View Full Version : Collaborative diary of my (likely) 2022 sobo ECT : Starting with a nobo IAT <3

04-12-2022, 14:28
Roses are red,Violets are blue :Teh trail magic,Honey, is You <3- Theseus
" I checked teh weather forecasts, and rain seems very unlikely ! Let's sail !"- Noah
" Voyager, c'est travailler [= To Walk, is To Work] "- Henry Bayle

Dear Friends !I should be happy to connect with ya'll here, through teh Web 1.0, to share my likely 2022 ECT, hoping that this might be of some interest,
... The Web... 1.0, o'rly ?Yes, in fact : this should beDisplaying text only ! <3
When teh ECT (Eastern Continental Trail) leaves teh New World, it semi-officialy encompasses various lands and coasts of Europe that are technically part of tehHh Appalachian Mountains : various hikers associations may have their own opinions on this : be as it may !
One is still hiking teh ECT if she or he doesn't go beyong Québec : we might have different and complementary ideas of waht teh ECT is, just as we carry our own maps - just as we embody our inner geography of teh world, of teh heart and tehHhH soul.
Although I plan to possibly hike teh ECT, I'll try not to be too purist or pedantic regarding the itinerary and tehH schedule : For all I know I am quite simply hiking )))
This is only a shy attempt : I did my researchs about the Canada chapters, and I still haven't done any research about the USA sections : be as it may ! No pressure here, except teh pressure of the water in the waterfalls !
So here's a draft :
- Teh South-West Coast Path of England, clockwise :15.I.2022 -> 20.II.2022.
- teh International Appalachian Trail / le Sentier international des Appalaches (Canada), nobo. : with the various sections in an order that's still to be determined. Yes.15.IV.2022 -> xx.XX.2022.
- Appalachian Trail, sobo.
- and sobo. to (?).
I like to call this "my" ECT, even though this might weirdly sound like I'm appropriating it, because I feel like going deeper, and deeper into it : I'm sinking into it, for teh sea is nearby <3 ... ))) and I'm loving it !!
I'm carrying a violin while hiking : not that I'm any good at it : I just loooove bringing it.Kindly bring your music instruments too ! This will only make our backpacks and our travel lighter ! We shall sing and have music !
--> Why soboing ?
For work- and personally-related considerations, I couldn't start, in Florida, in December 2021 : hence teh sobo. I happen to be able to handle cold temperatures quite well at times, and surely better than hot temperatures : so late-winter Canader seems fine (at least from home !...).I believe that whether one sobo.s or nobo.s, teh various sections will always show a great diversity of seasons and climates, and teh sea's expecting us hikers on both ends of teh trail anyway <3
That aside, I walk slowly, and I like to stop to sing a song, and to smell teh flowers, which might not totally agree with a nobo AT starting on March/April.With that said : I would have loved to nobo teh ECT... in order to have Québec, teh gem of teh trail, near teh end !Guillaume(35 y.o.)

Thursday, January 13th 2022

I'm boarding on an evening flight to England, sitting on seat 3A.Since I'm not currently active on any social media, I'm not looking at my phone, and I start chatting with teh woman next to me. At some point, she asks me :- And where exactly are you going ?- Very kind of you to ask : I'll be hiking on teh South-West Coast Path, starting in Bournemouth- Oh, this is lovely ! And what's your destination ?- Key West, Florida.- (Eyerolls)


Friday, January 19th 2022 Burton Bradstock beach, England

I'm hiking tehhh SWCP clockwise, although most hiker go counter-clockwise... By doing this, and by counting distances in kilometers and not in miles, I enjoying to contradict my British friends, and I proudly use a metric system that actually makes sense.And then, there's another reason, more philosophical, and mystical, for Hindus Bouddhists generally follow teh rite of pradakshin ("circumambulation") : teh rite of going in a clockwise direction around an image, relic, shrine, or other sacred object, particularly in teh northern hemisphere.
This morning, I realise that, hiking clockwise around the Island of England, I show my back to teh rising sun, and I face teh sunset : am I then turning my back on my birthplace, and on my past ? And am I then welcoming teh coming days and teh inevitable end of my days ?

January 21th, 2022

In today's entry, I won't specify teh day of teh week, for I'm hesitating : is this Thursday, or Friday ? I won't google it, I'm sorry : life is too short ! )))Reaching a high hill on teh early morning, during sunrise, and looking back, I'm seeing teh hills, the cliffs and towns that I've crossed... And I hardly remember the onces that are too distant to be seen already.Looking forward, I see some of teh hills, cliffs and bays that I'll visit, and that do hide more hills, towns and coasts... all of them being set right on teh see, you see !
There's a sea that I'm walking by ; There's an infinity of deep waters that makes my walking superficial : I should try to go and walk millions of steps... and these would never compare ! I shall not even count teh days, and I hope I won't count them any more, which will give me 'more' days : this will totally make my day !There's a sea I'm walking by, a one-and-only sea that says "good morning" when teh sun rises, and "good evening" when He sets... And she changes her mind, the all-mighty water deity : some nights, she would say : don't stop now, go walk some more !
Teh day's been clear and warm, TehHhh path is fine and marked !
For many days, she kept saying "January", and I hope to have her come closer to me one day, and bend to me on some cliff or in a cosy bay, whispering to my ears : "February".For some days, she's been changing, she showed a cold face and then a happy face : I hope she'll soon simply lay, for She will bloom <3

January 22th

In today's entry, I won't specify teh year, on this now page of teh diary, for an adventure or a hike might end on the next year! God's will.I average only 20 to 25 kms a day ! I like to go slowly, for slowy is my inner rythm : you see, honny, I don't do everything teh first night ))))))))))
I meet kind people in England : many ask me where I'm going : I usually mention Minehead, teh town at teh end of teh clockwise SWCP (South-West Coast Path). A lady, jogging by teh brailway* near Teignmouth, quickly asked me where I was heading without even saying hello, which surprised me after a week enjoying teh most pleasant English manners, Dear.
* Brailway :1°) A typo.2°) Also : A railway that goes teh lenght of teh beach. Maybe. Yes.
Did I look too busy, or was I in a hurry ? I guess not, for I usually walk calmly, and so I was at that moment... I also wasn't holding teh phone. Was it teh blue desert hat that I'm wearing in winter ? I don't know, but she knew : this complete stranger has felt that I was on a quest of some lenght...I then answered, on a simple tone, that I'm heading for Florida, through England and teh North-East of Canada. She kindly answered, barely surprised : "[I] Oh ! You'll do it ! Have fun with your adventures". She disn't wish me luck, although I thought I could use it : only teh fun. Sure ! Thank you mam', I'll keep that with me, tomorrow, and later on I hope ! Cheers !
This woman, living in this touristic coastal town, still has kindness and openmindness, and she acknowledged that my walk was somehow unusual by its lenght... which allowed me to talk, too !l might learn from her to be sensitive and somehow subtle in my choosing of a person to chat with, of a place to stay, place to eat at. This is a wonderful invitation to stay for a minute somewhere, after a "hello", a smile, a sudden, spontaneous and natural bond has been created between two total strangers !
This might benefit me for the journey, and beyond teh journey, in life generally !...
I still don't know if I'll be able to continue or finish this hike - or if I'll simply be brave and courageous enough. But this journey will fore sure be rich in these little things, in this salt that gives a meal all it's flavour ! )))
Here, in the UK, as kind as people are and always give way, I feel that a backpacker's look adds a little something when crossing on a narrow pavement...
... And I should like to add a prayer here :May teh Lord pave the way with joy, and replenish the path with cute joggers and beautiful bouncing butts : and may they be large, for the road is wide ! O Lord, add these joggers to teh beauties of the lakes and trees - O Lord, send me signs of all colors, and dark silk and pink cotton : O Lord, show me teh way : Amen !
There is such much sharing and caring embodied in these quick "hellos" and in these evanescent smiles - and how numerous will they be, paving this long path ! ) May I keep them, share them, and may I remember them when I have less friendly encounters : when I'll feel unwelcomed : when I'd ask for direction and won't even be looked at...
I'll now try to great people in a pleasant and agreeable manner : saying "hello" in a tone that's calm, warm, and using a descending voice...
I'll try to walk slowly, not seeming to be in a hurry, and being available for chatting and having a cup of tea... and who likes to hear fast steps and slipping shoes banging on rocks, when somebody's approaching fast ?


I didn't know I'd write so much, and I'm here, freezing my fingers, typing and correcting typos on tihs sarmtphone that's a completely new kind of device to me... Thank you, dear reader, if you're still reading these lines : could you hopefully receive some benefits from my little insights !
Dear reader, dear friend : accompany me, for some time !
Teh text might then be added with some lines,Teh journey might as well continue for some miles !

It appers to me that everything's been well said and written about teh philosophy of backpacking : all teh Why-Do-I-Hike (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ) have been beautifully filmed already.... I should then only hope that this little text could provide, somehow, a new perspective, a new approach of some sort.


Two days ago, I rested in Plymouth, staying in a flat that's located in teh Eastend.I liked teh name of teh area, for it reminded me of London's Eastend, a quite famous area where I've never been actually...In teh morning, I went to teh cafe around teh corner, and I was astonished by teh way locals talked : it was all ryhm and slang, and half-prononced words : it was all talking loud... This is Yanna, teh local equivalent of teh Londonese Cockney !I couldn't understand half of what was said, yet I loved every minute of it : it sounded musical, authentic, and warm !Today, walking down teh coast, contemplating a beautiful and peaceful sunset on the sea, I can't stop laughing at myself remembering how I ordered my breakfast :" Good morning my Lady ; Would you be so kind to induldge me with a cup of tea, please ? ".
I wish I spoke Yanna...


Eating some cold rice and grapes, in front of a cloudy, mysterious sunrise...This is sweet : In my country, we can take some fog... for we love teh frogs ! Yummmmy.


I'm sitting on the harbour of ...... , a small and picturesque town of Cornwall. Teh night is pitch black, teg seagulls went to bed already, and only the waves can be heard, pounding on the seashore.
I stayed for a while, listening to teh dancing waves, and they all sounded teh same : I could have stayed there all night, and I would've heard teh same beautiful chant ! And for one year, and for ten years too ! Teh sea will always sing the same, beautiful song <3
O thou waves coming from all teh seas and countries of teh worldO thou waves who talked to our ancestors in all languages : You rock us, you lull us - you tell the exact same story for a century : you comfort us, you love us so much !
There is permanence in the world, and there is universal love that adresses all of us : Women and men of teh world, rejoice !

February xx th, 2022

Back home for 2-4 weeks : time to gather maps, informations, and time to finally gear up !
I'm long overdue on buying a new backpack : I've had this 2,2 kg - 70L pack for two years now to hike : 1 week in italy, 2 weeks in Siberia, 2 weeks in Caucasus, 4 weeks in Jordan, 5 weeks in England. Not only it doesn't suit me anymore : it's simply over-used and torn : time to change ! ...time to change my backpack, and to change myself too...
Before this backpack, I had an even worse one, during 10 years ! and used it for multiple 2-4 weeks treks in teh himalayas : it was sewed around 100 times, it was a piece of some kind of wicked art...I still kept these backpacks when they became unusable, or when they proved to be unsuited : this might be, for me, a step to begin accepting my limitations, and living with my mistakes - for some decisions we make, in various matters, just can't be undone, regarding relationships, work, habits ...Let's Trek Now !

April 16th, 2022

I'm on a plane again, boarding this time not to England, but to Canada instead :
I'm now torn by doubts regarding my organisation and itinerary... If the lady comes and sits next to me again, asking what's my destination... will I still say Florida ?

07-25-2022, 21:53
Roses are red,
Violets are blue -
You leave no trace...
Hey ! Where are you ?

" One has to be out of his mind, to be walking for months towards the sea ! "
- Gandhi
" There's a man over there who's walking down the street, randomly stopping and praying... What a good idea : O brothers and sisters, let's all do this ! "
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

" Those who name Québec 'the gem of the IAT' haven't been to Newfoundland, I'll tell you ! "
- Jacques Cartier.
" I am soooooo late on my ECT schedule ! "
- Said-Jupiter-absolutely-never, just before to set a speed record.
" v = d / t "
- Newton, on the PCT.
" To be going towards the sea, and on foot... this really ads salt to the experience !"
- Gandhi.
" Since your shoes have holes, sure, I'll take them for warranty, and you can have a new pair... But tell me, how can the slopes be possibly so worn, after only 2 weeks ?! "
- A salesman in the Spek's Sport shop of St. John's, Newfoundland, on June 3rd, 2022. Now, he's famous !
" You are French ? Oh, what a coincidence ! Did you know that there's a French guy in the area, who's walking all the way to Florida ! "
- The pharmacy clerk of Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, on June 17th, 2022.
" Encore combien de kilomètres [how many kilometers more] ?"
- ... a man asked me, near Cap Gaspé. I answered "Do you mean, to Florida ? A good 7'000 km more...".
" The epigraphs in my novel are all authentic. "
- Stendhal, in Le rouge et le noir.
" For 3000 years, people've been trying to figure out what's real, and what is not, anyway ".
- Said a fellow, who's wiser than me.
* * * * * * * * * *
Goodbye, Canada !
From 04/17/2022 (Easter day!) in Perth-Andover, New-Brunswick.... to 07/21/2022 in Cap-Gaspé, Québec.
This is 96 days of traveling, through five Canadian provinces : this is already, by far, my longest travel & hike ever ! Let's keep on rambling - let's go to Maine !
* * *
If I'll ever be fortunate enough to visit Canada again, I'll go back straight to teh Maritime provinces, and especially to Newfoundland where I met truly kind and profound people - folks who told me original & surprising stories, and who play the most uplifting and moving (Irish) traditional music <3. Over there, people may take some time to open, and this is fine : their hearts then blossom like beautiful flowers <3
The gem of the beautiful (and hazardous) East Coast Trail, Newfoundland, came in the form of sweet blueberries that I've been offered when walking to teh south of Petty Harbor. A local couple, walking on this trail section, picked up a whole bunch of them berries and offered me the whole bag - which I politely declined, reminding them : Look Mam', don't you know it's forbidden to feed the animals on the trail ? ))) She then offered me some berries to taste - awesome ! - and she wished me a good stay in the "best region of the world". I agree... and although I usually dislike chauvinism, I liked to hear this, because it sounded - and it felt - like the true love for one's region that makes one love foreigners, and care for them !
These Newfoundlers sure caught me with their spell, with their invisible fishing rode, by displaying originality in the conversation, as well as in the small matters of the daily life - that is, because I was reserved and patient enough to start understand the place, and to let people accept me or eventually come to me themselves.
In this matter, teh best fishing rode of all is kept in teh harbour of St. George's where Mr. Eugene S., a retired railway fireman, still keeps in his garden : two railway fire-extinguishers on wheel, an entire train wagon full of railway antics and self-made woodcraft, a violin... and a fishing rode that was used by King George the V. : the King gave it to the army Commander whome he was fishing with.
Inevitably, some years ago, two men came all the way from Ontario to buy the rode, saying "name your price" : these two gentlemen soon found out that it simply was "not for sale". When I remember of this, and when this story starts echoing in me - in my life, in the choices I make, in the encounters I have - I then wonder what I would've done : would I have sold the rode ?
I hope that I will - and I do will try to develop, later in my life, this sense of authenticity and modesty that gives value to things, and that adds beauty to life.
There are no more trains in this area for a long time, but Mr S. sure keeps the spirit alive, and I feel very humble and happy to have been there.
Thank you, Matty, for having showed me around the village, and for having casually asked Mr S. : "Heya have time for a tour? ".
Thank you, New Fond Land <3 and excuse me for not writing down all these stories, as they are too many - just as the miles that further await me are too many. I should also tell you about Kevin, Joan, Vanita, Paul, Chris, and the all others... And the musicians ! these guys are fantastic !
Thank you : I Found A Land <3
* * *
On teh IAT-Québec, that is a very nice hike, I'll be honest and say that I felt uncomfortable to meet people (of all age) who were constantly smiling and cheering on the surface, while (with some exceptions) remaining invariably distant and wary - being apparently unable (or not willing) to have a drink or to sit on the same bench, nor to go beyond the where-are-you-from tourist routine. There was no language barrier, but perhaps a barrier of some other kind.
I've never been so bored in my whole life...
Although I've been to Northern Europe once ! )))
* * *
Now that I entered Maine, if I ever make it to Springer Mountain, or even further South, I may take well-earned vacations then !
Because you know what they say in France... : "To quit your job - is a job ! " )))))
* * *
* * *