331 | Finishing up business in the north

Mitchel Lensink
Nov 27, 2021
1 min read

I admit, I felt like a mad man when I looked out the window this morning. At the same time, I haven't let that stop me before — why would today be the first time? Sure, there was water pouring out of the sky, perhaps intermingled with the tiniest hints of snow (and I'm not exaggerating to prove a point). Despite that, I still went out. Of course I went out! All the way up north to a place they call Bunschoten-Spakenburg.

Situated on the water's edge of het Nijkerkernauw, Bunschoten-Spakenburg is a sleepy village that's mainly known for its fishing history. You can still see obvious remnants of that when you traverse the streets. The, admittedly still nice looking, old harbour being the most obvious one. For me, this marked the start of what would be a 21.5KM walk over country roads, muddy paths and endless Dutch plains.

Some of the sections are more interesting than they might seem, if you were to judge only by its appearance on a map. Other sections are exactly as boring and repetitive as you expect them to be. None of that mattered to me. I was walking it all. I promised myself to walk the entirety of the Grebbelinie and walking it I will. Did I feel strangely self-aware on these footpath-less roads that usually only vehicles are on? Heck yeah.

But part of the fun of a challenge like this, is doing things no other people do. Things people would declare you a mad man for doing. Luckily for them, I already agreed with them so there was a lot of non-verbal, proverbial, shaking of hands when I came across people on and in vehicles. Each time our eyes met, I greeted them with a jovial 'good afternoon!', while simultaneously acknowledging with all my energy radiations that, yes indeed, I am walking here and I know it's as odd as it looks.

Now that my images are importing into Lightroom and I am typing these words, I can appreciate my accomplishment to its fullest. I wasn't sure my body was trained enough to walk this distance, certainly not in this weather, but I have made it. And I have never felt more energised before.

Receive monthly stories in your inbox.

Dialogue is a newsletter about photography, walking and other things.

Oops! There was an error sending the email, please try again.

Awesome! Now check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.