Sunburned, exhausted, almost crawling, I fucking made 2-3 days.
Walk to Greece was a project created by two Greek-Czech sisters and yoga trainers, Anna & Christina. Anna lives in Canada, Christina lives in Prague. They decided a long walk, from Brno, Czech Republic, to Thessaloniki, Greece. It’s a 1600 kilometers walk. The reason? Solidarity to many refugees, going the opposite way. Bringing Greece as the centre of attention of the European refugee issue. And finally testing their strength and willpower as a way to show to the world what a difficult task this is.
On my part, I joined these girls, as well as the small group of people they were leading, for a 300km walk from a village outside Budapest, Hungary to Belgrade, Serbia. Truth is, I only managed to walk 2-3 days max. My inconvenient shoes made this trip difficult, to say the least. 30 kilometers a day walking, is not by any means a joke. It’s fucking exhausting, especially in the middle of the continental Balkan summer. Walking for the most part of the day, from dusk till dawn, dusk being at about 5-5.30 when early light comes in, till late evening, let’s say about 20.00-21.00 it’s not so pleasant, especially in the middle of the hot day, walking through empty fields, without any cover from the sun.
Sunburned, exhausted, almost crawling, I fucking made 2-3 days till enough was enough.
Nevertheless, I kept them company for a whole of 10-12 days as a co-driver in the van that was accompanying them with supplies, and camp gear.
Apostolis, the driver, was my kind of person. We immediately became close and shared stories. Looked for supplies, mostly fresh fruit and veggies, every day, and then set camp at a convenient place where the group would spend the afternoon and rest in the night, sleeping in tents under the sun.
The morning routine included morning yoga before breakfast, the important meal of the day, and then rushing forward.
The days I walked… I thought so many things for so long… It was catharsis for me. I cleaned my mind.
I experienced what it is to struggle for something. And also I saw all this beautiful nature, the villages, the empty spaces…
The people I met on the way…
It was kind of a transcendent activity. After a few hours of walking, the body goes into a trance. Same thing for the mind. Most climbers should know that. Walking on flat terrain however gives you a sense of humbleness and oneness with nature, that a climber almost never experiences.
But who knows, maybe you have a different opinion? What do you think about Walk to Greece?
Please share in the comments.
I would always cherish the memory of “Walk to Greece” as a wonderful time of my life. A few years have already passed by, but I feel I learned so much about the Balkan neighborhood, the refugee way of life, and about nature and life in general, that I am going to remember this Walk the whole of my life.