hiking the Valencian country in Spain

Who wants to hike coastal Spain?

We do.

A website with a terrific name: TopWalks.net — (like BestHikes.com) — will steer you to the best hikes in the beautiful, historic Valencia region. The site is published in 4 languages.


Of the 60 walks detailed, several are recommended as best hikes:

Aitana route 1

Aitana route 2

Laguart valley route 1

Laguart valley route 2

Those pages will give you an idea just how detailed a hiking resource this site offers. Check the wealth of information on flowers of the region. Amazing.

More information:

The Valencian Community (Comunidad Valenciana in Spanish, Comunitat Valenciana in Valencian) is an autonomous community in eastern Spain. … it has 518 kilometers of coastline on the Mediterranean …

Valencia – Wikipedia

439 day kayak & bike U.S. circumnavigation

Swede Renata Chlumska is one tough gal. Already having climbed Everest, this time she set out to see the edge of America. All of it.

Renata was fiance of the late, great Goran Kroop of Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey fame.

After 439 days circumnavigating the continental United States — thought to be the first time this was accomplished — kayaking through ocean swells, biking through desert conditions, witnessing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Chlumska was overjoyed to have reached her journey’s end.

It took her 439 days to kayak and bike around U.S.

More on Renata’s trip blog.

new West Coast Trail book

We’ve been awaiting a new book on our favourite hike, the West Coast Trail. It’s here and we can hardly wait to get our hands on it.

It’s called The West Coast Trail – One Step at a Time.

The author, Robert J. Bannon, sells it directly on his website for C$20. Or you can pick it up in book and gear shops in Western Canada.

“Using a light-hearted style, Bob invites readers to experience the adventure of a lifetime as he and his hiking partner don overweight backpacks, traverse root and mud covered pathways, climb and descend countless ladders, camp on white sand beaches and generally experience a richness of life that most of us only dream about.”

The West Coast Trail: One Step at a Time was a 2005 finalist for the Heritage Group Writing Award.


The West Coast Trail is one of the best hikes in the world. Climb up to 50 huge ladders, ford rivers on cable cars, short-cut the trail at low tide — it’s a glorious wilderness hike 75km (47mi) long with no easy exit to civilization. Carefully regulated, it can be almost impossible to get a permit during high season.

Read more — Besthike West Coast Trail.


To date this very busy site has 78 hiking articles posted on their INFO page.


(There is no RSS feed so you need to check the site manually.)

One article we particularly like explains Coasteering – Coastal Hiking and Climbing”.

We have been coastal hiking for years and had never heard that term used before. It’s a variation of “canyoneering”:

Coasteering is all about being able to cross whatever the coastline can throw at you. …

Besides sandy beaches and dunes, you should be prepared to cross rocks, estuaries, and lagoons. …

Coasteering has the same added dangers of slippery footwear and the danger of Hypothermia that come with Canyoneering. Added challenges are the tides, currents, waves, and constantly changing water levels. Make sure to check with locals for the weather conditions, tidal situations, and possible riptides. If you are swept away by a current, remain calm and swim perpendicular to the current until you are clear from its force. Even marine life can pose an added danger. Weeds can make rock surfaces very slippery so take extra care.

read more …

Fundy Trail Footpath, New Brunswick

We would love to add this magnificent coastal hike to our list of the best hikes in the world. After all, the Bay of Fundy may have the highest tides in the world!

But the Fundy Trail is not ready — yet.

There is no public transport to any trailhead. Tourism New Brunswick is not promoting the trail actively.

EastLink Door-to-Door ShuttleExpress does offer private, charter transportation from Moncton to the trailhead and back. Contact them for a quote.


But if you want to get in on a future “best hike in the world” early, check the official website:

The Fundy Trail Footpath at Fundy Trail Parkway St. Martin’s New Brunswick

Trail Description:

… Big Salmon River to the boundaries of Fundy National Park, a total distance of 41km (24mi). The rugged Fundy terrain leads up and down from an elevation of 0 to 300 metres across a dozen ravines.

The recommended travel time for experienced backpackers is estimated 4 to 5 days.

We ask if you could register by calling the Interpretive Centre at Big Salmon River 506 833-2019; fax 506 833-2028 or email fundytp@nbnet.nb.ca.

Fundy Footpath Map Kits and Emergency Maps with GPS co-ordinates are available at the Interpretive Centre on the Fundy Trail or by ordering from Friends of the Fundy Footpath, 24 Cherry Court, Riverview, NB E1B 4K2 or email footpath@nbnet.nb.ca. The cost of the maps are $12.00 plus tax ($2 for shipping if ordering by mail).

… The campsites are primitive, water treatment is necessary, fires are not permitted, and a backpacker stove is recommended.

… the Goose River presently can only be crossed at low tide. This is a wilderness trail and at certain points there are no residences within 15 miles. Cellular phones will not work in all areas, …

Access Points:

> Western Portion – Big Salmon River on the Fundy Trail

> Eastern Portion – Fundy National Park

> Central – Sussex-Waterford – trail is accessed by secondary and wood roads via the Catamount Trail

Video (.wmv) of the Fundy Trail area.

shopping for a folding kayak?

Folding Kayaks – Outdoor Gear Advice | Outside Online

Folding kayaks can go in just about any water you can find…. Like all kayaks they come in many shapes and sizes, with many of them absolutely as seaworthy (some argue more so) than their rigid-hull counterparts. Many people love their folding boats because they can go literally anywhere. Take one to Europe to explore canals, for instance, or to the South Seas and paddle from island to island. Many travelers can easily handle a backpack and a folding kayak on their trip—that’s only two pieces of luggage, you lazy, ounce-counting slackers!

Before purchasing, you’ll need to think about your own needs and the type of boating you want to do. One very popular boat, for instance, is the Folbot Aleut ($1,480; http://www.folbot.com), a compact little 12-footer with some forgiving habits.


Although a little pokey, it’s a very beamy boat, so you can easily pack gear for trips up to a week long. That beaminess also makes the Aleut very stable.

Then there’s the Klepper Aerius ($2,458, including shipping; http://www.klepper.com), perhaps the classic folding kayak. It’s a big boat that can handle loads of gear for long trips (payload, in fact, is a whopping 570 pounds!). And, it can easily handle rough, open water. Faster than the Aleut, but still compact enough—at 60 pounds packed weight—to make a good travel-along boat.

Or there’s the Feathercraft Wisper ($2,812; http://www.feathercraft.com), which is similar in length yet narrower than the Aerius. Its materials (aluminum frame, lightweight skin) cut the weight to under 40 pounds—not bad for a big boat! It’ll hold a paddler and gear for long weekends or more, so while not cheap, it’s an excellent investment if you plan to be spending a lot of time traveling and paddling with one of these craft.

If you can, always try to test out a kayak before buying. Remember, you don’t climb into a kayak—you more or less put it on. So fit is important.

Any other recommendations? Inflatable kayaks, for example?

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