Peregrina Preparatio 4

Pilgrimage 4: SaturdayMay 19 2018

Route: Turku (Itäharju) to Hirvensalo island (and back!)

Weather: Warm and Sunny, 20 C, a bit windy

I wore cotton shorts and a sleeveless shirt, sunscreen, needed my cap and sunglasses and as earlier I tried to walk in the shade whenever possible . I carried a small bottle of water. En route I popped into a bakery cafe to use their facilities.

Distance: 18 km (9 km each way)

Duration. 4 hours (2h each way)

Today didn’t feel particularly like a pilgrimage, but it wasn’t a hike or a walk either : something in between. I walked to my friend’s house to watch the royal wedding and then walked home.

I travelled light with only a tiny knapsack on my back (to carry my water and phone) and instead of a walking pole in my hand I had a litter grabber as part of my route went through a small industrial estate and I assumed (rightly) there’d be trash to collect. And there was.

Litter picker in hand

I visit this friend quite often, usually by car or bus and occasionally by bicycle, but this is the first time I’ve walked there. It was a bit further than I thought and so I arrived a bit late for the wedding party. Coming back was quicker though I walked almost the same route.

There were several nice parts to the walk: a winding path on the edge of some woods, an unofficial track through a field and the view from the cycle /pedestrian path on the high bridge to Hirvensalo was -as ever – lovely. It was windy up there, (had to hold onto my cap while taking the photo) and a bit cool, but that actually felt quite wonderful after the heat of the last few days

I think I’m getting the hang of the longer distances, and really like the nuance of walking from and to somewhere specific (rather than a circular hike in the forest, where hubby takes the lead and I and whatever dog I’m in charge of follow behind)

I think the return journey felt a bit more like a pilgrimage today, and I definitely got into my stride more. On reflection I think I enjoyed it more because on the way there I knew I was running a bit late … and that was a bit stressful! That’s something to bear in mind for the Camino. I didn’t take any breaks. Walking for 2 hours at a stretch is fine, but one thing I’m thinking a lot about is the need to go to the toilet on a pilgrimage when walking with loads of other people … could be tricky!

PS I picked up two smallish bags of litter today., mostly on the way home!

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