Following a six month training regime of many hills, thousands of steps and a couple of mountains in preparation for Kumano Kodo in Japan recently I am now changing tack!
It’s back to the distance training, long dusty road walking, loose gravel...and tarmac a.k.a ‘black mac’.
My first outing a few days ago was a thrill, it felt amazing to stride long, step up the pace and hit my straps.
Still, after Camino Frances in 2018, I never take my physical and mental abilities for granted. It’s a tough gig walking a pilgrimage and the preparation is most important. There’s no excuses!
Once you’ve completed the requirements for Dual Pilgrimage (Walk Kumano Kodo and Camino de Santiago) you are registered on the Dual Pilgrimage website. So here we are in Hongu Taisha at the Heritage Centre all fresh, shiny and proud of our UNESCO World Heritage achievement.
Be inspired by my recent dual pilgrimage walk in Japan. This short video encapsulates the very essence of Kumano Kodo and I hope will inspire you to take leaps of faith. Surpass the ordinary, become extraordinary!
And just like that! Completed the most challenging hike I’ve done so far. Challenging, beautiful, rewarding & spiritually uplifting. Had many laughs, questioned myself often “how did I get here?” And probably enjoyed too many Sapporo too!
Enjoy the photos, feel free to contact me if you have questions about this walk, or the Camino de Santiago. Happy to discuss my local hiking grounds too.
The Kumano Kodo is a series of routes, that lead you to and between three sacred shrines, and it’s a pilgrimage that Emperors, Samurai, Buddhists and nature worshipers have been making for over a thousand years too.
In just over a weeks time I will embark on my dual pilgrimage. In September 2018 I completed the Camino de Santiago in Spain, an 800km pilgrimage known as The Way of St James (or Camino Frances). By completing both UNESCO World Heritage routes I’ll be granted dual pilgrimage which is still in small numbers of people having completed both.
The setting for this spectacular walk in Japan is the Kii Peninsula, a sacred & spiritual mountainous region south of Kyoto, where legends and myths abound. I’ll be following in the footsteps of emperors and samurai and journey through verdant forested mountains to the three grand shrines of Kumano, collectively known as the Kumano Sanzan.
The Camino as a Path of Awakening was the theme of the John Brierley lecture at Newman College in Melbourne recently.
John Brierley is a former charter surveyor who promotes business sabbaticals and pilgrimages as a way to reappraise life's purpose. He is the author of several collections of maps and guides to the Camino de Santiago and the Camino Portugués.
His guides are a true testament to his commitment to the Camino de Santiago and all those who follow The Way.
During my residence in Queensland I not only hiked Mt Coolum, Mapleton NP and the like, I also walked the beach each day with the chihuahuas and my fur-godchild Rufus. Here are some of my finds....scallop shells remind me of my spiritual commitment and Ikigai - Buen Camino
My recent trip to Sunshine Coast afforded me plenty of opportunity to bushwalk and hike at altitude in preparation for my upcoming Kumano Kodo pilgrimage in Japan.
My Camino buddy Megan is joining me in Japan. As Camino de Santiago pilgrims our Kumano Kodo pilgrimage will reward us with ‘dual pilgrim’ credential.
The dual pilgrim recognition is due to both of these pilgrim trails being UNESCO world heritage. In Japan the sacred sites & pilgrimage routes are in the Kii Mountain range, and in Spain the Camino Francis route which is an 800km journey from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in the far west of Spain.
Reids Creek is historically popular for gold mining, (Beechworth is an historic gold mining town after all) with thousands of people lining the creek bed. It was also the scene of riots, and more than 15 murders.
Today the Reid’s Creek Walk which is flat most of the way, with plenty of signs explaining the area, is a pleasant day hike taking the walker across lush green fields and along the creek (good for a paddle if hot). Start off from the Woolshed Falls carpark.
The only steep part of the walk is toward the end where the last 300m heads up a flight of natural rock steps. It’s a scramble and hiking poles definitely help. The view of the cascades is lovely and worthy of a few moments rest stop.
Beechworth is a further 2km walk along the gorge road (or powder magazine track) to Camp Street (another last push uphill).
Return via same route to Woolshed Falls carpark from where you start the 14km return hike.
I’m a steady hiker. I departed at noon and arrived back to the car at 5pm. Within this timeframe I enjoyed a beer and arvo tea at Billsons Brewery for 45 minutes.