when I arrived I rang the lady and My God, I basically understand no French on the phone, it's abracadabra for me without visual confirmations. I just handed my phone to some random guy and guess what!?! I was in the wrong village... my downloaded route with all the accommodations is bullshitting me! So I already passed the place about 7km back.. lucky me, the dear man offered to drive me back. Now the place is a big laundry basket for a tent and all my clothes.
15 April 2019
Today I've walked 23km together with Éric (57). We can't communicate much as he is French speaking but it's nice to have some company. We've arrived at a little camping and are living the good life, with loads of food and wine.
Tomorrow it'll start raining early in the morning, but let's hope the weather predictions in France are equally good to the Dutch and they're mostly wrong!
It'll be my first night without extra blankets in my tent so I'm a bit worried but I hope the wine will keep me warm tonight... I should have invested in a proper sleeping bag.. just look at the difference between Éric's bag and mine.. but oh well I've made my decision and should live, or rather sleep with it now. So good night dear people! 😘
14 April 2019
It's a shame I only have a limited amount of photos and letters for each post. But today I won't need many words for describing my route, this will just do: WOW, MAGICAL!! I've walked through fields in a valley, through an ever changing and gorgeous forest, had a great view over the village Sommeval, where I'm staying. I felt so thankfull for mother nature and what she gave us. It's honestly magnificent!
For lunch I had some really delicious "fromage" from Corynne & Gilles. The amazing hosts of last night, I had a blast staying with them and got so much food, champagne and wine that I slept like a baby! I can't wait for them to visit the Netherlands with their camper!
Now I'm staying in a little house specially made for pilgrims. It has all the necessary facilities and I can sleep on my airbed. I enjoy just walking 10 km per day because my body likes it and I have a lot of free time in the afternoon to relax and enjoy my nomad lifestyle and re-energize my female being!
13 April 2019
This morning I slept in till 9 O'clock which was lovely. I slept really good and lately I'm able to remember my dreams more often!
After having breakfast in my room I took a nice warm shower. Afterwards I sat down for a bit to wait until my towels were dry. I think I left the university campus around 11.30 a.m. and started walking very quietly. Luckily the backpack didn't hurt on my sensitive belly and lower back but my legs were getting tired real quick. So after 10 km I'd reached Laines-aux-Bois. There I just rang a doorbell again and asked to place my tent in the garden when the people saw I was alone they immediately gave me a bed upstairs in their daughters old room. How kind again of these complete strangers to welcome me!
I've been thinking alot why my body didn't do what I wanted to do. But what if it's the other way around... That I just didn't do what my body wanted me to do. Which is basically take it easy and slow down a few days.
Km count: 324,9 km
12 April 2019
The biggest question marks for my trip were around my menstruation. Would I be able to walk? Could I carry my backpack? How would I manage my personal hygiene?
I keep clear track of my basal temperature every morning so when I woke up today and I had a low temperature. I knew my period would start. Of course I knew this already yesterday as I rang my sestra crying over some little manageable problems, but what else can I say than: hormones..
As she and I spoke for a few hours I calmed down and we discussed the following:
Back in the days menstruation wasn't painfull, the pain results from traumas, pains and emotions that are saved in cellmemory and tissues. It made me think about my latest QT workshop were we learned to reset the negative cellmemory. So I figured I could use this on myself while I was wriggling of pain. After resetting multiple causes I noticed how I was lying still and my headache was gone and so are the heaviest cramps which is pretty unusual on my day 1!!!
11 April 2019
Its in the first days that the pilgrim is still fresh and somewhat naive. But soon she will find out how difficult it is to walk with muscle pains and blisters. In fact this is more authentic. The most authentic moments in life are not to sew and to sing. But the most authentic is what occurs once you've been tested after enduring and overcoming a crisis. That's the way it is, that's real life.
When faced with pain, there is a sort of temptation. Which leads us to become self-centred. 'Poor me! Look how bad off I am!' It's the kind of situation where it is all about me.
Suffering passes, having suffered remains. we all have experienced situations that caused us to suffer, but the benefit of finding the meaning in suffering remain. Sometimes we have to endure pain and suffering which then turns into joy that we would have not otherwise felt.
- Footprints documentary
I thank the supportive people in my life because today I'm waiting for my first Camino period to come and it sucks!
10 April 2019
Welcome to Troyes! I'm staying with the amazing cool young lady Fatma. She is a progressive woman from Tunesia doing her masters in industrial engineering. She is so open-minded and willing to teach me anything. I'm learning alot today and obviously I'm asking alot of questions! I'm lucky that I may stay with her tonight!
9 April 2019
I have arrived at my next address. I've just been ringing doorbells and have asked about 6 people if I could place my tent in their shed but it was Monique, who said 'yes' and it's a gorgeous location in the village Payns! I quite enjoyed just ringing random people's doorbell and introducing myself and see what happen. But after a while I appreciate having a good location, especially as it might rain tonight.
Tomorrow I'll couchsurf at a young lady's sofa in Troyes for two nights, I'm also looking forward to that!
Yesterday evening I had a good conversation with brother André about the crisis in the Catholic church (pedophilia) and of course I was curious why there aren't any female priests and André said that's slowly changing, he's positive about this! André (81) does socialwork with refugees from all over the world, it's a tough job, but as he says ' Life has been more than horrible to them, all I can do is try to make it a bit better for them in France.'
Amen to that! 💙
8 April 2019
Tonight I'll stay with 3 Marianisten brothers in the parish house in Mery-Sur-Seine. I've been walking alot again and my body tells me to take it more easy on the kilometres. So in Troyes I'll take a day off and stay somewhere for two nights.
During the past four nights I've been more than lucky with sleepingplaces and hosts!
As a Dutch I quiet often "politely" decline anything that will be offered to me. This could be either a big or a small gesture. Before my Camino the ladies of Camino Comfort in Oss told me a story of a man. The man met a priest who told him that it isn't hard to say 'No' in life but it's sometimes harder to say 'Yes' to life happening around us. So now I'm trying to say 'YES' to as many as offers people make me. Because life can already be rather lonely sometimes, so why not accept the kind gestures people offer with a reason! After having help handed to me, the most amazing moments happened and I've met the most interesting and lovely people!
7 April 2019
The route today was quite long (23,6km) and monotonous on many agricultural fields during the final 15km.. but it's worth it as I've arrived at the cousin of Catherine's for tonight! Lucky me 😊 I also had some delicious homemade chocolate cake from Perrine, much thanks for that great lunch!
At the beginning of todays trip I've walked through some orchards and it made me visualise myself in the walnut orchard in Moldova that my boyfriend Thomas is planning on taking over!
During the final kilometres I've had alot of time to think about many things. And I've listened to some Dutch music, which made the walk easier!
Just now I spoke to my parents and sestra at home and it's nice to see their faces again!
6 April 2019
I don't understand how everyday could be so surprising. During today's walk I've met Benno, a Dutch pilgrim and we've walked about 13km together. I really enjoyed his company and I suppose he enjoyed mine (:P) after we arrived pretty early in Sezanne we drank a beer and I'd made a little cheese platter with some delicious cheese I got from Clémence and Cyril, I preferred to share it instead of keeping it for myself and it was wonderfull with the beer.
After many different conversation topics we split ways and I quickly bought some extra socks in a local shop and went on to find my sleepingplace, which was made possible by the effort and kindness of Clémence! I'm staying with the two amazing ladies Catherine and Perrine (who is fluent in English) and it's just great! We kept on talking for hours with alot of food and it's a pleasure!
Some typical French culture I've found out during these days: breakfast with a big bowl of coffee or tea, no plates and bread for dipping. #cultureshock
5 April 2019
Do you ever wonder where the kindness in the world went to? We hear and see so many wars, hate and discrimination on tv, radio and in newspapers, that sometimes I find It difficult to remember the good in another person. To remember that every soul is "born" pure and with great capacity to love and it's our bodies and brains, and beliefs, traumas, experiences and influences of others that make our deepest being forget about our purest light. Well today I was aloud to see some great light in another humanbeing.
A taxi driver pulled his car over when he saw me. Walked across the street and handed me, without many words, a bottle of fanta and 10 euros and wished me much luck.
This happening touched my heart so much that after 10 minutes I just started crying of intense thankfullnes and by the goodness and loving & kind intention of this complete stranger and how selfish it made me feel. I am moved and so thankfull for this gesture!
We are all connected and pure and loving souls ❤
Today was a sunny day again with a divers route on fields and forests.
I love how I don't care anymore what my hair looks like, after not showering for two days and sweating and walking, it just doesn't matter that it looks rubbish!
After 17km I entered a small village and asked around where I could place my tent. I spoke for a bit with Cyril a local ORGANIC! champagne owner, who was working in the fields and speaks English (lucky me)! He offered me to sleep in his garden and get as many blankets as I'd want. When his wife Clémence came home she invited me for a great dinner (obviously with champagne) and to sleep inside, so I've switched my tent for a big comfy bed! I feel so welcome here!
This morning I've spoken to some classmates and afterwards my mind kept on planning my future after this journey, causing tension in my body. After a while I noticed this and stopped for a 10min meditation break to bring me back to the here and now!
Btw look at my 94 old grandpa ! 😍
4 April 2019
Yesterday I left Annick & Bernard after two warmhearted days, an art exhibition and much Champange!
I've walked about 22km without any pain of the two blisters so the sporttape is what I needed! I've had some gorgeous views and different natures.
After I arrived at the location Bernard thought I could sleep, it turned out I couldn't stay there, unfortunately. I got sad quickly about this but I've read something interesting yesterday about "pains" everyone has to endure. So me getting upset is all about my ego. I shouldn't let the first 'No' for a accomodation, change my mindset. So I figured this was just not the right place or people on my Camino and continued. After 2km I saw an old shed with an empty place so I'd asked if I could place my tent there. The lady immediately said yes, without thinking or hesitation! Her name is Monique (75) and we can communicate "un petit peu". She has a gorgeous really big dog and he was our common ground! It was a cold (-1°C) but good night!
2 April 2019
When I finally arrived at Bernard & Annick their house I felt such a relieve in their lovely home. They were very happy to have me and they speak basic English, which is just perfect!
I got a cold drink and biscuit and we sat down together discussing my route. Than Annick offered to take me to the supermarket to get some food for the next days. Also I got a private tour through epernay and we drove the Rue the Champange, where all the owners of the famous champagne brands live. I don't think I've ever seen so many big, bigger, biggest, houses together in one lane!!! Aniek gave me the stamp of Epernay as she has the key of the church!
It was all just overwhelmingly sweet and made my day!
Unfortunately I was still limping and the blister is empty inside, so I didn't know what to do anymore. After a long call with my mum I felt much better and as she is a medical pedicure, the search for a solution is ongoing. I'll visit a pharmacy today and hopefully they can advice me too!
(1/2) Yesterday I had to leave the accommodation at 7h30. I basically rained all morning but I didn't mind, I was constantly surrounded by the smell of wet forest!
When I arrived in Hautvillers after 17km, nobody knew a sleeping place. I got really upset by this as I'd been walking all morning and the blister on my little toe was getting very painfull. After a break with a beer and fries, the tourist office got me a place to stay in Epernay (capital city of Champagne province), about 6km downhill. I figured that was the best option but as it was off route I had to use my navigation, which was rather difficult sometimes.
I got really angry as with every step my foot hurt more and more, I started walking pain free wich caused a blister underneeth my big toe. It took me 2hours to get to the house with alot of cursing on the Camino, my impulsivity, myself, my little toe, my shoes, basically everything and all with many tears. I felt like ages before I got there and I felt like a moron..
1 April 2019
Goodbye Reims and hello champagne! It's a total different agricultural area after reims as here it's only grape vines.
As I said yesterday I didn't look forward to go walking, again... and that didn't change much after the night. I stayed as long as possible at the hostel and just walked slowly out of the city. The people who greeted me started giving me energy and after I got invited for lunch by Pierre my day changed. We ate pasta together + champagne! He is a teacher at a highschool and his wife a teacher at a university.
This sudden hospitality gave me a shift in my mindset and I started walking with much more joy!
Today I've walked 12km as the past few days were just a bit too much. I'm staying in a Gite of a champagne owner with two other Dutch pilgrims. Jan and Yvonne started their Camino in the memory of their past away partners, they have a touching story and are very "gezellig" to be around.
It's the nature and the helpfull and touching people that energize me
30 March 2019
Today I've reached the city of Reims. Its big but
quiet as it's Sunday. I'm staying in some kind of hostel. Its nice to have proper wifi and to be able to call home without worrying about my data for the rest of the month.
In the centre of Reims is the Cathedral Notre-Dame build, which is absolutely gorgeous and made me feel really small and young.
Today was difficult as I changed footwear three times, walked badly because of a blister and got a heavy sunburn. Many times I wondered why I started this journey and many times I forgot the answer. But already this far the people I've met changed my vision in life. The moments with my ever-changing thoughts gave me perspective about my mental state. And the fresh wind on my behinds made me love nature even more when I have to pee. I'm learning to adapt myself to new accommodations, being innovative with food and creative with money.
I feel tired thinking about tomorrow but I hope a soft bed will change that.
Km count: 130.6 km
Today I've walked 22,6km and I just feel really proud I managed this distance. And as you can see I'm officially not a pilgrim anymore but a cowboy, just look at my cool hat, I'm absolutely loving it!
During today's walk I've tried something new, which were my sestra's sandals. Unfortunately I like walking in them alot, which means I won't be sending them home and I'll keep te weight. Walking on sandals does mean 2kg extra weight of my shoes on my backpack. But it's still okay!
As every shop is closed in Bazancourt I had to cook with my own tools, which I secretly love! I'm staying in a spare room of some big building with two order pilgrims, who I've met yesterday already.
Today I enjoyed being alone but during the last few km I got bored and just stared chanting left, right, left, right, left, right... etc.
I also got to experience the hospitality and heartwarming support from local people who live on the Camino route, including freshly baked pie! It was a good day! ❤
28 March 2019
Today was sunny and warm while the etappe was mostly in open fields. At the moment I'm just tired of all the impressions I had in these past few days.
I'll stay in Chateau Porcien for two nights to give my body and mind some rest.
27 March 2019
This is worth another post! After a few hours I can say I love Maaike. She is honest, funny and wise. She does as she pleases. She been living in France for 13 years and doesn't speak French (and doesnt care to try). She has an illness on her lungs and is quickly tired but she will never go to an elderly home, she has two dogs, of which one is a "mormel" (sorry for the Dutch) as she says. She knows about everything that is happening in the world, reads many books, has travelled to many places and knows very well what she wants and doesn't want in life and other people. She is actually born and raised in Tilburg, and unfortunately had a difficult childhood. Occasionally she comes to the Netherlands but she is content with her French house from 1890! I adore and respect her very much! What a woman, I hope I'll be such a strong person still when I'm 78! 😍😄
Btw, she didn't believe in quantum touch but she was really open for trying it out! I can only appreciate that! Thank you Maaike!
What a hilarious day. I left the hotel's garden this morning to Madam Boucher, and her giant house which looks like I went 100 years back in time, for a stamp
I walked through gorgeous fields and the Camino signs are mostly pretty clear. Mostly, because I took a wrong turn... and I only discovered this when I was out of breath, all sweaty and up the freaking mountain... so I got to go downhill then.
At the moment I'm at Maaike (Dutch) her house. Actually she doesn't welcome pilgrims but she made an exception. I didn't know what to think at first because she opened the door a bit odd but as I've learned everybody has their own story. She doesn't want to hear my life story and I shouldn't ask hers. Everything I can use but she'll pretend I'm not here.
After I installed I made her a cup of tea and curious as I am I asked about some African masks on the wall, and then stories kept on coming. I think we'll be just fine, she and the dogs are interesting, lovely souls on my Camino
26 March 2019
Today were 15 heavy kilometres. There were no real roads, which was gorgeous but difficult sometimes. There were many climbs and going downhill which my calve muscles aren't used too (yet). I had a very special moment when I was walking next to some agricultural fields. A Robin bird showed himself which is symbolic for a visit of a passed person. The bird, and some other signs, reminded me of my grandpa and I felt such immense feelings of grief as he passed away almost 4 years ago. For about 15 minutes I could barely see as tears just kept coming. It was very special and afterwards I felt really relaxed.
After that I has to walk through some wet woods, gorgeous green fields.
Tonight I'll spend in my tent again, this time in the garden of a little hotel which was quite a quest to get to! I'll use my own cooking stuff today for dinner, so fingers crossed, wish me luck!
Btw I've got two blisters... dammit
Feeling tired and hungry! But I can still smile and feel very lucky! 😊
I'd a wonderfull time at Sonja's, her house felt like home and she was very generous. We've spoken for hours about life and living. I look up to her as a woman and hopefully we'll meet again ! Sonja feels like a gorgeous angle on my Camino 🧚♀️
The night was pretty cold but it was a cool (literally cool) experience to sleep in my tent a.k.a. outside. I was completely packed with all my clothes and two extra blankets and it was really really silent and dark!
Before I left I was allowed to Quantum Touch Sonja for an old and constant pain in her hip. On scale of 0-10 the painlevel was about 5. After approximately 30 min QT the painlevel got to level 2! What a great healer Sonja her body is! Lovely to be an instrument in her healing process!
25 March 2019
I think I understand why I love being in the nature so much. My emotional state of mind changes as quickly as the weather does. This morning it was cold but dry, then it got sunny, all of a sudden it started raining, half an hour later the sun got back and then I was walking in a little hailstorm. So basically that's a reflection of me. But today holy moly it was freaking gorgeous, awesome and the etappe went really well (16.5km)! I found refuge in L' échelle with the most amazing lady! Her name is Sonja and she's touched my heart already, we started talking together and listening to another and it's with a honest and lovely connection. She is a shiatsu therapist and I'm a practitioner of quantum touch, which is both energetic work. We both meditate daily.
She lives very basic and opens her house for pilgrims and has a wonderfull trust in people. Because the room was already reserved, I get the change to try out my super cool tent in her garden! I'm so excited about this and today! ❤☯
24 March 2019
Today I've walked from the small village Regniowez to Rocroi, a historic town. It was a short distance of 8km but more than enough. I feel kinda dump and frustrated about the physical pain in my hip and the back of my knee. I blame myself for not training with the backpack and with walking sticks... I know I shouldn't blame myself and then I blame myself for blaming myself and I get more frustrated.
I mostly did nothing today and let my body rest and heal.
And today I've met Julia a pilgrim who has walked all the way from Hamburg, Germany!! How cool!
I feel tired from today's experiences and hopefully my body will feel better soon. All I can do is Quantum Touch myself and get my energy in a higher frequency for healing and have positive thoughts. But dammit why is that so difficult at certain moments.. and it's only day 2.. What will the rest of my Camino be like?!? Somebody get me a time machine please!
Emotional state: lost, lonely, frustrated but still curious and joyfull
'When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don't even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends upon them. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favour from the Universe or God with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life.'
Paulo Coehlo - The Pilgrimage
Goodmorning to that!
Fresh day, fresh start! Cloudy sky and a wonky hip from carrying my backpack wrong... gotta figure that one out before I get to Santiago. Did you know Santiago is actually named after the pilgrim San Tiago which in Latin is Saint Jacob.
23 March 2019
What a day!!! I'm happy to have left Charleroi, the city where every household has it's own private garbage dump in the backyard..
I took the train to Couvin and that's where I got a big smile and felt excited throughout my body! My trip was finally starting! And of course I took a wrong turn right away but after that I got in the gorgeous countryside where I took another wrong turn which I discovered quite late 🤣
I've walked about 15 km to Cul-des-Sarts where nobody seemed to know the "le Marie' or the "pasteur". At a dog salon the investigation for a sleepingplace was activated and two ladies started calling different people. Eventually I had to walk another 3km to the France border where somebody would be waiting for me. As my legs were tired as f#ck I decided to be bold and hitchhike, a young man stopped an took me to the border. After knocking on some doors I found the lady and now I'm in the local communityhouse for the night. All perfect I'd say. I feel tired and lucky!
22 March 2019
Today I've waved my parents and sestra's goodbye in Rotterdam. I've played with the dog and her playtime is now in the hands of the others :P
The hour in the bus I did regret my trip.. 'why did I have to say goodbye again?!' If India, the UK nd eastern Europe weren't all exciting enough in the past two years.. and that's how a few tears came rolling done my cheeks.. just let it happen Maartje ❤
On the way to Charleroi the busdriver decided to take a little trip "off road" he left the highway got lost for about 40 minutes around and in a village. Then decided to go back on the highway at the same place as we left it, and within 20 minutes after that we arrived at Charleroi Gare Sud.
I did enjoy the sunset on the fields in the Belgium Countryside and now I'm at my youth hostel in the city centre.
I'm a bit afraid for tomorrow as my backpack feels kinda heavy eventhough many people said it's relatively light weight. But that's something for tomorrow to just experience, I suppose..
21 March 2019
Got my first stamp at the Jacobus church in Fijnaart. I did cheat because I took the car to get there, together with my sestra. What a lovely people we were blessed to meet and I didn't even start my Camino yet, or did I?
(1/2) THE REASON:
Maybe some people know the reason why I'm going on this trip, all by myself. It is not religious but it is spiritual. And I just want to be with myself for awhile, take care of only me and be with my own thoughts.
About three months ago I was doing the most interesting minor at the HAS University in Den Bosch. I was able to do, study, learn about topics that I was passionate about. So I did multiple things. Together with three amazing young ladies and two extern angles we've made a gorgeous shortfilm about eight people. I've started writing a children's book, I made a global online platform for women to inspire eachother and connect and I organised and hosted a workshop for young ladies to go beyond prejudices and connect. Oh and of course I got my TEFL certificate. Everything I did I loved. But everything was external from ME, I was giving away energy in my life and didn't charge my own source and I got stuck in my physical body.
(2/2) THE REASON:
So I got really stressed and lost the connection between my head and heart. I had a panickattack when I was home alone, I got so scared by that event that I broke up with Thomas, my boyfriend as I thought it was our relationship that also caused me stress. And didn't speak to anybody for a week and only meditated, read books and went for classes of yoga, Pilates and zumba. That is when I decided I needed more time for myself. I also felt it wasn't my relationship but just me. So lucky lady as I am, Thomas and I got happily back together (❤)! I wrote a letter to my parents to explain I was gonna postpone graduating as that was honestly something that caused stress as I had to decided what I wanted to do as graduation program.
I finished the minor and my TEFL course and meanwhile I started packing with lots of help and advice from the awesome ladies at Camino Comfort in Oss!!
And now I'm only one day away from starting my adventure, if it hasn't started already 😋
18 March 2019
Annie came by today, to catch up and wish me much luck! Also she finished the cover for my powerbank! It's awesome, original and practical! I'm greatfull to have such friends!
Unfortunately I also have some "bad" news. Due to an incident at work that caused me much sudden stress and shock, I'm experiencing pain and have an inflammation on my sternum (Dutch: borstbeen). This results in a painfull pressure on my chest, breathlessness and bad night's rest. The doctor told me to keep at ease and take some ibuprofen as painkiller and anti-inflammatory. It could take a few weeks to heal but I don't need to postpone my Camino. It's weird as I never thought about my health this way for this trip. I was enjoying my good condition and worrying about the weight of my backpack and whether the nights wouldn't be too cold in my tent or if I'd have enough money to make it all the way to Santiago.
This might be my first lesson on my Camino: Don't take my physical nor emotional health for granted!
16 March 2019
(2/3) INSIDE THE BACKPACK
My cooking stuff I'm really excited about as I've never done anything like outside cooking before on this level of trekking. So what do I need: campingaz cans, a lighter with some ducktape around it, a 0.6L pan and a frying pan, I've got a lit/cutting board/plate, a knife from the army (which I'll carry on me closely!), a fork/spoon/knife in one, two 0.6L water bottles, the tiniest teatowel and a sponge and maybe most important my gas burner :)
Next on the list I have some electrical stuff like a head light, my E-reader, a massive powerbank, headphones and a charger. For my safety I've also got an emergency whistle and pepper spray is being ordered as we speak and for in the hostels etc. I've got some locks for my bag.
Some other articles I'm bringing are garbage bags to clean what others might have forgotten and left in nature, a grocerie/what ever lightweight bag, a map from Le Puy to St. Jean, my Jacob shell and my book to collect stamps in on the way
(3/3) INSIDE THE BACKPACK
Also I want to be able to clean myself a bit when a shower is too much luxury to ask for, so moist towels are coming with! I have an always available sitting spot with a small square rubber thingy for on wet grass or dirty spots. I'm bringing some plastic shoes for over my shoes/lower legs for when I'll have to pass a muddy overpass or if it's pouring rain.
And last but not least the clothes I'm wearing when I'll leave home. Again some simple trousers a merino, thermo shirt with a merino t-shirt over it and a merino vest on top, most definitely I'll be wearing my wiggly-toe-shocks and I've got an awesome hat to protect myself from the yet missing sun..
Oh and I've just received some extra trousers from my dear friend Rey, which he brought in Uganda for me, he's the sweetest!
(1/3) INSIDE THE BACKPACK
Happy to say my backpack is okay! Thats how far my poetic skills go during my Camino. Anyway my backpack weighs approximately 11kg without food but everything else included. So what is included? Let me tell you!
The clothes I'll not be wearing: 4 season jacket, flip flops, a hair buff, merino thermo underwear, a merino shirt, a pair of trousers, 3 pair extra socks, my shin splints socks, a trekking towel and a synthetic top, all of this fits in a small bag organiser
Next is my camping stuff which includes the following: a hubba hubba one person lightweight tent, an air bed, an airpillow, my sleeping bag and a backpack poncho.
Followed by my medical stuff which I'll carry in Ziploc bags and in an other small bag organiser, this includes: wilderness wash soap, ORS, plasters, sheep wool, suncream, insect spray, emergency blanket, menstruation cup, laxative pills, norit, paracetamol, toothpaste and a biodegrable toothbrush and products for my feet.
13 March 2019
Wow so much has been going on lately! The local news paper wrote about the groupproject I did at college
I've finally been able to get all the Camino routes in an offline app. My dear friend Annie is really creative and is making a cover for my way too expensive powerbank!! I haven't been walking as much as I wish as the weather changed completely from windy and sunny to windy and rainy as in stormy... I did manage to finish my online TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), pretty excited about what this will bring in my life? Maybe teaching in Japan, Moldova or China after I finish my Camino, who knows? Also I've been ordering many of the last necessities before I leave on the 22th of March! And my god, look at my freaking awesome socks! I'm in love with 'em and cannot stop laughing and wiggling my toes 😍
More good news: the dog can walk again without limping, finally!
25 February 2019
What a gorgeous day for a walk! The dog and I took the bus to "Zwartenberg" and from there on started walking. We had the sunrise on one hand and the fading moon on the other. Unfortunately the dog might have done something wrong during the walk or it is the old age, but she has a limp. I was aiming for a 15km walk but we stopped at 10km. Now we're waiting for the bus back.
19 February 2019
Preparing my Camino adventure with walks in the local countryside! Together with the dog in a nice spring sun!