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  1. BobM

    Seasons Greetings

    Best wishes for the Festive Season and for 2022.🎅 I am getting to know the Greek alphabet, which is something good that has come out of the pandemic. Thankfully, they skipped from delta to omicron, passing over kappa, the first letter of the Greek word kaos [Eng: chaos] (the abyss or emptiness...
  2. BobM

    COVID My COVID Passport

    My travel is a bit restricted at the moment, so my COVID Passport does not have many nice stamps. Sigh😞 Bob M Credits to cartoonist LeLievre.
  3. BobM

    New Year in Japan and the temple bells

    I probably won't get to walk the Kumano Kodo this year, so I am reading a few books set in Japan instead. I have just started 'Beauty and Sadness' by the Nobel Laureate writer Yasunari Kawabata. When the book was written in 1975 (according to the book), the sound of temple bells from all over...
  4. BobM

    Murray to Mountains Rail Trail

    Has anyone walked this trail from Bright to Wangaratta? I am looking to do the walk in the next month. I need a regular walking fix until the world opens up again and I can walk the Kumano Kodo that I wanted to do in 2020 before too much physical decrepitude sets in. I have done a few itty bitty...
  5. BobM

    Seasons Greetings for 2020

    Best wishes to Ivar and to all of us who have found this forum to be such a wonderful resource and a source of practical help and a supportive shoulder to lean on - not only in this COVID year, but for many years. My thoughts are with so many individuals on this forum who have been both a help...
  6. BobM

    COVID Good Luck, everyone!

    Best wishes to all of you currently on the road and struggling to deal with COVID-19 restrictions in real time. I love those house-bound Italians playing music from their balconies or banging pots in time to the music and calling out to their neighbours; clapping in unison from their balconies...
  7. BobM

    Starting to plan and need a guidebook to the Kumano kodo routes

    I am starting to plan one of the Kumano Kodo routes (1 week approx.) for maybe the northern autumn this year or spring in 2021. I have found the following guides and would like some help making a choice. Hans Beumer guide Kat Davis guide Official guide Best wishes Bob M
  8. BobM

    Recognition for service

    Another thread (Vale David Barrett) prompted an idea which may not have been appropriate in that thread of condolences. I also have reservations about the idea, which I will explain. There are so many deserving people working and supporting the various pilgrimage routes, that it would be nice...
  9. BobM

    Giving away my guidebook on the Israel National Trail

    Having finished my walk in Israel, I have longer any need for my guidebook on the Israel National Trail (INT). I will give it to anyone who will pay for postage. But I have taken the guidebook apart and also highlighted certain sections for my own use, so the book has been mutilated. The first...
  10. BobM

    Walking the Camino Frances multiple times - why?

    When I walked the CF I met a man who was walking the CF for the third time. The first two times were with his wife. After she passed away here he was walking for the third time, but by himself. He was not particularly talkative. Once I met him deep in thought sitting on a seat and I was about...
  11. BobM

    Jaffa to Jerusalem

    Re my intended December walk from Jaffa to Jerusalem, I have pretty much sorted out my route etc. There are many interesting POIs along this route: Important sites relating to the 1948 War of Independence, a British Cemetery at Ramla dating back to WW1, tombs of Old Testament Prophets (eg Dan)...
  12. BobM

    Need a map creation app

    I want to build a fairly simple schematic map (eg no topo information) from scratch using say a generic OSM base map but adding my own layers for places, roads, POI etc and deleting pre-set layers that I don't need. It is a pretty tedious task to do all that manually, so I am looking for an app...
  13. BobM

    I want to travel on the old Jaffa to Jerusalem train after my walk

    This is a long shot, but I am always impressed with the knowledge of contributors to Ivar's forum so here goes. I plan to walk from Jaffa to Jerusalem in early December and will have some free time in Israel afterwards. I would like to ride the old Jaffa - Jerusalem train if it is possible. It...
  14. BobM

    Looking for a 'retreat' to stay at in Jerusalem

    I hope to arrive in Jerusalem about December 6, after walking from Jaffa. This will be the culmination of a walk started in Canterbury, England some years ago. I will spend a few days in Jerusalem and would prefer to stay in a place that encourages reflection (and possibly wallow in nostalgia 😥...
  15. BobM

    Convert Google Maps directions into a GPX file?

    Google Maps used to allow users to convert navigating directions into a KML/KMZ file; or you could import the URL for your Google Map directions into a GPX file using an app like GPS Visualizer. Google have disabled that very useful functionality and you now have to register, give your credit...
  16. BobM

    Dutch custom of 'dropping'

    According an article in the New York Times the Dutch have a scouting tradition called 'dropping' by which children are left in the forest at night and have to find their own way back to base. See reactions to the NYT article at Dutch custom of 'dropping'. Now I know why the Dutch are so...
  17. BobM

    Any small but good thermos flasks?

    I am looking for a good thermos flask to keep about 500ml (1 pint to our American friends) of coffee piping hot for 5 or 6 hours, say, when I want to take a coffee break on the road ( I know the best flask at such times is actually a café, but please bear with me for a moment). When I asked for...
  18. BobM

    Anyone using a Drone?

    I have been thinking of taking a drone on my next walk and would like to hear actual user experiences. There are a million drones, but the cheapest ones have limited battery life (eg 15 min or less) and are not much good in a breeze (according to some users). The better ones see Best drones have...
  19. BobM

    How are you dealing with the heat wave?

    I hope everyone now walking across France is coping OK with the heat wave (canicule). Any tips to share? I walked part of the VF in a heat wave, so I know how tough it can be. At a few of the places I stayed at, my room was on the top floor, right under the roof, so they were the hottest of all...
  20. BobM

    The Way of the 88 Temples - Journeys on the Shikoku Pilgrimage

    The 88 Temple Pilgrimage (Henro Michi) around Shikoku Island, Japan may not be as well-known as pilgrimage routes in Europe, but it is a uniquely different experience that is worth considering as an alternative long-distance pilgrimage. I just finished reading Robert Sibley’s book, The Way of...