94 In

Day One: Sopron, Hungary to Neutal, Austria

(Guide says 25km – 15.5, but we walked 32km – 19.8 miles)

I’m so happy to be walking the EPW (European Peace Walk) with my dear Camino friend, Jenny, and a good friend and fellow teacher from Hawaii, Gary. Although the EPW guidebook states that the EPW should not be compared with the Camino experience, Jenny and I have agreed that it is virtually impossible not to compare the two. I’ve also walked portions of Japan’s Kumano Kodo Temple Pilgrimage and so far, I honestly find that the EPW has many more similarities to it than to the Camino. We compare these things because we are humans, and after all, it is human nature to make comparisons of similar experiences, right?

We didn’t exactly get off to a good start to be honest. In fact, we couldn’t find the starting point, even after using Google Maps to follow the coordinates that had been emailed. We ended up 1.5 km away from the first marker. After walking and searching an additional 30 minutes we happened upon a bunch of red arrows, which are the symbols that mark the route, and decided to just begin from there. There was a brief thought of going back to find the actual starting point but we had just climbed a long, steep, city hill in Sopron that had sapped us of our time and our morning energy. Instead, we made a unanimous decision to carry on and try to contact the organizers via email to find out if there was anything important that we had missed.

After locating Hotel Fagus, a land mark mentioned in the first stage of the guidebook, we felt more confident that we were in the correct place and began walking down a path leading into the woods. The path meandered a bit before coming to a long, gradual hill. About the time we commented that it was quite lovely, the hill began a steep ascent up to a point we couldn’t even see. As we climbed and climbed and climbed, we couldn’t help but think of the words we had read several times before committing to this, “Mostly flat walk through six European countries.” Finally cresting the hill, we were faced with a sheer drop that prompted thoughts of just sliding down on our bums to avoid falling with our heavy packs. We now knew we were in for much more than we had bargained for. The discussion became centered upon perspective when writing hiking guides. We decided two things: that this guide has been written by someone who IS extremely fit, and that we are NOT. Recent events in life have prevented us each from completing our pre-EPW training, but it is what it is, and here we are. All we can do now is press on. We decided that we might need to take a rest day or two along the way, but that we will walk every single step and not resort to taking taxis unless there is an injury.

Coming out of the woods, we were distracted by some beautiful horses and completely missed our right turn to the Austrian border. After walking several moments and realizing the red guiding arrows were nowhere to be found, Jenny and I relied on our mad Camino skills to map out a plan. In the end, we took the second, “long cut” of the day, but found our way forward to the arrows without having to backtrack and eventually made it to the border.

From this point, the arrows guided us along the side of a paved road which dipped and curved through farmland fields abundant with grapevines and unopened sunflowers. The views were magnificent, but the traffic on the road…not so much. The road is approximately one and a half lanes wide, similar to a Cornish lane but without the hedgerows. Each time two cars meet from opposite directions, they either maintain their speed and drive way out onto the shoulders of the road to pass at high speed, or one pulls over and waits. Either way, this makes it difficult if you happen to be walking down the roadside. It wouldn’t be a big deal if it were only for a short while, but 3/4 of the walk was along the roadside on day one.

After getting lost in conversation and then literally lost again, we found a man walking with his son and inquired about a restaurant. (Thank goodness for Jenny and her ability to speak German!) He recommended Gasthof zur Traube and although it was a short additional distance away from the route down into the town of Neckenmarkt, it was entirely worth it! We had ice cold water, and cappuccinos, along with delectable homemade cheese and raspberry strudel. The treats helped to refresh us and we had such a good time chatting with the cheery Austrians who owned the café. We set off again in the mounting heat with very high spirits.

As we were leaving, we ran into five women who are also EPW walkers and they confirmed that there wasn’t an actual meeting held at the start to launch the walk. This is a bit confusing as each walker is given a digital ticket via email and told that they must have it with them when they report to the starting point at 6:00am, eluding to there being a checkpoint of some sort. We were relieved to learn that we hadn’t missed anything after all, but annoyed that we could’ve started even earlier to avoid the heat of the day. Good thing we didn’t continue to spend time and energy looking for a place to check in!  It was about this time that we became very curious about what happens with the €60 per person registration fee for the walk. So far, the only expense we can find the organizers have incurred, is the purchase of red arrow stickers and spray paint to mark the route.

We noticed that the other walkers had tiny little packs and they looked so lively compared to how we were feeling at this point. They shared that they had pitched in and hired a taxi to transport their bags to the next stop. I was immediately so jealous of their energy and the fact that they would likely end the first day without blisters or extreme fatigue. Of course, there was also the great likely hood that they had actually trained for the walk and considering how they looked, I’d say it was the case. We decided that we really should have arranged for transport of our bags as well, but considering the difficulty we had in simply locating the starting point, I’m certain the logistics would’ve put us completely over the edge on the first day.

It didn’t take long after leaving the café for the heat to bake the happiness right out of us. That combined with the continued trek down the side of a narrow, winding, extremely busy road, made the afternoon painfully long. The guidebook mentioned lakes that made the trek sound quite serene, yet, there were no lakes to be seen. What we did see was several large lorries (semi-trucks) and all sorts of huge, interesting farm machines that sent us climbing into the ditches and covered us in dirt as they flew past.

All in all, Jenny’s tracker tells us that we somehow managed to make the 21km walk (13 miles) into a 32km (19.8 miles) walk with our three “long cuts” (Jenny’s word, which when you think about it seems perfectly logical) and we survived the first day with some funny moments, but I finished exhausted and with blisters. Not ideal on day one. 

The resting place for the first night was pretty cool though. A hotel with a yurt field that is also a small farm, and the five ladies we met earlier camped next to us. As we spent time chatting with them, we learned that four are traveling together from Australia and the other, who is from Victoria, B.C., is actually a friend of another Camino friend of mine. What a very small Camino world it is! One of the ladies tells us she knows the gent who wrote the guide and that he’s a former military member. This helps to shed some light on how the step by step directions are worded. We know one thing is for sure, we must stop having such lively, enthralling conversations that we wander off of the path unaware and become lost multiple times each day. If this continues we will never, ever make it to the finish!

The day ends, as all good days should, with a bottle of red wine and very good conversation.

 

Accommodation:

JUFA Hotel

Neutal, Austria

+43 5 7083 770

Shared yurt with communal shower & bathroom.  (30 Euros per person)

Buffet dinner and Breakfast included.

Bag transport to next stop FREE, thanks to Gabor!

 

A few favorite pics for the day:

 

94 Comments

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 7, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Love this! Sorry to hear about the blisters… what boots are you wearing?

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 9, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Hi Diana!
      Thank you for the comment my friend!
      I’m wearing my Lowa Renegades. I decided to do this to break them in really well for Iceland/Greenland, even though most of the EPW information said that trail runners were fine. I’m so happy that I did! Trail runners are not the shoe for 75% of this terrain. I’m very thankful for the added ankle support these give me, but I’ve learned a few important lessons about proper foot care when doing serious mileage everyday. Stand by for a post about it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheri
    July 7, 2017 at 9:42 am

    That common Camino friend is meeeeee! That still just blows my mind how small the world is. The disparity between the ‘mostly flat’ terrain and the reality had me laughing in sympathy. Last summer we walked the Tour du Mont Blanc and cursed the guidebook’s description of ‘gently undulating’ trails. You’ll make it through with some great stories to boot. I’m reading every post with joy!

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 9, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Cheri!
      Thank you for the encouragement! Yes, this is not at all what I thought I was getting into…but such is the nature of life, right?! I was so happy to bump into her, I had actually forgotten and she said, “You’re not Bethany, are you?” and then it hit me! She told me about meeting you in Spain and I told her about our days on the Camino, it was so good! Your ears must have been a burnin’! Love you lady! Wish you were out here suffering with us. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kimberly Williamson
    July 7, 2017 at 9:58 am

    You are an inspiration to us all!! Keep up the good pace and keep making those memories that will last you a lifetime! Prayers being lifted daily for your safety, good health and an AMAZING journey my friend…

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you Kim!
      You’ve been in my thoughts lately, we really need to catch up!

  • Reply
    Kit Thompson
    July 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Love the post! You have me giggling throughout, except for the part about blistered feet on Day 1! Clearly, I need to start with the Camino first! Enjoy the adventure!!

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Yes Kit, definitely! I’m so excited for your Camino adventure!
      Thank you for the kind words about the post, I’m just getting my feet underneath me still! It’s so hard to walk long distances and then have a functioning brain to write anything after. Most days I only feel like writing, “Long, hot, feet killing me, itchy rash is super itchy, horse fly bites hurt like the dickens, the end.” So anything I can manage beyond that, I am considering a serious accomplishment! 🙂

  • Reply
    Traipse
    December 17, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Propecia Effects On Women Androgenetic Alopecia Adjuffedlild can you buy cialis online LiaiftRada Macrobid Fedex

  • Reply
    Traipse
    December 22, 2020 at 3:18 am

    Cialis Farmacia Online Adjuffedlild cialis generic LiaiftRada Vente Du Kamagra Au Maroc

  • Reply
    this créditos rápidos
    January 4, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with almost all important infos. I’d like to look extra posts like this .

  • Reply
    click for more info on golf
    January 8, 2021 at 3:32 am

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.

  • Reply
    what is seo
    January 13, 2021 at 4:28 am

    I simply could not depart your website prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual provide on your visitors? Is going to be again ceaselessly to check up on new posts

  • Reply
    creditos sin nomina
    January 19, 2021 at 12:14 am

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Apple
    January 19, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again

  • Reply
    Apple
    January 22, 2021 at 12:57 am

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  • Reply
    creditos ects
    January 25, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  • Reply
    Apple
    February 5, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I get actually loved account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing for your feeds and even I achievement you get right of entry to consistently rapidly.

  • Reply
    Apple
    February 8, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  • Reply
    Apple
    February 16, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  • Reply
    Apple
    February 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also.

  • Reply
    WikiSaber
    February 23, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    You should participate in a contest for probably the greatest blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this web site!

  • Reply
    Kreatywna
    February 24, 2021 at 4:48 am

    Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? With thanks

  • Reply
    Marcosuttet
    March 4, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    generic tadalafil united states: http://tadalafilonline20.com/ tadalafil online

  • Reply
    Michaelsep
    March 7, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    prescription drugs online without doctor: https://genericwdp.com/ sildenafil without doctor prescription

  • Reply
    Michaelsep
    March 8, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    generic drugs without doctor’s prescription usa pharmacy india

  • Reply
    Michaelsep
    March 9, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    buy medication without an rx buy medication without an rx

  • Reply
    Michaelsep
    March 10, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    generic drugs without doctor’s prescription: https://genericwdp.com/ india pharmacy drugs

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 10, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    over the counter viagra viagra over the counter walmart
    viagra price

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 11, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    п»їviagra pills viagra over the counter walmart
    viagra cost

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 12, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    buy generic 100mg viagra online how much is viagra
    viagra amazon

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 13, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    buy viagra online canada viagra price
    viagra without a doctor prescription usa

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 14, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    viagra cost viagra cost
    where can i buy viagra over the counter

  • Reply
    Jeffreygaf
    March 15, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    viagra online usa buy generic 100mg viagra online
    viagra from canada

  • Reply
    Stanleygak
    March 15, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    paxil 5 mg paxil delayed ejaculation

  • Reply
    usemnip
    March 16, 2021 at 4:01 am

    http://gcialisk.com/ – best place to buy cialis online

  • Reply
    Stanleygak
    March 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    buy propecia no prescription how do i get propecia

  • Reply
    ThomasGak
    March 17, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    viagra from india https://viagrapills100.com/ where to buy viagra

  • Reply
    xljslzbyyz
    March 18, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

  • Reply
    ThomasGak
    March 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    best over the counter viagra https://viagrapills100.com/ where can i buy viagra over the counter

  • Reply
    ThomasGak
    March 19, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    viagra discount https://viagrapills100.com/ over the counter viagra

  • Reply
    RichardSow
    March 21, 2021 at 4:58 am

    п»їviagra pills mexican viagra
    buy real viagra online

  • Reply
    Elmerabnor
    March 21, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    buy ed drugs cheap ed pills usa
    ed pills online

  • Reply
    Terrygox
    March 22, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    cheap ed pills in mexico buy ed pills
    cheap ed pills from canada

  • Reply
    Elmerabnor
    March 23, 2021 at 1:37 am

    best erectile dysfunction pills ed pills online
    cheap ed pills

  • Reply
    Terrygox
    March 23, 2021 at 4:40 am

    cheap ed pills cheap ed pills from canada
    buy ed pills

  • Reply
    Terrygox
    March 23, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    cheap ed pills in mexico cheap ed pills from canada
    ed pills without a doctor prescription

  • Reply
    Jasontried
    March 25, 2021 at 2:24 am

    https://zithromaxst.com/# zithromax 500 price

  • Reply
    Jasontried
    March 26, 2021 at 5:52 am

    http://hydroxychloroquinest.com/# hydroxychloroquine 70 mg

  • Reply
    vardenafil sublingual generic
    March 26, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    vardenafil tablets https://vegavardenafil.com/ buy generic vardenafil over the counter with no pres. online

  • Reply
    injectable erectile dysfunction drugs
    March 26, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    muse alprostadil https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil pellet

  • Reply
    Jasontried
    March 27, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    http://hydroxychloroquinest.com/# hydroxychloroquine buy online uk

  • Reply
    sildenafil 20 mg online pharmacy
    March 29, 2021 at 4:03 am

    buy sildenafil 20 mg tablets https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100 coupon

  • Reply
    Scotttoops
    March 29, 2021 at 6:31 am

    https://zithromaxproff.com/# zithromax without prescription
    buy generic zithromax no prescription

  • Reply
    generic tadalafil united states
    March 30, 2021 at 1:04 am

    tadalafil daily use https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil pills

  • Reply
    Scotttoops
    March 30, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    https://zithromaxproff.com/# where can you buy zithromax
    zithromax 500

  • Reply
    Scotttoops
    April 1, 2021 at 4:10 am

    buy doxycycline generic: buy terramycin
    panmycin generic

  • Reply
    Traipse
    April 1, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    http://ponlinecialisk.com/ – cialis order online

  • Reply
    Scotttoops
    April 2, 2021 at 10:32 am

    doxycycline online: biaxin online
    myambutol generic

  • Reply
    Billyfew
    April 2, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    buy fucidin: buy keflex
    generic roxithromycin

  • Reply
    Scotttoops
    April 3, 2021 at 11:01 am

    order tinidazole: buy keftab online
    order roxithromycin online

  • Reply
    Steventaunk
    April 4, 2021 at 6:23 am

    india pharmacy without dr prescriptions: ordering medicine from india meds from india

  • Reply
    Michaelcof
    April 4, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    best india pharmacy: order medications online from india online medications from india

  • Reply
    Michaelcof
    April 5, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    ordering medicine from india: india pharmacy drugs all generic meds from india

  • Reply
    Michaelcof
    April 6, 2021 at 11:35 am

    reputable online pharmacies in india: meds from india india pharmacy

  • Reply
    Steventaunk
    April 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    buy prescriptions from india pharmacy: reputable online pharmacies in india prescriptions from india

  • Reply
    Billycheed
    April 6, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    erectile pills canada: viagra pills levitra pills

  • Reply
    Robertpaw
    April 7, 2021 at 4:08 am

    cialis pills online: https://edpillsonline24.com/# buy erectile dysfunction pills online

  • Reply
    Billycheed
    April 8, 2021 at 1:23 am

    cialis pills online: best ed pills red erectile dysfunction pill

  • Reply
    Robertpaw
    April 8, 2021 at 2:51 am

    red erectile dysfunction pill: https://edpillsonline24.com/# erectile pills canada

  • Reply
    Robertpaw
    April 8, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    buy erectile dysfunction pills online: https://edpillsonline24.com/# over the counter ed medication

  • Reply
    Billycheed
    April 9, 2021 at 5:12 am

    best erectile dysfunction pills: levitra pills viagra pills

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 9, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    cheapest generic viagra viagra without a doctor prescription viagra without a doctor prescription

  • Reply
    MichaelLig
    April 10, 2021 at 1:52 am

    viagra: no prescription viagra viagra online no prescription

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 10, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    generic viagra walmart viagra no prescription no prescription viagra

  • Reply
    MichaelLig
    April 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    buying viagra online: viagra no prescription viagra no prescription

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 13, 2021 at 1:25 am

    https://diflucanst.com/# diflucan capsules 100mg

  • Reply
    Claudzes
    April 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    can you buy diflucan over the counter uk: diflucan without a doctor prescription – where to buy diflucan pills

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 14, 2021 at 8:51 am

    https://clomidst.com/# clomid buy online

  • Reply
    Claudzes
    April 14, 2021 at 11:51 am

    how to get diflucan: diflucan 150mg prescription – buy online diflucan

  • Reply
    MyronSheli
    April 15, 2021 at 5:32 am

    single chat sites
    dating sites

  • Reply
    Claudzes
    April 15, 2021 at 11:36 am

    doxy: buy doxycycline – buy doxycycline

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 15, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    http://doxycyclinest.com/# doxycycline 100mg online

  • Reply
    ApptelMum
    April 16, 2021 at 1:21 am

    Одновременно с этим существует и другая сторона формирования и организации высказывания.

  • Reply
    vreyro linomit
    April 16, 2021 at 5:19 am

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  • Reply
    Claudzes
    April 16, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    clomid 100mg: clomid generic – clomid for men

  • Reply
    JamesOmind
    April 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    http://doxycyclinest.com/# doxycycline without prescription

  • Reply
    AAtzimz
    April 17, 2021 at 12:37 am

    http://bit.ly/2EGH9IM

  • Reply
    Robertser
    April 17, 2021 at 6:34 am

    lasix 40mg: cheap furosemide – lasix uses

  • Reply
    PierreGlina
    April 17, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    https://paxilst.com/# paxil ssri

  • Reply
    Robertser
    April 18, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    metformin buy australia: metformin 500 price – metformin singapore

  • Reply
    Robertser
    April 19, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    metformin 500 mg tablet price in india: buy metformin 500 mg online – metformin average cost

  • Leave a Reply