The Vierdaagse, the four day walk. A yearly event where people walk for four days. Either 30, 40 or 50km a day.
I’m still not sure why, but when Gonda told me we would be walking one day (30km) I went along with it.
|Boris & Jesse with their medals|
We were going to walk with Boris (Gonda’s 15 year old son) who along with his mate, who had already walked 2 days x 30km. What a couple of dudes, instead of hanging around the house, they – of their own volition, decided to challenge themselves.
|Well deserved break|
|Gonda is exhausted after 8kms|
Along with Boris and Jesse – Ome Marius, my 70-something year old uncle would be walking too. He had also walked the previous 2 days.
|Not as happy as we look|
I was conscious of not complaining, considering Gonda and I were ‘blow ins’. We were walking with people who had already walked 60km and once we caught up with Cousin Liena (who was walking 40km) we were surrounded by people who had walked 2 days of 40 and 50km.
It was an experince. People came from far and wide (and sometimes just out of their front door) to watch. They offered us snacks, encouragement and smiles.
There were bars full of people dancing and singing and ‘supporting’.
Funnily enough, two 15 year old boys didn’t really want to walk with their mother or old cousin so they pretty much sprinted to the end.
Gonda’s friend, Esther gave me some gladiola’s at the end of the walk. It’s a tradition for walkers to receive these flowers at the end of the event. It was kind of cool, I had to catch the train, so everyone knew that I had participated in the Vierdaagse and I had some great chats on the journey home.
It was a lovely day, the weather was perfect. I’m glad we chose the 3rd day, as the 4th day was record temperature heat and due to the MH17 disaster, the mood was far more subdued.
It’s one thing to walk 30 or 40km. That in itself is a challenge, but the real difficulty is to back up and do it again the next day (and the next and the next). I don’t know how they do it (or why for that matter!)
|Thousands of people walking|