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4 minutes | Oct 7, 2014
Hua Hin, Thailand
Well, I’ve now done a bit of walking in Thailand and am enjoying it. Despite having to carry all my stuff myself in the heat and humidity. Have had a little bit of a set back in the last couple of days though, I have a case of Bali belly and have been forced to take a few rest days in Hua Hin. When I started out from Bangkok I was feeling a bit apprehensive. I had a long walk ahead of me and the walk from the airport into the city had been tiring. Luckily it was as I previously suspected and it was the lack of sleep that was the reason for my tiredness and I felt a lot better as I headed south-west out of Bangkok. It is a very different experience walking here as opposed to in south-wester USA. Here it is hot and humid and there is lush greenery everywhere. It was probably hotter in the USA but because it was much drier, it felt cooler. Once you get walking here in Thailand, you are soaked in sweat. It runs off you all day and your shirt is never dry. Fortunately there is always a small store/restaurant close by where you can get water. In fact, it is surprising the number of small stores, or stalls would be more descriptive, that abound. They are almost everywhere. As soon as there are a small collection of shacks, there is bound to be at least two stores/restaurants. Makes it easy when you are walking as it is possible to stock up on water often, which means that you don’t have to carry much. I’m not sure if the stores will be as plentiful as I move further from Bangkok but I suspect they will, especially in the more touristy areas. Another big difference is the food. It is so easy to get good tasting food and it’s reasonably cheap. Feels a bit strange writing that as I sit here suffering from an upset stomach, but I suppose that was just to be expected sooner or later. I have walked as far as 49 km in a day with the backpack and it is working well. After the first few days, I was feeling a bit of soreness in my hips from the load of the pack but that disappeared quickly and the walking is now going well. I get more tired than I did walking with the Mule, but it is completely doable. That said, I will be needing the Mule again in Australia to enable me to carry enough water. There are not a lot of small stores along the road between Darwin and Townsville! The guesthouses have been of varied quality so far. Both as to price and quality. One of my favourites, the 2N guesthouse in Petchaburi was both cheap, clean and served an brilliant
8 minutes | Sep 25, 2014
I’m sitting in Bangkok, suffering from a little bit of culture shock and trying to adapt to new circumstances. Everything is a bit different here and, although it is a change, it feels exciting and fresh. Well, fresh is maybe not a word I would use to describe Bangkok but you get the idea! :) Other things have changed as well. I am here on my own.. I have been considering walking Asia with just a backpack for a while, without the Mule, and that is what I finally decided to do. The Mule is resting, the alu-box on its way to Sweden and I bought a Osprey 48 litre backpack in San Diego. I’m going very minimalist and have cut down my pack list to the bare minimum, after all, I’m going to have to carry it all myself! Here it is: 1 thin fleece jumper 2 T-shirts 1 long sleeve shirt 1 short sleeve shirt 1 pr shorts 1 pr thin long pants 1 pr thin training shorts (used as extra shorts and bathing shorts) 4 pr underpants 4 pr socks Light weight GoreTex type jacket Flip-flops Teva sandals (almost worn out and ready for the bin) Merrell barefoot shoes Small basic toiletries kit Travel towel Small basic first aid kit Reading glasses Sun glasses Sun screen Tent Sleeping bag liner (no sleeping bag) Foam sleeping pad Lighter Water filter (sort of like a thick straw) Thin cord (tent guy line to use for everything from washing to fixing stuff) Emergency food (power bars) Thanks Alena! Macbook Air 11” (+ charger) Xperia Z Compact phone Usb charger Extra battery (13000 ma) Solar charger Travel adaptor Richo GR camera with extra battery SD memory cards in shock and waterproof case Osprey Kestrel 48 backpack Small extra courier bag to organise valuables and use as carry-on luggage That’s it. The list might look like a lot but that really is not much stuff. It even all fits into the 48 litre backpack, including the sleeping pad, which, although very light, takes up a lot of space. All loaded up it weighs 14 kilos, which I think is very respectable considering that I have both a lot of electronics and a tent with me. I need to try to find a multi-tool, leatherman or similar. Or maybe just a knife. Will be having a look around the markets in Bangkok to see what I can find. The flight to Bangkok was long. First a 1 hour 40 min flight to San Francisco, followed by a 4 hour stop over. Then a 13 hour flight to Taipei with a quick transfer to a 3 hour 40 min flight to Bangkok that arrived at 1.45 in the morning. I was not well rested by the time we landed in Bangkok… Aft
6 minutes | Sep 15, 2014
San Diego, California. Halfway!
I am now in San Diego, California and have finished my walk across the USA. A bit more than five and a half months have passed since I started in Miami and I have walked 5,211 km. Not bad and faster than I had planed and anticipated when I starte...
19 minutes | Sep 7, 2014
Five Thoughts on Long Distance Walking
Welcome to another five thoughts essay. I am starting to think that these are going to be an ongoing feature and will probably have very wide ranging subjects but at least this one is very much on topic for this blog. Five Thoughts on Long Distance Walking Forward I don’t think that I can call myself an expert at long distance walking, but I am getting there. I may not yet have done my 10,000 hours, but I have walked 10,000 km as I write this (almost 12,000 km if I include the-test walk) and have definitely reached a few conclusions about what works and how it affects you. I am not even halfway through my walk from Stockholm to Sydney and hope to learn a lot more in the coming year or two, but these are my thoughts as they pertain to long distance walking, as off now. I’m certain I will change and refine some of them with more experience and feedback but that is as it should be. This is a start and as everything in life, it is susceptible to both change and improvement! :) The Journey Walking is the most natural and instinctive form of locomotion there is. We are all more or less capable of it, in one form or another and it can take us almost anywhere in the world. If you are like me and you can’t walk on water, there are some natural limitations, but you get the idea. The one “problem” is that it is far from the quickest form of transportation available. But that is also its greatest feature. Because of the time it takes to walk, and the way you are exposed to the environment during your walk, it is the method of moving that most fits the axiom “It’s the journey that is important, not the destination”. In fact, I would claim that the journey is the only important part of a long distance walk. The destination is only a way to set a limit. The “perfect” walk would be never-ending, without a destination, existing only as an end in and of itself. A walk through life. It is fascinating that the the Chinese philosophy, or religion, of the “Tao” can be translated as “the way”. When you walk you are necessarily exposed to the world around you. If it rains you get wet, and if it’s hot you will most likely sweat. Reality is all around you and becomes a part of your experience. You are forced to live and experience the present and your surroundings as they are, without the filter of air conditioned comfort. Even if you choose to leave your current location, you have to interact with it as you slowly move towards your new dest
11 minutes | Aug 26, 2014
Glendale, Arizona and 10,000 km!
I took my time leaving Silver City. Had a long, relaxing breakfast and slowly packed the clothes I had washed. I knew that I had a few long days ahead where there would not be much in the way of towns. I would have to try to make sure I had...
12 minutes | Aug 14, 2014
Silver City, New Mexico
I left Las Cruces on Saturday morning with a dark, rain heavy thunder cloud hanging over my shoulder. To the south-east the sky was dark and there were the occasional forks of lightning, but to the north-west the sky gradually cleared up, through lighter and lighter cloud cover to, finally, a blue sky. I was glad to be heading in the right direction, even though I expected the storm front to catch up to me pretty quickly and I was resigned to getting rained on. But that never happened and I kept walking in the area just between heavy rain and blue sky. It was comfortable, nice walking weather. I walked on past chilli plantations and pecan orchards and before long I had left the rainstorm behind me. Mid afternoon I reached Ft Selden state monument in full sunshine and sat down in the shade of the museum to do some writing. Heading out in the afternoon was warm, even hot but that was not the biggest problem. There seemed to millions of tiny bugs swarming all around me, and they were driving me mad. There is not much to do against them. Use some bug spray (that never seems to work) and just get used to them. But they really do get to me. I’m usually pretty calm and collected but when it comes to small, annoying, biting bugs, all the calm goes out the window. They seemed to worst near the pecan orchards, I’m slowly beginning to dislike pecans… The road was twisting and turning more now as we made our way along the Rio Grande and through the hills. Around 6 pm I started looking for a suitable camping spot, but there was not much to chose from. Just as I was starting to accept that I might have to camp beside the road again, I spotted an opening in the fence along the road. I turned off and found a great, secluded camping spot in some small trees along a water run off to the Rio Grande. I quickly pitched the tent and crawled inside to get away from the bugs and spent the evening trying to re-read REAMDE, but dozed off pretty quickly. It had been a long day and I was tired. Sunday morning was slightly overcast but the cloud cover soon burned away and after a breakfast of bananas, oranges and kiwis, I set of towards Hatch. I reached Hatch around noon and looked for a place to get some lunch. I found a place that advertised “the worlds best hamburgers” and decided to try it. There was a group of motorcycle riders sitting outside and I asked them if the burgers really were great. Yes, they said and then asked if I was the guy they had seen on the ne
10 minutes | Aug 8, 2014
Las Cruces, New Mexico
I have finally made it through Texas! :) It's a big state... I'm feeling a lot better and have more or less managed to get rid of my cold. It makes a huge difference to how it feels when I'm walking, especially in the heat. Since leaving Sanderson I have been doing some serious walking and covering a fair bit of milage. In fact, this is my first rest day since then. Although I have had a few shorter days, most of them have been between 45 - 50 km and I am going to enjoy a day of rest. Rather than give you my usual day by day rundown, I'm just going to give you a few high lights . A lot has happened, I've met some great people and my already optimistic view of humankind has gotten even rosier. I almost hate to write that as I am afraid to jinx myself for the future. 15 months on the road and I have had only positive experiences! In the last 2 weeks I have slept on picnic tables several times, in the dirt on the side of the road, behind bushes, at great couchsurfing hosts, in a shed and even in a few hotels, all the while trying to get some milage done during the days. One of the best parts of the last couple of weeks was visiting Marfa. As is nearly always the case, a big reason is the great people that I met there. About 13 km outside of Marfa there is an observation building where you can sometimes see the "Marfa lights". They are a light phenomenon that appears at night and nobody seems to be able to explain what causes them. There has even been talk of UFOs.... :) As I pulled the Mule into the observation center, a guy jumped out of a truck and came over to talk. It turned out to be Josh and his wife Lynn who had seen me walking along the road earlier and were waiting for me. Josh had done his own walk, across Texas and wanted to hear what I was doing. We talked for a while and they invited me to stay with them in Marfa. When I finally made it into Marfa, Josh had organized an interview for me at Marfa Public Radio. I even got to do a couple of station intros. I'll try to post a link when the interview becomes available in archives. Then Josh and Lynn took me to dinner at an incredible restaurant that would easily make a name for itself in any major city in the world. We talked a lot and it turns out that Marfa is a very special little town and has apparently been featured a lot in the news lately. Check this out: http://www.npr.org/2012/08/02/156980469/marfa-texas-an-unlikely-art-oasis-in-a-desert-town Josh made a book about his wal
13 minutes | Jul 23, 2014
I'm in a Sanderson and am having a rest day, maybe even two, despite the fact that it's a tiny town and there is not much to see or do here. But more about that later. Charlie and I left Camp Wood, heading towards Brackettville. We were pretty sure that we would not make it all the way in one day, and planned to camp somewhere along the road. It was a long hot day but it went well and in the afternoon, Casey came out on his motorcycle to check that we were ok. He was amazed that we had made it as far as we had already! It was also interesting to see him in his "colors". Just as we were starting to look for a suitable campsite, a car pulled up alongside and asked if we were ok, if we needed water or something? It was Anita and we explained that we were ok but would always welcome cold water! Anita continued on into Brackettville and said she would see if she could find us on her way back. A short while later a truck pulled up next to us. It turned out to be Anita's husband, she had called him and asked him to bring us some water. We talked for a while and in the end we were invited back to the Kennedy's home, to camp next to their house. Another example of the incredible hospitality we have been experiencing here in Texas. Instead of eating packaged food and camping next to the road, we spent the evening eating pizza, drinking beer and tequila, and having a great evening with our wonderful hosts. The next day, sunday, we were back on the road and made it into Brackettville, were we spent the afternoon having lunch and watching the world cup final on my MacBook Air. We were at the local Subways and the wi-fi connection was not very fast, but we could at least see sort of what was happening.. Not that the result was much of a surprise, I have been tipping Germany to win from the beginning. After lunch we continued along highway 90 towards Del Rio. About 45 km from Del Rio, it was starting to get dark and we had not really seen any good places to camp, so we decided to try our luck under a bridge. It was ok, but there was a bit of noise from the road during the night and I once again heard a wild hog outside the tent during the night. This time it was on the other side of the fence, but he stayed around for a while, snorting and making noise. We had a hot walk into Del Rio on monday but knew that we were heading towards a couchsurfing host and would have a place to stay. We had a late lunch at a Thai restaurant before we finally manag
21 minutes | Jul 11, 2014
Camp Wood, Texas
I'm sitting in the Camp Wood library typing this and it will be a much longer blog post, with a lot more photographs than I have posted for a while. That's in direct response to the feedback from the question I asked on the last podcast. I did already suspect that a lot of followers would like to have pictures and at least captions on the blog and not have to listen to the podcast for a quick update. For any number of different reasons, all of which are quite reasonable. So, to make it up to you all, here are a lot of pictures, with more than just caption! :) Charlie and I left Fredricksburg on the saturday morning and walked at a nice easy pace, enjoying being on the road again and just moving. Early midmorning we found Sarah tending to the family farm, fruit and produce stall on the side of the road. We were thirsty and thought we could feed both our hunger and our thirst by buying a watermelon. Said and done! We then tried to eat it all, we did not want to carry to much extra weight. Charlie put in a good effort, but it was to no avail. The watermelon was too big and we had to admit defeat with a pretty big piece left. It got loaded onto the Mule, to be consumed for dessert after dinner. While we were eating, I started talking to Sarah and ended up having a short discussion about Australian stock horses. Always fun and interesting, the things you can find in common with strangers along the road to talk about! We walked through the day and the road got gradually smaller and smaller, following a creek and winding through cattle paddocks. We rolled off the road a bit and found a campsite next to the creek, put up the tents and tied to avoid all the thistles, after which we polished off the rest of the watermelon. Dinner was watermelon, bananas and an orange. I lay watching the sky through the opening of my tent and reflected that this is not a bad sort of life! Some time during the night, I was woken by a car turning off the road and heading down towards our campsite. Oh no, I thought, looks like somebody does not like us camping here and are coming to tell us. But they stopped about 50 meters away and I could hear what sounded like 2 guys and a girl talking loudly. They hung about for a while and then drove off. Great I thought. But a while later they were back again. It was difficult to hear what they were saying but I got the impression that they were underage kids that were hiding out to do some drinkin
25 minutes | Jul 4, 2014
I have only uploaded the acast episode this time, rather than pictures with captions. Do you think this works or do you think that it limits the the blog in any way? As always I would appreciate your feedback! :)
29 minutes | Jun 29, 2014
Kirk Tuck outside the Taco Deli where we went for breakfast tacos. Great Tacos and great conversation. It was very interesting to meet someone whose writings you have read for many years. It was even better that he turned out to be a great guy! Couchsurfing meet up with many hosts from the Austin area Charlie and Palmer doing some serious shopping in one of the gigantic American wearhouse like supermarkets. Open air gallery consisting of graffiti An enigmatic Mona Lisa and guest at the Spider House cafe Taking it easy, Austin style at the Capitol building.... The hobbit house, a private residence in Austin built of dirt. Palmer sipping a smoothie at Juice Land, where we seem to end up at least once a day! Palmer giving Max lessons in how to change a tube on his bike. Charlie outside Cheer Up Charlies, our last stop on saturday night before heading home for some well earned rest.
20 minutes | Jun 23, 2014
Pastor Tolbert Hudspeth, who was very hospitable and let me spend the night in the church. In cool comfort, out of the thunderstorms! Tyler, on the side of the road with his broken cart. But he did not give up and is still on his way towards Miami! Good luck, Tyler! Watching the World Cup in an almost empty bar in Houston Houston, or at least downtown Houston seems to be very much construction and closed sidewalks. Open bar for dogs in Houston New road constructions outside of Houston. But no sidewalks or provisions for pedestrians. Nice old diner in one of the small Texas towns between Houston and Austin
20 minutes | Jun 15, 2014
Five Thoughts on Being a Photographer
During the summer of 2013, I spent a lot of time walking. I walked almost every day, making my way south through Europe as part of my attempt to walk from Stockholm to Sydney. Walking every day left me with a lot of time to think and a lot of time to listen to audio books and podcasts. Somewhere along the French Atlantic coast I started reflecting on a lot of what I was listening to and comparing it to what I had been helping teach in different photography schools during the last 10 or so years. I came to the conclusion that there were a few thoughts about being a photographer that were often not explored as much as they could be. Some are more or less taken for granted and others are lost amongst all the other subjects that need to be covered. This article is meant to highlight five thoughts that I think are important for photographers to consider. I originally started writing this with the intention that it would become a book but after much back and forth I have decided to adopt a much more minimalistic approach and present it as a short article. It is meant to be a starting point for discussion. In fact, I think it is a good starting point for a one-day workshop where students can discuss and explore these different aspects of their future trade. I wish I could say that the ideas are all mine and new, but they are a mixture of ideas and concepts from many different sources. A few of them are: Seth Godin’s books on marketing (they are all recommended reading). The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Chase Jarvis and Chase Jarvis Live. The title is a homage to the book “On being a Photographer” by David Hurn and Bill Jay. I originally found it through The Online Photographer website and it came to influence my approach to photography a great deal. As I have already said, this is a starting point for discussion. It is not offered as any sort of absolute truth and I look forward to hearing a lot of thoughts and feedback from you all. Chapter 1 Why are you here? I don't mean the big existential question, I'll leave that to others, but why are you here, wanting to be, or become, a photographer? There are probably going to be as many reasons and motivations as photographers in the world. From just wanting to live the, supposedly, glamorous lifestyle, to trying to communicate your deepest thoughts in an attempt to help humanity. Maybe you just want to be able to hang around in the local bar, wearing a worn leather jacket, with a battered Leica hang
26 minutes | Jun 11, 2014
A year older and well on my way across the USA. Still a long way to go but I have at least reached Texas... What more can you ask for on your birthday. A street party and live music! :) Love the classic, southern porch with outside fans. Just the place to recover from possibly having a beer or two too much on your birthday. An early afternoon rest under the shade of a tree. Needed in the hot, humid weather. I look hot and sweaty already and its only 9 in the morning! Lucky I don't have that much money to dry.....
15 minutes | Jun 3, 2014
Tehri, Chris and family, wonderful hosts in Amite City Tourists photographing Mike, the LSU live mascot, a tiger. Mike behind the fence One of the many barges on the Mississippi River Trying to cross the Mississippi turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. The roads are not built with pedestrians in mind.
35 minutes | May 27, 2014
Amite City, Louisiana
During the last week I have walked from Mobile to Amite City and encountered a lot of southern hospitality along the way. After socializing in Mobile there followed some hot days on the road with some strange campsites. Another great week on the road, hear all about it on the podcast and check out the pictures below. Micheal adding the shrimp to the traditional "shrimp boil". Learning to eat "mud bugs" The finished shrimp boil. It was real good! A repurposed parking meter in Mobile that is used to collect money for homeless people. The black board in Mobile where you can write what you want to do before you die... Maybe a bit morbid now that I think about it. You can guess what I wrote. Moving ever westward.... My campsite the first night. More or less in the swamp! The second night I found a much nicer site, a clearing in the forest that appeared to have been cleared to house bee hives. Finally managed to get a shower and rinse out some clothes at Rogers Lake. The wonderful Mrs Rogers who got up and made me coffee in the morning! Thank you. Good manners and moonshine at the campsite in Poplarville. Because nice matters! My new friend Jeff, hear about how he lost his home to Katrina in the podcast. Still a very generous and kind host even though he now lives under a bridge.
29 minutes | May 16, 2014
Sunset at Grayton Beach State Park Panama Beach No way was I swapping the Mule! This is what happens when you don't wear toe socks. You would think that I would have learnt by now... Elliot, ocean to ocean walker, one year out. www.stillmoreglorious.blogspot.com Graeme, ocean to ocean walker and flute player Jocelyn, Jason and a very tired Mats Jason on his new bike The Mule loaded in Jason's car My great new shoes. To think that such a simple thing can make you so happy! :) Very wet in Fort Morgan Walking on water! The ferry to Dauphin Island Natural gas platform in Mobile Bay The Coast Guard at Dauphin Island
33 minutes | May 6, 2014
One Year, Panama City
One year on the road! The Mule and I have now been on the-walk for one year. What can I say, an epic year with so many positive experiences that they are impossible to list in a single post. Followers will already understand how great the year has been and probably only have a slight idea about how much I look forward to the coming one! :) Camped in the forest between Tallahasse and Panama City Teaching the Hunter family to throw a boomerang! There is a lot of water and flooding in the area after all the heavy rain last week-.
47 minutes | May 2, 2014
The long, hot road leading to Crawfordville The most common sign in America! Even outside a swampy, mosquito filled forest. Camping on a side road, where I was almost attacked by Armadillos! The WomenTour back-up van. Sheila getting ready to hit the road towards Perry. It took me 2 days to walk, but they will do it in a relatively easy single day... Lobyist at work! What did they say? Bill, my very gracious couchsurfing host. Check out the value placed on the slaves, more than the value of the land!
11 minutes | Apr 25, 2014
A new podcast with some important news. The-walk.se is now available on acast! Acast is a new podcasting app, available for both iPhone and Android. Hopefully, if enough people listen to the-walk on acast, then I will be able to cover the cost of publishing the podcast and, if I'm very, very lucky, maybe get a little bit of change over. So please help me spread the word about acast and get the app. Then spread it to all your friends and get them following the-walk! :) Acast is being launched in Sweden to begin with and I'm not sure if you will be able to download the app elsewhere. But the podcast will still be available here on the blog, as well as on iTunes. A quick lunch stop at Nana's Bisquit Barn. The tomato soup was excellent! The long, hot road, after all the strip malls had petered out... A church in a typical, north Florida setting. I have passed a lot of Churches! Finding a campsite along the side of the road was not always easy. There was a lot of forest, swamp or both at the same time. Finally a wonderful campsite, complete with showers!
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