It’s a beautiful sunny day and 2 friends have joined me this morning at 8:00 am to walk the Fairwinds/Nanoose Bay/Schooner Cove 16.16km loop. I wanted to walk this route because I have ridden it on my bike and ran it during my days of training for marathons.
The route is rural. The road is very undulating with narrow shoulders and no sidewalks. We walk facing traffic and quickly step into a single line when we hear oncoming traffic. The traffic is busy today but drivers are friendly with most giving you a wave. I wondered how I ever ran this route. No sooner do you go down a hill, you are climbing another and that is the way throughout the entire loop. We meet other walkers we know and runners who obviously are training.
The best part about walking with friends is that it goes by fast. You talk about everything under the sun (no pun intended) and you notice so much more; homes perched up on cliff-sides with steep driveways, views to the mainland from the openings between houses, the hills, the wildlife.
This brought back memories of a walk I did in 2012 in Holland to Belgium. My husband and I joined my youngest sister and her husband in a 33 km Knokke-Heist walk. The march started as a tribute and honour to the Canadians who liberated the town of Knokke on November 1st, 1944. We walked with the Canadian NATO troops on trails and roads that took you through farmer’s fields and small villages re-enacting the route soldiers took in World War II. Throughout the walk, the Dutch cheered you on with appreciation and waved Canadian flags. It was a true Canadian experience and one I hope we will participate in again.