High Hopes Hike 2019

High Hopes Hike 2019

Be a knight of your goal

And a warrior of your dream!

It was on a Friday evening sometime in March when my love and I decided to join the High Hopes Hike 2019, organized by Bloodwise. I admit we were under the influence of a nice glass of wine and in a moment of madness we signed up for what Bloodwise described as a fun and challenging event which would surely leave lasting memories on the stunning Pap of Glencoe. Well, it was stunning and did leave some lasting memories, but lets start at the beginning, for signing up was the easiest part of the challenge.

Preparation

When we signed up in March, a couple of months ago, I was enthusiastic. Being a MPC member now for almost two years, I have done things I never thought I was capable of. Climbing a mountain? Never done it before. I thought it might be my real challenge for 2019. Besides walking all over the Netherlands, this would be a real personal challenge to me.

For those who don’t know me that well, I am the one who does things whitout having any idea what the consequences might be. I read it, I like it and I dive right into it, 100%, without overlooking the big picture. It happens to me over and over again. Lucky for me, I have a husband who slows me down from time to time. But not this time; he said we can do this. As time went by I started thinking about it more and then one day there was this big envelope from Bloodwise with all the necessary information. All of a sudden I wondered if I could really do this? And at the same time a little voice inside my head said to me, you can’t say A without saying B…

Saturday 25 May 2019

It’s early in the morning, when an über takes us to the railway station in Glasgow. There, a bus is waiting for us to take us to the Glencoe Inn. As we leave the city of Glasgow, we immediately recognized some places from last year when we did the West Highland Way. Again we were struck by the beautiful landscapes and the views of this amazing country, a song of Coldplay came out of the radio speakers singing, “I feel my heart beating, I feel my heart beat beneath my skin.” It couldn’t be more striking. I felt my heart beat beneath my skin, because in a flash of a moment I realized,  enthusiastic as I can be, I signed up for something I had no idea of what’s it would involve. I have never ever hiked a mountain. We did the West Highland Way and we did Arthur’s Seat, but I knew this was going to be something totally different. All of a sudden I got nervous. What if I couldn’t make it? It seemed such a nice challenge under the influence of a glass of wine back in March.

Pap of Glencoe

Before we started the hike, we got a few instructions from some serious Mountain Hikers. Scott, Anna, Kate and James were our guides for today’s hike. At the beginning Scott made the joke that the dangerous part of this hike would be getting us in one piece on the other side of the road. He, probably did it to break the ice, but it did not ease my mind! As soon as we passed a gate, some sort of entrance, the path took us up to the hillside. The weather that day was not going to work with us, since it drizzled and later on even rained. But hey, let’s not spoil the fun! Pretty soon steep uphill work began, but looking back, views opened up behind us. We could look over Loch Leven to Loch Linnhe.

At some point we had to wait for the whole group. The last part should be a technical tough part and the Mountain Hikers wanted to keep the group together.

I think at that point my nerves reached the highest level. I wanted to go back, especially after another couple, who I thought did this with their eyes closed, said they were not going with us to the top. I looked at my love (maybe we should not go any further too) and all he said was; no way, you are not going back, you are going to do this! Oh boy, does this man know me. If he let me go down he knew that I was going to regret it for the rest of my life.

In this last part to the top we had to step over a cliff. The part I stood on was no wider than my two feet. How the hell was I going to do this? And then there was Anna. She stood there to help me cross over and I couldn’t accept her help. I felt so awful, I asked her if it was okay if my husband took her place. To her it was absolutely no problem, but I felt awful for it seemed I did not trust her that much and I appologized. But Anna somehow understood, there was no pushing from her side, no comment, she just stepped aside and let my husband help me.

As soon as I crossed over, the people in front and behind me started to cheer and applaud. And this awesome lady called Claire shouted at me, “well done, Wonderwoman!” It makes you feel so good knowing there is a group that supports you all the way. As we reached the top, tears were running down mine and other faces. Despite the fact that the mist left us with no beautiful views, we all achieved a goal, and that made us very proud. Lots of pictures were taken despite the bad weather.

Going up meant, at some point you have to go back, and going down is not always easier. Anna taught me so much on my way down. She stayed with me all the way and talked me through it.

She taught me to hike with a pole, how to walk sideways, and kept on talking to me knowing I was having a rough time.

When I walk with my Dutch Peakers In the Netherlands, I keep talking to those having a hard time. Now Anna did the same to me. She kept talking even though I said I would have a bad night of sleep because all I would hear all night was her talking to me. She talked about all her adventures, all the countries she visited where she did this kind of work, for more than ten years now. A job at the office was not something for her, although it would paid better, she said.

And in the end there was also James. He helped me on a path with a lot of little rocks which started to roll as soon as I set foot on them. James let me put my shoe against his, let me put my hand on his shoulder and with the other hand on the pole we got down. At some point it really made me laugh because I felt like a blind person, walking with one hand on his shoulder and the other one on the pole. When I told him, he said he had climbed the Ben Nevis with a blind person! Aren’t these Mountain Hikers amazing people?

Anna, unfortunaly we didn’t got the chance to say goodbye, since you had to help somebody else in the end, but to me you were amazing. You taught me, motivated me, encouraged me, gave me instructions and compliments.  Wherever you are, whatever you do, you will be forever in my memories and one day you will be a damn good teacher! James thank you so much for helping the blind and the awesome tip for a good whiskey! Last but not least, thank you Bloodwise and in particulary Stacy, for this fun and challenging event. It was challenging, it was fun, it was hard, it was wet, but above all, it was awesome! I won’t do it again tomorrow but who knows, maybe someday…

High Hopes

High Hopes

Had to have high, high hopes for a living

Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling

I was gonna be that one in a million

Always had high, high hopes

                                                           Panic at the disco

High Hopes

Don’t we all have high hopes at some moments in life? Shouldn’t we have high hopes at some moments in life? We want the best out of everything and especially out of life. I know I had high hopes when I first heard my mother had cancer. I thought science was already that far that we can cure quite a  lot of cancers. And after being clean for five years I still had high hopes she would make it through this horrible disease. Unfortunately, the cancer came back and nothing could be done to cure her.

We all know that where there is a high involved there probably will be lying in wait a disappointment  somewhere around the corner. My high hopes vanished, and I had to face reality. I lost my mother when she was 75 and I was 39 with two little kids, and a loving, supporting and caring husband. Throughout the years I had a lot of questions I wasn’t able to ask her anymore.

On my walk today  I spoke with other Dutch Peakers who had high hopes for a life but also hit bottom in their lives. Both Ria and Caroline lost their husbands. One had cancer and the other one had a heart attack. Both women hit bottom, and somewhere on the road to recovery they met MPC and the Dutch Peakers. Every time I hear stories like these, I am touched.

We talked about how they rise again and what it took them to get back to high hopes. And although it sounds strange, that’s why these walks are so beautiful and valuable. There’s a story in everybody…you just have to listen and walk.

Umfassungsweg

Our walk for today bears a German name. That’s no surprise, for Louise took us on a walk in the region of Overijssel, an area better known as Twente, amongst us Dutch People. And Twente is very close to the German border. But that’s not why this walk is called Umfassungsweg. It owes its name to a landscape architect called Petzold. It must have been somewhere around 1890 that he created this route that includes the heart of the state we are walking in today.

We started in a place called Delden, with a little over 7400 inhabitants, and an ice cream shop that sells the best ice cream ever. Unfortunatly as we passed, it was closed.

2 Km North of this city lies a beautiful castle named Twickel, located on the largest private estate in the Netherlands. The estate not only includes a castle but also a court, gardens and outbuildings. We walked through the estate and enjoyed the beauty and diversity of the landscape.

For Louise it brough back youthful memories. Her grandmother used to live in the region, and as a child she used to walk here often and even went ice skating in the winter. Whether it rains or the sun shines, it’s always beautiful here according to Louise. And when you work as a psychologist with people who are mentally disabled in combination with addiction problems and phychiatric disorders, I do understand that walking in an area like this clears your head.

New meetings

Today I had the honour of meeting some new Peakers. Maybe new is too big a word, with social media all over, you wonder who’s new to you.  What I meant by “new” is that I had never met them in life.

Jolanda is one of those whom I did not have the pleasure of meeting before. In 2010 she and her husband left for South Africa. They had high hopes, for they decided that South Africa was going to be the country where they would grow old and grey. They had no intention of ever returning to the Netherlands.

But then her husband’s company went bankrupt.  When you don’t have a job in South Africa you don’t have a green card, and no green card means you have to leave the country. The company orginally was German and so they moved back to Germany, close to the Dutch borders. Still every day she misses South Africa and she is trying hard to get her life back on track.

And then there is Antje. Antje lives on one of the Frysian Islands and had to take a boat trip of two hours and a drive of over two hours to join us for a walk. Travelling almost half a day to walk with other Dutch Peakers means she certainly must have high hopes. I hope Antje we made these high hopes come true. Later this year you will hear more of this lady, for we have plans to go to walking in her region at the end of September.

And then there is Caroline, sweet Caroline. I have done several walks with her so far and every time my admiration for this woman grows. She is the one that lost her husband from a heart attack when she had two children of 20 and 16 years old. The first time we met was on our walk in Scheveningen. I have to admit I didn’t talk to her much that first time, but I certainly noticed her. Why did I notice her? Well this is a little confession and I hope she will laugh about it…I know she will.

As I looked at her feet I saw she was wearing sneakers. And I get it, not everybody has decent hiking boots the first time you join in for a walk, but somehow I had my doubts if she would make it on those sneakers, but she did, and that’s when my admiration for this woman started to grow. She is a tough lady, and there is hardly anything that stops her.

Not long after that she bought hiking boots.  Caroline often suffers from pain in her knees, but she keeps on walking, no matter what. You are an absolute go-getter, a fighter, Caroline!

Caroline works in the housing market as a coach. I hear a lot of you thinking, what’s she doing? Well that’s exactly what I thought so I asked her to explain it a little and know I will try to explain it to you.

When people have bought a new house she guides them with the additional work. Everything that’s not standard applied into the house or what differs from the original blueprints (for example when you want to relocate a wall), she will be the contact for the buyers.

New meetings

The North Mill

Although there is a lot of talking while walking there’s always something unexpected in our walks. This time we stumbled upon an 650 year old watermill. Today this mill was in operation because of National Mill Day in the Netherlands. A couple of volunteers were very enthusiastic in telling us how the mill produced oil out of flaxseed. The mill has been renovated several times and everything you see inside the mill is still as it was in 1347.

I never knew that how much flaxseed it took to get a little bottle of flaxseed oil. A whole bucket, for just a little bottle.

I started today with high hopes. Looking back on another beautiful walk in our little country, I can say with certainty that my high hopes didn’t end in disappointment.

Thank you Louise for a beautiful walk which “umfasste” everything.

Ain’t no Arthur high enough

Ain’t no Arthur high enough

Ain’t no mountain high enough

Ain’t no valley low enough

Ain’t no river wide enough

To keep me from getting to you

This blog is dedicated to all my Peaker sisters I’ve met on my journey. Thank you so much for being there when I needed you most, and the friendship that came from it. A huge thank you to MPC for letting me find you when I needed you most.

Twenty months ago

I’m back in Scotland for the MPC2019 Event, after nearly two years. Twenty months ago I was a Dutch Peaker in Glasgow, an innocent bystander. I had no ticket for the MPC2017 Event but was there to attend the Scottish Learning Festival. I travelled all by myself to the Festival, looking for motivation and inspiration. I stayed for one week in Glasgow and then moved on to Edinburgh. It was a journey I will never forget and often look back on

20 Months ago I was a fresh Peaker, and I it was here in Edinburgh I set my first real challenge: walking up Arthur’s Seat. At that time it was quite a challenge, I was in bad shape, had no condition and just completed a long recovery from a burn out.

It was in Edinburgh on Arthur’s Peak I decided that there would be no mountain high enough anymore. It was the start to a new me. Now we are 20 months later and I have a ticket to the MPC2019 Event.

There’s always the hills

One of the people who played a role in my finding inspiration and motivation was undoubtedly Cameron McNeish. With his book There’s Always The Hills, he inspired me to go walking in my own backyard. That’s how we last year walked the Dykes of Flevoland. And this year we will walk all 12 regions of the Netherlands. If it wasn’t for him, there would never have been a Dutch Peakers Walking group. MPC couldn’t have made me more happy and surprised when this man walked up on the stage the evening of the gala. He spoke to us about Robert Louis Stevenson, the man who inspired him with his book Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, and from this book he quoted;

I travel not to go anywhere but to go, I travel for travel’s sake The great affair is to move

In  other words, it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination. Looking back on the last 20 months, it’s my journey that’s important and not my destination. Being back, for the second time, on Arthur’s Seat will be awesome and emotional but not the most important. The way I traveled to get there is far more important. The things that happened along the way,  all the Peakers and other people, I met and spoke with over the past 20 months… they made my journey. But most important of all were the “unexpected” meetings.

The journey

While I was in E. for the MPC2019 Event, I walked a lot with Vera. We even managed to do the Marothon Challenge while walking. I met Vera for the first time in Glasgow in 2017. We sat together during a dinner of the Dutch Peakers at Oran More, and ever since our friendship has become close.

We went for a walk to Craigmiller Castle, recommanded by another Dutch Peaker, Conny.

Not yet aware of the words of Robert L. Stevenson we started walking without a map or a plan how to get there. We knew it had to be somewhere on the other side of Arthur’s Seat, and as soon as the signs showed us in which direction the Castle was, we concentrated on all the beauty we saw around us. Flowers drew our attention because of the beautiful colours, as did a bird singing in a tree and a couple of ducks and swans with their young. All of a sudden we walked around a corner and saw an iron fence with a nice little church on the inside.

One way or another I always get attracted by churches, so we walked through the fence to get a good look. There was a sign near the door that invited us to come in and have a look around.

Duddingston Kirk

As we were reading a bit of information about the door being in a different place in the early days, a man came in and said if we had any questions, he would be very pleased to answer them. That’s how we met Dr. James Jack AP, reverend of Duddingston Kirk, a local Parish Church for the Church of Scotland.

As we walked with him outside the church to have a look where the original door must have been, he stopped in front of the graveyard. From the look of it, I thought that only few graves were left. He told us, however,  there were a lot of graves, but only the rich ones had headstones. He also told us that rich people got buried 6 feet under the ground and poor people only 3 feet. He pointed us to a very little headstone near the wall of the graveyard. If you looked close you could see the words Wee Jim.

Wee Jim

There once was a woman in Duddingston who worked in a factory in Portobello, a coastal suburb, three miles to the east of Edinburgh. This woman got pregnant and gave birth to a little baby boy, named Jim. After giving birth and being a single mom, she had to go back to work in the factory, again. Not having anybody to look after the little boy, she took him with her to the factory. It was not a very healthy environment for a child, and unfortunetly he caught a pheumonia and died. Being poor, this little boy would be buried in a grave without a headstone. The women in the factory couldn’t let that happen and they collected money for this little baby boy.

The reverend also told us the story of Ann Stewart. During the 19th century, body snatchers stole bodies from the graves for medical research. One night, whitin 24 hours after a young lady named Ann Stewart died and was burried, two men took up her body from the grave. It was then they were startled because Ann was not dead. They ran for their lives,  and the reverend had something to explain to his congregation.

This young woman got married and emigrated to America. When she actually did die it was written on her headstone  buried for the second time. In America nobody understood this sentence until someone paid a visit to Scotland and stumbled upon her story.

I travel not to go anywhere but to go

There were many meetings I had on my journey in Edingburgh. Together with approximately another 200 other Peakers, I challenged myself to do a yoga work out. Something I had never done before but certainly will do again. I was surprised that 200 Peakers could be that silent.

I met Lt Col (Retd) CD McGrory, who made it possible for us to hold a small Memorial Service on May 4th at the Edinburgh Castle for all of those who died in WWII and any war after.

I met two women from America. One on the day we arrived, Carol Risk, she even wrote me a song fort he Dutch Peakers Walking. The other one, Clare Leary , during the march on Sunday morning. As I passed by she walked painfully and I decided to stay with her and walk and talk her tot he finish. For no Peaker is left behind. We had such a lovely conversation, and I thank you, Clare.

Through Vera I got to meet Elizabeth Arris. She does incredible things. In a few weeks she’s going to walk 100km ( 62 miles) in 24 hours.

On my journey, I finally got to meet Jordana who they call the mama of MPC. She’s such a warm and affected person. So nice finally meeting you!

And then there was this amazing Gala. So may Peakers all dressed up in beautiful clothes, nice food and a lot of interesting speakers. I had never in my life attended something so big and well organized.

Remembering the words of Cameron McNeish, I travel not to go anywhere but to go, I can look back on an amazing journey.

My journey will not stop after this event or after being back on Arthur’s Seat, I know now for sure that I still have a lot of travelling to do. I travel for travel sake, the great affair is to move. What I do know, ain’t no Arthur high enough!

Pictures are taken by Vera, Conny, Jeanette, Me and Amfion

Bûter, brea en griene tsiis, wa’t dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries

Bûter, brea en griene tsiis, wa’t dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries

I don’t expect you to understand the title of this story, but it has everything to do with the region we walked today, Friesland.

In the Middle Ages there used to be a folk hero in this region called “Grutte Pier”, he was a true freedom fighter and, according to legend, he let every man he imprisioned say the words: bûter, brea en griene tsiis, wa’t dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries, to be sure he did not imprision a true Frisian. It means if you can’t say butter, bread and green cheese, you are not a true Frisian.

Memories

Driving to Friesland this morning I had to think about my father, who passed away seven years ago. On days like this I miss him and would love to call him tonight and tell him all about my walk in the region he was born and grew up in. We both love this region and coming here today feels like coming home.

He was the one who taught this  Frisian saying to me.

National Parc

National Parc Drents Friese Wold is our place to be for today. The Peaker who is guiding us around this beautiful area is Manon. Manon has a special relationship to this area. As a child she came here often, and she also has a special connection to the watchtower, which I will tell you all about later.

Together with seven other Dutch Peakers we walked in this beautiful and special area. This National Parc is one of the largest natural areas in the Netherlands.  It contains over 6000 acres of wood, heather and shifting sand.

Although the Parc has over 130km (80 miles) of footpaths, we walked just a small part of it, and were impressed by the beauty.

Celtic Tree horoscope

Right at the beginning of our walk we passed a circle of logs. Every log had a plate with the name of a tree. Based upon your birth date you have your own tree ( there are 12 in total).

When I did some background research on the internet I read that the Celts, just like the Chinese and the Western World, developed their own horoscope. In the religion of the Celts, nature takes a central part. The Celts worshipped the earth. Trees, rocks and rivers were sacred. Everywhere in their religion they had holy trees, and every tribe had its own family tree.

I, for example, was born on the 3th of february, therefor I am a Cypress. But I am very close to the Cottonwood. It’s likely I have different characteristics from both trees.

It says I am a independent fighter but also a carefree social bird. I leave it up to you, and all of those who think they know me, see for yourself if there is some truth in it.

The Watchtower

As we walked on we saw a huge watchtower on the side of a large pool. Manon told us that the border between the two regions Frisian and Drenthe was right in the middle of the pool.

Standing on top of the watchtower we could overlook a great part of the environment.

The watchtower has a somewhat special story. It was built in 1995 by young people who attended a boarding school for students with special needs. Having these young people going to this boardingschool kept them from derailing.

Nowadays local authorities in the Netherlands have to finance these prevention measures,  instead of our government. All around us we see these important projects disapear.

To Manon this tower has another important meaning. At the time the tower was built her father was operation manager at the boarding school.

It makes her sad to know there are plans to tear down the tower and rebuilt it closer to the entrance of the parc. Closer to the entrance means closer to the parking lot. Tourists need not walk the whole distance (aproxiametly 5km (3miles)) to enjoy the wonderfull view.

Manon has mixed feelings about it. She is a social worker herself and sees that everything that has anything to do with prevention is cut out.

The silver lining in this story is that there is still no money found to tear the tower apart, so we can hope it will take a very, very long time before they do.

One receives far more than he seeks

John Muir once said that in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. This is the sixth walk of our challenge and every walk I come home with so  many stories. I learn about professions I have never heard before. I learn to look at some professions through different lenses. I learn new things and combine them with what I already know. But most of all, I learn so much by just listening and asking questions.

Today for example I walked for quite some time with Ria. I first met Ria last july (2018) in Utrecht. At that time Ria was almost at the end of her Master degree in History.

When she was doing some research for her Masters, she was suposed to review a text written in a handwriting nobody had ever seen before. One of these handwritings contained medical information. Because Ria once was a chiropractor ,it caught her attention. She even lived for six months in Scotland because two professors of St.Andrews University knew a lot about this subject. She told me she narrowed her topic of study down to the transfer of medical knowledge in the 7th and 8th century. Isn’t that interesting? I would never have tought of doing research on a subject like that. Awesome!

Besides that Ria and I both share a love for Glasgow, but that’s another story!

Having had all these wonderfull conversations  today and learned so much, I hope you understand why after this walk I wished I could call my dad and tell him all about it.

I didn’t ask my Dutch Peakers if they could pronounce the sentence I started with because I have no desire to imprission anyone…

Dutch Peakers on fire

Dutch Peakers on fire

We survived because the fire

Inside us burned brighter

Than the fire around me

Joshua Graham

This morning I woke up at 5:30 am, not by the sound of the alarm clock but by the singing of birds outside. It’s the first morning of this year that they wake me up with their beautiful songs, and I know spring is definitely on its way.

If I get woken up like this there is not a lot that can hold me back from starting the day with a happy feeling and a big smile upon my face. I like to turn over for a little while and let the day slowly take over the night. I think about what the day has in store for me and again a smile appears upon my face. It’s another Dutch Peakers Walking day. I know for certain that at this time, at least one other Peaker is awake. Not only awake but probably also done with her workout for today. I can’t think of any other Dutch Peaker that is more dedicated to the program than our Miranda

Miranda had a hip replacement surgery in 2017. To make a long story short, the surgeon who did the replacement messed up and she had to consult another surgeon. After that came another surgery, in another hospital. She suffers from severe osteoarthritis in her knees, hips and back and now she’s seeing a rheumatologist. And this lady is doing the program every single day. I applaud her.

Today this awesome lady is our host on our next walk. For the second time we are going to walk in the region of Noord-Holland, the region where we had our first walk of this year. This time Miranda takes us with her to IJmuiden.

IJmuiden actually has four harbours and can be called one of the largest sea harbours of the Netherlands. Only Rotterdam and Amsterdam have bigger harbours. For those of you who go to Scotland by boat, the ferry to New Castle leaves from the harbour of IJmuiden. Additionally, IJmuiden is the biggest fishing harbour in the Netherlands.

When I nearly approached the place we would meet today I had to pass a very large industrial area and I wondered where on earth our walk was going to be. Not much later I was standing in the middle of the dunes!

Standing in the dunes we couldn’t see the ferry in the harbour, but we did see another large (well you can call it huge) cruise ship.

Miranda told us that today’s walk was aproximetly 15km (9.5 miles). She didn’t get the chance to walk it by herself, so we don’t blame her (not at all) that 15km turned out to actually be 19km (11miles)! I hear some of you think, how is that possible? Well, I can come up with a lot of excuses but I won’t. We simply had to walk back and forth a few times.

I refuse to start the discussion whether women are worse roadmap readers then men, for the simple reason that sometimes roads on maps are not what they look like in real life. And second, I do know a man, and I won’t call any names (starts with an S and ends on AM), who can’t read maps either, and eventually end up on an American Air Force Base without any ID. At least we ended up with some nice firemen! (More on that in a bit.)

Anyway we did a little back and forth on our walk, but who cares? The sun was shining, the company great and the surroundings were beautiful.

Or as our fresh Peaker Marit looked at the situation:

“I now understand how you get people to break grounds. You just let them walk back and forth. They have to come along with you, they have no choice, and in the end you tell them they break their grounds”. That’s what she said with a big smile on her face, and she had every right to. She really was breaking her own grounds by walking 19km. Her longest walk previously was about 11km (6 miles). Marrit, we are so proud of you.

 Today I also talked and walked with Marjolein. Marjolein works for a very large insurance company as an account executive for corporations. I talked to her about occupational hazard. For example, as a teacher, I always got distracted by schools, schoolbuildings, children playing, etc. I think everybody who loves his or her job does that, aware or unaware. Marjolein tells me that whenever she’s abroad she looks at large buildings, considering at what rate they could be insured. 

Jeanette is a hairdresser and as we pass by some hairdressers she had to look into the shop window to look what products they sell. You see, everybody has occupational hazards.

 There is a Dutch saying; het venijn zit in de staart (the devil is in the detail). As we saw the end of the walk approaching we had a little discussion whether to walk back through the dunes to get to the cars or just follow the road. It was hot, and because of the back and forth walking some of us were done with walking.

As we were deciding what to do we saw smoke coming out of the dunes.

Talking about occupational hazards, Marjolein and Jeanette immediately walked over to where the fire was, working to put out the fire with some water they had, and stomping on it with their feet. In the meantime, the fire brigade was called and although we told them the fire was over, they came anyway to check if the fire was definitely out. Never a dull moment walking with Dutch Peakers! These are the moments you will never forget. It’s the fire inside us that kept us going today.

Met dank aan Ellen Overman, Marjolein Kuijvenhoven en Miranda van Dam voor de foto’s