It’s back to Europe for my longest pass thru hike ever. Good preparation for the PCT perhaps. 🙂
The E2 is one of the 11 long distance, multi-country hikes across Europe. It actually starts in Ireland but I would not have been able to start there and get across the Alps in a single season. Don’t worry Ireland. You’re on the list; along with Scotland, England and Wales.
I’m going to start the E2 on the North Sea in The Netherlands and end in Nice, France. The Dutch portion of the hike is not that exciting but am doing it intentionally to strengthen my left knee. I hurt my knee running. Something I have done before but normally always bounces back with a few weeks rest. This time it didn’t and finally about 3 weeks ago resorted to something called Ortho Kinetics therapy. It’s muscle rebalancing, strengthening and stability. Was skeptical at first but has helped a lot. So, hopefully, The Netherlands and early part of Belgium will prepare me for the Ardennes, which will prepare me for the Vosges, which will get me ready for the Jura and which will result in me flying over the Alps. And landing with my toes in the Mediterranean in Nice by September. At least that’s the plan. And I’m sticking to it. I hope.
Because this was going to take around four months, I had to get a long term visa that would allow be to stay in a Schengen country for more than 90 days. I got a French visa because I’ll be spending the most time there; plus the consulate is less than 5 minutes from my house. The visa is for six months. So, what do I do with the additional two months? I hear Provence in the Fall is the best kept secret – olive and grape harvests, chocolate festival, fewer crowds, lower rates. And best of all . . . I’ll already be there. Sounds like a winner. Maybe I’ll take up painting.