A little story how me and my friends went on a 60km walking trip.
I have a friend and she time to time has crazy ideas, which, apparently, I support. Actually I don’t even know how to start this story because the beginning was so naiive and I really did not think about it much. I felt like, yeah, Saturday we are going trekking! Fresh air, trees, forest, physical activities, good company – Fun, Fun, Fun! What can go wrong? Well, nothing! And nothing actually did go wrong, except none of us were ready for the challange, but again, can you be ready for something you don’t know and haven’t experienced? And more importantly, if we knew, would that have stopped us? I hope not, because experiencing yourself is so much colorful than reading about it or watching on TV. Quite long introduction, are you still following? :) Let’s continue with the real story. :)
Chapter 1, The goal
Walking trip from Aloja through Limbaži to Skulte, the route of old (not so much, actually, because my friend I mentioned earlier in her childhood had ridden that train) railway line. Trip’s estimated lenght – 60km, and Limbaži being the middle point. We know the goal, so, Let’s go!
Chapter 2, Preperation
I knew it was going to be a long trip, so food, obviously, was an important thing to concider. So, what was in my food bag:
- Protein sandwitch – oatflake bread with cheese, butter, humuss, egg, lettuce and cucumber. It was really njam and nutritious!
- Haematogenous – well, I didn’t ate mine.
- Muesli bar – had two, ate one, but I still think it is a great choice for walking trips.
- C vitamin with glucose – didn’t ate any, but others did, so go figure is it necessary or not.
- Piena spēks (Milk’s Strength) – it is a drink of whey and full of protein. Despite of what it sounds like, it tastes really good (expecially with tastes like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla). Drank two of those, so I’d say it is a good choice!
- Waffles (and sweets) – well, ate those waffles and probably easy eating sweets is a good thought. If not for energy, than at least as comfort food.
- Homemade wholegrain chocolate chip cookies – Took too many with us, and ate like two. Maybe they were too cracknel.
- Vitamin drink for sport – good thought.
- Apples – good thought, vitamins and all that! Plus, fresh, juicy fruit is always good for trips (if you can easily take them with you).
- Bananas – I think a good thought. Easy to eat, and full of magnesium and other things that are good for the body.
- Another wholegrain cookies – well, tasty, but I realized that cookies are little too dry for this kind of trips.
Walking shoes. Well, I did bought a new pair of boots for this trip, but they were not hiking boots or something, soo.. But my friends who wore running shoes had a really hard time with feet. Mine was hearting as well (the little fingers were compressed and gigantic blisters were found later) but I didn’t experience exact feet aching. I think it is because running shoes have that special sole for running and when walking really long distances it starts to bother. Anyway, I advise you to choose appropiate footwear, when deciding to walk 30+ km.
Head lamps. We walked in dark for quite sometime, so head-lamp was a necessity. I had a quite crappy one (it did shed light, which was cool and I really apreciated it). However, it wasn’t the professional one and it made like two light circles, one really concentrated and other bigger and lighter. Of course, I could see, but the friend I have mentioned already twice, had so much better lamp, because the light was evenly distributed and bright. Well, but what can I expect, when I bought the cheapest one. :D But at the time I couldn’t imagine how those lamps are different. Anyway, consider investing in good a head-lamp.
For clothing, if you don’t own fancy sportswear made for trekking trips, I advice layers, and a jacket that does no let wind through. Hat, mittens, gloves and extra pairs of socks are a good idea too.
Good thing to take with you is a sitting pad. You don’t know were you will have to sit, and it is really comfy if you can just take a pause in middle of the road. Mine sitting pad has folium on one side and a fabric that does not let moisture through on other. Perfect!
Chapter 3, On the road, Aloja – Limbaži
So, finally, the real story. :)
First of all, I had no ideal what I had gotten myself into, but once the road has began, there is no turning back. So, walking, walking, walking.
About the road, there were no actual tracks, however the sleepers where kind of present (they are made of wood, so forest is “eating” them slowely) but they were present enough to help us orientate where to go.
Also, the first lenght was about 32 km, from Aloja to Limbaži and we started at 12:10 pm.
Well, what can I say, first 12km were a bliss, just a regular walking trip, enjoying forest, some excitment with overcoming barriers like fallen trees and so and chatting about regular life back at the city.
When we finally reached our first destination point – Puikule’s station, we felt kind of tired but nothing what a good meal and rest couldn’t cure. And so it did! After about 30min break, we resumed our walk with energy and enthusiasm.
And a few more pictures of the route.
It lasted for about 10km, when we had another little break on the side of the road (unplanned, I might add). This was the point when we took out our head lamps and basically started the dark stage of the trip. After that, photographing and video making decreased and all we saw was the shoes of the one in front. Because you are in forest, it is dark, there is nothing much to see around and ground is not plain, so you have to carefully put your steps.
Ok, about 7km from Limbaži the old railway route is made into walking path and later into walking road, so the surface was relatively smooth, however, it did bring up some other problems, like as the road was smooth and there was no thinking about where to put steps, one can concetrate on one’s self, which means there is a plenty room in mind to think about the pain you are in to. :D Or how long the road is. Or how tired you are. Or other stuff that is not helping to enjoy the walk. Anyway, after all that we did reach Limbaži and there we were headed to my friend’s grandma’s home, who was so kind to offer us a pitstop which later we baptized as LimbažiSPA. Because that’s what it was.
Chapter 4, Limbaži SPA
If you read the previous chapter (or at least the last lines), you will know what I mean with the title. So, my friend’s grandma has made us a soup, sandwiches (word I previously misspelled in instagram as Sandwitch, sand+witch, which I found kind of funny, anyway..), sweets and coffee. And of course the bliss of cold water on feet and the chance to put our legs up to the wall. After the first 30km, we felt OK, leg pain was minimal and barable, mind was fresh (expecially after that cup of coffee) and the enthusiasm had returned. And so we left our pitstop, 12 hours later (00:00) after starting the trip in Aloja, happy, determined and full of strength.
Read the SECOND PART and the ENDING here!!
Have you ever been on a smaller or bigger hiking trip? What was your experience and do you have any good advice? Share the location of the trip, maybe you will give me the inspiration for the first hiking trip abroad! :) Write in the comments.