The first and most complicated trip takes me back to Spain and the GR1 Sendero Historico. Travelling west to east and parallel firstly with the north coast of Spain and then the Pyrenees, the 700 miles trail will take me through "old Spain", often literally deserted, and wonderful countryside punctuated with traditional towns and villages. As the title of the route suggests, it's a route that's especially rich in history roughly following the most enduring front line between Spain's Muslim and Christian traditions. It's full of fortified towns, castles, watch towers and other ancient military paraphernalia; Romanesque churches; and paths and trails which have been tramped along for centuries. Working out the schedule and finding places to stay is a challenge but the hospitality in Spain is good reward for the effort.
Juan Holgado, the expert on Spanish walking, has been helping me put the walk together and I'm still finalising the dates and working out when Christine and Juan will join me. In total it's a six week trip and I'll be walking for all of March and 2 weeks in April.
|Mt Pirin Bulgaria|
|The Traverse of the Indian Himalaya (from Exodus)|
We,re back home in August, and after 2 or 3 weeks to soak up the English summer (soak up seems about right given last year's experience) we're off to France and the Alps in September. I've decided that September in the Alps is compulsory as long as my knees will cope and this year we intend to walk the GR54 round the Ecrins. I'm a sucker for guide books and Tour of the Oisans: The GR54: The GR54 Round the Ecrins by Kev Reynolds has convinced me that this route is special. Obviously less iconic that the Mont Blanc circuit it could be even more challenging and will certainly be less crowded.
Still working on the fine details of some of these trips. If anyone knows anything about any of them please get in touch, either directly or via the blog. I've benefited enormously from comments in the past.