About

A career break… Yes, that’s what I’ll call it!

I have always had wanderlust and this was possibly fueled by growing up in the multicultural surrounds of Melbourne. I would take a sandwich to school for lunch and trade it with my friends for spanakopita and baklava, amazed that a boring old sandwich could be traded for such exotic delights.

While studying at university, I took an internship in Tokyo and climbed Mt. Fuji for the first time. “A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji, a fool climbs it twice,” say the Japanese, but I am neither a man nor a fool and climbed to the top 7 times during the 7 years I lived there. From Tokyo to Toronto to London where I’m now based, I am searching for many of life’s answers, and hoping to find them along a trail… somewhere…

So far in my quest to find the answers I have walked over 10,000km and written a daily blog about the Camino Frances (2013), Coast to Coast (UK-2013), Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage (Japan-2013), Thames Path (UK-2013), Camino Portuguese (2014, 2016, 2017), Hadrian’s Wall (UK-2014), Cinque Terre (Italy-2014), Camino Primitivo (2014), Camino Ingles (2014), the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada (2015) and the Kumano Kodo (2017).

*** If you’re planning on walking any of these trails, you’ll find heaps of handy info in the above links and if you have a question I haven’t answered, feel free to write a comment or send me an email.***

My ever-growing list of long-distance walks I’d love to do includes:

  • Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome – UK to Italy

  • Via de la Plata – Spain

  • Oslo to Trondheim – Norway

  • GR20 – Corsica

  • Lycian Way – Turkey

  • Te Araroa – NZ

  • Bibbulman Track – Australia

  • Baekdudaegan Trail – South Korea

  • Kokoda Trail – PNG

  • heaps in Japan!

  • etc…

Let me know if you have a favourite walk I should attempt!

If you need some daily inspiration head over to my travel quotes page and feel free to add to the list 🙂

Or if you want to sit back, relax and experience the PCT vicariously, then click here for my latest video.

Buen Camino, Happy Trails, Solvitur Ambulando!

Kat

Email: followingthearrows@hotmail.com

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” – Lao-Tzu, Chinese Philosopher 604-531 BC

122 responses to “About

  1. Kat!

    Love your 88 Temple blog. I’m walking the full trail October – November, camping out and the occasional bed (hopefully!). I’ve planned, the best I can, roughly how much walking per day and where to stop, averaging roughly 30km a day. Now I see you’ve got a few 50km days. Question – HOW? Also did you find it difficult with your injured knee? Inspire me please!

    Cheers,

    Taryn

    Like

    • Hi Taryn, the long days were along long stretches of road with no elevation gain and my motivation was just to get to the accommodation 😉 My knee was fine along the roads and I just had to take it very slow coming downhill in the mountains. You’ll be fine and I’m sure you’ll have an incredible time!!! Xx

      Like

    • Hi Kat,

      A very kind Sarah Williams (Toughgirlchallenges) pointed me to your site of information. I will be going to Shikoku in September, October, and November to walk the trail… a bit slower than you perhaps. Your information is very helpful on costs, accommodation, etc. Thank you,
      Peter Birkwood

      Like

      • Hi Peter,
        I hope you have a wonderful time! (Just in case you’re unaware though, September is typhoon season in Japan, so if your plans are flexible it might be better to start after this…) Any questions, let me know!

        Like

      • Yes thank you for that advice I will go later in September and visit friends first before embarking. The rainfall can be intense. I seem to get help from all the Adventure ladies! Thanks again your trip details are very useful.

        Kindest regards
        Peter

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Kat, You’re walking passion is absolutely inspiring! I have an interest in walking the route (if there still is one) from London to Canterbury, like the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Tales–telling stories enroute. Have you done that/ or considered it? I’d love to do it with a few other people.

    Like

  3. Hi, Kat

    We are a party of male and female 4 people living in Ise city who met you at Tsuzurato of Kumano Kodo on May 20. Do you remember us? Taking a commemorative photo together, I asked them to talk about the two snakes. I am moved by the power of Kat who is traveling alone all over the world. Have you finished your trip to Kumano Kodo already?

    Please enjoy your journey in Japan.

    Toshio Nakamura

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nakamura-san,

      It was wonderful to meet the four of you and I really enjoyed the break on top of Tsuzurato-toge. Thank you to everyone for all the sweets too!

      I arrived in Shingu yesterday and I really enjoyed the Iseji route but it’s a shame that there’s hardly any signs. I’m planning to start the Ohechi tomorrow from Tanabe and then I’m flying home at the end of the month.
      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Kat

      Like

  4. Hi Kat,
    Always nice to read the blog – and see the nice pictures!!
    You should start to be a tour guide – would like to be part of it all….
    Thanks Klaus

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kat,
    Just beginning to plan a 2 month walk on Shikoku and your blog is quite helpful.
    If I may I have some basic questions:
    1. Weather: What would you say are the best 2 months to walk to get
    the best weather?
    2. We’re both in our70″s and did 350 miles on the Camino Portugese
    last September ( starting in Porto & including Finesterre and Muxia ).
    Our goal on the Shikoku trail is to do about 400 miles and as that is
    only about 40% of the whole route I wonder if you could rough out
    a Greatest Hits list of temples we should walk to ( we’ve both been
    involved with Tibetan Buddhism for almost 50 years ) and those
    ” in – between ” arras we could / should cover by bus / train / taxi or
    whatever.
    3. On the Camino we made use of the Backpack Transfer services, and
    so didn’t have to carry our packs and we wonder if there are similar
    services on the Shikoku trail ?

    As you probably write answers to similar questions all the time, I’d be happy to call you if you send me your number.

    Regards and thanks
    Jon Gregg

    Like

    • Hi Jon,
      Sorry for the delay, I’m just back from a walking trip to Japan myself and the wet October I just experienced (for a second time) will greatly influence my answers to your questions!

      1. Weather: What would you say are the best 2 months to walk to get the best weather?
      I walked it in October 2013 expecting gorgeous autumnal cool days and instead got three typhoons. I’m just back from Japan having spent all of October there and again got hit with typhoons so I would say spring is a more settled time of year – march/april or april/may. June is the rainy season, July & August is sticky hot, September is typhoon season (and unseasonably October is increasingly getting typhoons too).

      2. We’re both in our 70″s and did 350 miles on the Camino Portugese last September ( starting in Porto & including Finesterre and Muxia ). Our goal on the Shikoku trail is to do about 400 miles and as that is only about 40% of the whole route I wonder if you could rough out a Greatest Hits list of temples we should walk to ( we’ve both been
      involved with Tibetan Buddhism for almost 50 years ) and those ” in – between ” arras we could / should cover by bus / train / taxi or whatever.
      This is the hardest question I get quite a bit and I can never really answer it. I think it will depend how much you like/dislike walking along roads compared to walking in the mountains and you could plan this by looking at the map book. Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama and a night at Zentsuji temple (#75) where Kobo Daishi was born are two highlights not to be missed.

      3. On the Camino we made use of the Backpack Transfer services, and
      so didn’t have to carry our packs and we wonder if there are similar
      services on the Shikoku trail ?
      Not that I’ve heard of but if you’re planning to stay in accommodation then you can pack very light – in minshuku’s or ryokans you’re given a yukata dressing gown that you can wear to dinner and bed, and you can wash your clothes most evenings so you really only need one set of walking clothes (that are quick drying), then a warmer layer like a fleece as well as rain gear. I don’t even take a second pair of shoes to Japan anymore.

      Feel free to ask any more questions you have,
      Kat

      Like

  6. Hi Kat, hitting Temple 67, 68, 69 today on the Shikoku route. Walked most of it and took train or bus due to difficulties finding accommodation or 2 Typhoons! I have been averaging about 25 km per day. Mostly road and pavement walking and dodging cars! Losing weight has been great! It should be called The Shikoku diet!

    Like

Comments or questions? Go for it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s