Vikos Gorge – Beverly Walker

Vikos Gorge

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I honestly expected this blog post to be about a wonderful long hike, my connection with nature, and how I feel it changed me as a person.

All of those are true, but this is more of a story of blood, sweat, and tears. But more importantly, how wonderful all of these people who currently surround me are.

When we got off the bus at our starting point, I noticed during the walk through town that something was off with my hiking boot; the sole of my shoe was coming apart. Well, that’s a little annoying but doable. However, by the time we’d started the hike, half of the sole was falling off and making walking a bit difficult.

Luckily, I decided to braid my hair that day, so I used my hair ties to secure it. That worked pretty well. Then at one of our stops, Leon happened to have some duct tape to secure it even better.

Then later on in the hike, my other shoe started to separate from the sole too. I guess Greece didn’t like my hiking boots. But it was fine, I just switched a hair elastic and kept on going. I forgot to ask for more duct tape though. Here’s a picture of my shoes during lunch:

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Reaching the water was one of the most rewarding things. It’s the coldest water I’ve ever felt and while I didn’t jump in it was a nice relief for my feet. After lunch and some too close for comfort encounters with some yellow jackets, we continued on.

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This is where the blood, and tears come in. We all were sweating this entire time. The blood is mainly all the scratches from the thorns that lined are path. I have a lovely scratch on my wrist and leg.

The tears were provided by yours truly as I discovered how dehydrated I was despite all the water I’d been drinking, and how awfully my shoes were treating me.

We hadn’t even been going up five minutes when I had to stop to breathe and let the rest of the group pass me. Except Kate and Danny who showed me nothing but love and compassion and a good pep talk.

When we caught up with group, Ianthe, the amazing woman that she is, switched shoes with me, gave me electrolytes and later took on my backpack. On top of that every single person in our apprentice company gave me encouragement, love, and cheers of support.

About an hour later the electrolytes kicked in and I felt like myself again. I was even able to take back my pack. And we all survived this beautiful, long, exhausting, insane, amazing hike.

I leaned a lot on this hike and about myself as a person, and what to do and not do in further. But most importantly I saw and experienced first hand how incredibly caring this group is. As a person who insists that they are “fine” or “okay” 85% of the time, having people I’ve only know since Thursday say “we know but let us help you anyway” will continue to warm my heart every time I think back to that day.

Hiking Tips:

  • Water, all the water
  • Always carry duct tape
  • Or extra shoes
  • Or both
  • Ianthe is a boss

-Beverly Walker, 7/22

 

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