Thursday, December 21, 2006



My thanks to fellow UK based INWA Nordic Walking Instructor - Oliver Gynn from for contributing this interesting and amusing article. This is part 2 of Oliver's article, part 1 was posted Monday of last week (11th December).

The Picos de Europa was the destination of the next venture. As it was high summer and the tourist trade was at its peak we decided on a route nearer the sea. This was an ancient pilgrim’s route from the Pyrenees to San Diego dell Compostella. With sea breeze in our faces and a gently undulating track we strode purposefully along passing individuals in long brown habits, scallop shells hanging about their person and large staffs in their hands. These were the pilgrims...

...One inquisitive individual puzzled by our use of two poles enquired about our activity. We explained the theory behind Nordic Walking and suggested that to get most benefit he used two staffs. This he declined, so we retreated rapidly leaving him to spiral his way to the allotted shrine pondering on the meaning of life and how Nordic Walking fitted into it.

Moral of story:- Avoid pilgrims at all costs, they are only sent to confuse.

The last trip of the year was to the Italian Dolomites and a four day Nordic Walking workshop I had organised. One day whilst resting at a Refugio on the Pralongia plateaux I was intrigued to spy a lady Nordic Walker of senior years sporting a magnificent pink rinse hairdo, attired in a pink lycra outfit with matching shoes. She was accompanied by a small poodle also with a pink rinse. The poles, also pink, were only used productively to plod the tired dog along the route...

...When I had recovered from nearly drowning in my liquid refreshment I then observed a male Nordic Walker striding along the track, also accompanied by a dog. This dog was attached by a fishing reel device to the walker’s waist band via a karabiner. No wonder the man was making good speed as the German shepherd dog that was towing him across the mountain was a huge brute.

Moral of story:- You may think you look a little silly when you first start Nordic Walking but there are stranger things up in the hills.

Back to winter training now in preparation for 2007 when I hope to visit more exciting places and see more strange visions.

Oliver Gynn

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