Mostly Walking ...
... with Kel and Ann
in France

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We are two Australians who love walking. We have long enjoyed walking in the landscapes of Australia but in 1986 we discovered the Grandes Randonnées of France and our lives were changed.

Since then, interspersed with further explorations in Australia, we have walked many kilometres through the European countryside, sometimes on long walks of up to a fortnight and sometimes on shorter day walks when based in a particular region.

We love meandering from place to place in the countryside and are fascinated by the layers of history encountered in the countries of Europe. We love clambering over ruins and are intrigued by buildings that have stood since, perhaps, the 12th century. And we enjoy discovering linguistic oddities, cultural practices and good food and wine.

We have set up this site to share our experiences with those of similar mind and with those who are just discovering the joys of walking.

Walking with us
About walking and How we got hooked
Walking from place to place means different things to different people.

Some want walking to be a challenge, like walking across the Simpson Desert or Antarctica. Others add an altruistic purpose and walk to raise money for charity. Some do it for exercise. In some cultures walking is simply the way you get from one place to another. Many of us walk for pleasure - to enjoy nature and to get away from the city into wild, deserted places where we like to imagine we are far from a regimented world.

But there is walking of another kind. It is the walking of discovery, the walking of travellers whose sole purpose is to discover places, slowly on foot. It is the walking described in classic books like Hilaire Belloc's The
Path to Rome, Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, John Hillaby's Journey through Europe or Bernard Levin's Hannibal's Footsteps.

Over the years we had read and enjoyed these books. Then, one day we came across another book which seemed to make some of this experience possible for us. Although there are now many more books about walking just about everywhere, Adam Nicholson's
Long Walks in France, published in 1983, seductively described nine long walks in different regions of France. He wrote about the beautiful French countryside but he also wrote about the towns and villages, the people in the towns and on the farms and some of the historical events, even turning points in history, that had taken place right where he walked.

A seed was sown and in 1986, we decided to pick a few ideas out of the book and try walking in France. We were hooked. And so began an addiction that continues to this day.
About our walking
This is unashamedly a personal account of our walking experiences.

We began our walking in the south of France and that's where most of our French walks are, simply because we've loved it so much and haven't yet exhausted its possibilities. In Spain and Portugal we have been attracted to remote mountain areas. In Italy classical landscapes and mountains have been equally enticing. Then, looking for somewhere different, we found Romania.

We haven't always restricted ourselves to walking, sometimes renting accommodation and hiring a car to get around when staying for a while. That is why we have called the site
Mostly Walking.
© K. Stillman and A. Pugh
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