Steps to live well with Parkinsons

Parkinsons patient walked 1,080 miles


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Day 14 The Long Descent

Day 14 The Long Descent
Della Verna to Pieve Santo Stefano

Statistics: Steps: 37,011, Distance: 17.55 miles/ 28.0km, Climbed 1,560

After walking 42 km yesterday to Pastor Angelicus, my leg muscLes are really sore. More sore than anytime in the Past two weeks. I hobble up he impossible climb to la Verna chapels. It’s a tough climb. The path continues to climb modesty for a couple of kilometers. Then is all downhill for the next 2 kilometers.

I notice some pain in area of the right knee and quads. Time to stop and see what’s happenimg. There’s no
sign of anything of anything wrong. No swelling. I massage by right thigh and doe some stretchs. Clive and Maya strike on to Pieve Santo Stefan. My Parkinson’s
Medicone was taken hours ago and I should have taken another dose an hour ago. I take a dose now but it will take 45 minutes , in the mean time I will hobible down the path.

I follow the path until I see sign for my B&B. Then the crazy trail to the B&B. You really need a GPX file To find this B&B. I find it, but that’s part luck and part skill.

We check in and then head to the centro to get some food. After a satisfy meal. Time to go to bed And try to catch up on these blog entries.

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Day 13 The Deers

Day 13 The Deers
June 13, 2017
Stia to Della Verna

Statistics: Distance: 42.6 km/26.3 miles. Steps: 51,623
Climbing: 4,580

Up early and packed and out of the house by 4am. The plan is to do 3 days of walking in one day! It sstawrets with a climb of 10 kilometers. About 3 km into the hike I frighten two bIg deers and they both bolt away from the path. The path goes through a young forest until it reaches he summit then it turns into a forest of BEEch trees. I hear the.sound of water flowing, turns out to be a nice stream and its deep enough to sit in the water and cool off. I take a break,

After the 10 km climb – my energy is pretty tapped by the time I reach the Monastery of Eremo Camaldoli. The place is eerily quiet. Two pilgrims are resting near the entrance. The main building is being repaired with no talking. The monastery maintains a strict no talking even for the ciinstruction workers. Behind the main buildings is a small village of monks living a life of solitude.

I Hustle down to the end of the trail. There’s a cafe and I order a hamburger and French fries. The waitress is really busy, it takes forever. I start the second days trail late at 2 pm.

It immediately starts climbing going up five hundred meters over 2 kilometers. It’s’s a brutal climb. What little energy I had is completely gone now, it’s apparent there’s no way I’ll be able to complete the 30s walk this afternoon.

The first day’s hike took me aeight hours.The second days hike takes me four hours. I’ve done the mileage and the climbing of three days in one day. IAustin losses Time to find a way to get to Verna. Time is running out it’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon. There’s one more bus in 45 minutes. I buy a bus ticket at the bar and a grande Italian beer.

The bus comes last bus to Verna leave The bus driver tells me that leaves before we get to it so I’ll be stuck in the next city. After the bus driver drops everyone off then drivers me to the edge of town.
I start hitch hiking and I get picked up in five minutes by Andrea. He speaks English and he drives me right to The front door of the convent .

It is 7 o’clock The day.Is finally over.

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Day 12 The Forest Hike

Day 12 – The Forest Walk
June 12, 2017
Consuma to Stia

Statistics : distance: 14.4 miles/ 23.04km , steps:30,663. elevation climbed: 1,160 feet weather: sunny 80.


After the initial climb, the walk from Consuma to Stia is mostly a forest hike through a 50 year-old forest with sparse views.The last 5 km is along a road on the valley bottom.

The hotel manager made us coffee and provided a sugar crust croissant. A nice kick start. The 30 Germans at dinner last night are nowhere to be seen.

We head our at 5:15am and immediately start climbing. It looks like most days start with climbs. We quickly enter a forest and stay under trees for most of the day.

Mostly two track trails and forestry roads. An ocassional tree harvesting using selective clearing. I count the tree rings and it’s 50-65 rings or years old trees. Very few buildings.

Lots of ups and downs. We arrive in Stia by 10:30am. It’s a very nice town. Nice people. Great centreal cafe with wifi.

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Day 11 – Climb, Baby, Climb

Day 11 – Climb, Baby, Climb
June 12, 2017
Pontssieve to Consuma

Statistics : Distance: 14.7miles/ 23.04km , steps: 31,313. elevation climbed: 3,360 feet weather: sunny 80

Todays hike is through open wine orchards – of course with constant climbing. The day starts with a climb of 500 meters over the first 6 km to reach the charming little village of Diacceto. The bar is opens. it’s part convenient store and part bar. I order a capaccino and some yogurt. Dynamite view and scenery.

Not too long after Diacceto the path enters the forest. Occassionly there’s
a clearing but.mostly forrest. We run into tre two Danes near Consuma. They stayed in Diacceto last night.

We go to grocery store many times in Consuma. Eat well and sleep well.


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Day 10 The Cammino Begins

Day 10 The Cammino Begins
June 10, 2017
Florence to Pontassieve

Statistics: Steps: 42,608 Distance: 19.88 miles/ 31.8 km
Climbed: 1,690

We leave the flat at 5:00 am and walk through the city of Florence heading towards the countryside. Block by block the landscape becomes more and more rural. It’s so early that we see just a handful of people. We reach the beginning of the Cammino Francesco around 6:30am. There’s a nice view of the city from here. 5 minutes later we reach a bar with gelato. It’s 6:30am and I feel like a gelato. Yum yum, what a perfect way to start this walk. It hits the spot. It’s up and down but very minor. After 12 km we react Ellera. There’s a charming cafe with two very nice ladies working behind the counter. They make a great cappuccino.

Sigh, what a nice day walking through Italy. We finish the walking and Clive makes some delicious pesto pasta.

A very nice day.

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Day 9 The Duomo

Day 9 – The Duomo
June 9, 2017

Clive heads out at 7am to do some sightseeing. I have some chores to do first then I head out. Buy a bus to Ticket at the bar. Head to the bus stop and jump on the
first going to the centro.i get oft at the train station and walk to the Duamo.

I wait in a line that will allow entry when it opens in 35 minutes. The outside of the church is truly impressive. The decoration is endless and Ornate. The inside of the church is simple and void of even normal decoration. I take some picture and I head on to the Basilica of the Holy Cross.

It turns out to Closed for lunch. It’s complicated but they alsp Require thighs and shoulders to be covered. I head across the river for athe panarama views from Piazale Michelango. It’s a decent climb but the Views are to die for at the top.

I head back to the Airbnb via the covered market bridge. All the bridge stores are high end brand jewelery stores. I catch the right bus and back at the flat in record time.

Just one more thing a nite gelato. Then is complete. Bed time.



Day 8

June 8, 2017

Train ride – Siena to Florence


Steps= 22,953
Elevation climbed= 840 feet
Distance walked = 17.8  miles or 28.6 km.



Decathlon – new pack

Plaza de Campo


Day 7

June 7, 2017

Monteriggioni to Siena


Steps= 29,552
Elevation climbed= 300 feet
Distance walked = 14.0  miles or 22.5 km.


beautiful rural route

Nice Sunrise

Guy and girl

Breakfast on roadside

Fast walking to Siena


Day 6 – The Castle

June 6, 2017

Gimignang To Monteriggioni


Steps= 43,024
Elevation climbed= 910 feet
Distance walked = 20.4  miles or 32.8 km.


Long day

Dehydrated at the end

Forest walking

Lack our signs

Eric +2 bicyclers

Spaggetti  dinner


Day 5 – The Crown Jewel

June 5, 2017

Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano


Steps= 51,122
Elevation climbed= 1,230 feet
Distance walked = 24.2  miles or 38.9 km.


New hat

walk together.

Old church

Long walk into town

The towers

The monasteries

The bass and accordion players from argentina

Fruit cake

Eric drinks with dinner

Ronald/dutch teacher


Day 4 -European soccer champions

June 4, 2017

San Miniato To Gambassi Terme


Steps= 36,420
Elevation climbed= 1,650 feet
Distance walked = 17.2  miles or 27.7 km


The croissants mine or yours?

Dehydrated entering town

Arrive early




Clive and maya

Nice dinner

Eric, Ronald, Girl




Day 3

June 3, 2017

Massa to Pietrasanta


Steps= 45,166
Elevation climbed= 2,070 feet
Distance walked = 21.3  miles or 34.3 km


Day 2

June 2, 2017

Train Levanto to Maasa


Day 4 Cinque Terre

June 1, 2017


Steps= 21,023
Elevation climbed= 710 feet
Distance walked = 9.94 miles or 16.0 km



Day 3 Cinque Terre

May 31, 2017


Steps= 37,586
Elevation climbed= 840 feet
Distance walked = 17.8  miles or 28.6 km



Day  Cinque Terre

May 30, 2017

Train Milan to Monterosso, hike to Levanto


Steps= 37,586
Elevation climbed= 840 feet
Distance walked = 17.8  miles or 28.6 km


Day  –   Milan
May 29, 2017


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Aloha France

Aloha France
Day 43
Saint Jean Pied De Port, France to Milan, Italy

Official distance: 739 km
Days 42
Rest days: 14
Walking days: 28
Steps 944,892
Average daily steps: 22,497 steps/day
Miles 433.3
Average daily miles: 10 miles/day
Kilometers 693.3
Average daily kilometers: 19 km/day
Today we leave France after having finished the Le Puy to Saint Jean Pied De Port pilgrimage route.

A pilgrimage is a very personal experience. And when it takes 42 days you might have a few! People typically do pilgrimages to answer a key question in life or for religious reasons or just having an vacation.

So why did i do it?
I did it to give myself hope. Hope that I can still do things that exceed my expectations and limitations. To not let that inner voice, tell you that you can’t do it. To really believe that my best days are still ahead of me. To be a source to inspire me to remain positive about my future and to keep dreaming big!

What metrics did I have?

  • The most important metric was i going to be able to walk the whole distance or was I going to have to bicycle to finish it?
  • Could I do it with the normal medications my doctor prescribed or I would I have to exceed the daily dosage ?.
  • Will my body hold up to the every day grind of walking with a 20 pound backpack?

Did I meet or exceed my expectations?
The short answer is ….yes I definitely exceeded my expectations.

  • I walked every day and I never bicycled. That was huge.
  • I never exceeded my medications, In fact, a third of the days, I used less medication. I did take a double dose to start every day but that was within the number of doses prescribed.
  • My body held up wells considering my injuries. The reason my right knee got hurt was because I tried to walk faster than I normally do. Lesson learned – walk my own pace. In the last 10 days, I walked my pace and I was able to walk 88 km in two days with 56 km the first day and 32 km the second day. My knees never had any pain or swelling . A great way to end the Pilgrimage.

Thoughts on the Le Puy Route
The paths.Hands down the paths are incredible in so many ways. Walking along a road with cars is a very limited. Usually walking on a foot path or farm road with incredible vistas. The towns along the way are well persevere historic villages. The way is well marked as the GR65.

The Gîtes. Gite is the French word for hostel. The Gîte’s were well done. They were mostly individually owned and operated. The owners had personally done the Camino and took great pride in their Gite. The dinners were exceptional. You definitely need to reserve a day or two events in advance. In general, the tourist information office in the bigger towns will help me make arrangements.

The French People. I did not find the French people to be rude at all. I did find that there was an expectation that you should be able to speak French or at least attempt to be conversational. This was definitely true for group dinners. It also generally assumed that Americans only speak English. If I do it again I will definitely take a French course.

The Food. I lost considerable amount of weight from walking, which was great because I ate a lot of great French food. The food was exceptionally good. To me the amazing foods included the wine, bread, chocolate, and cheeses. They were all very affordable. You could buy the cheapest and it was still really excellent. I have like I love affair with the bread. I just love the taste of it and the textures. And the cheeses…OMG. There are over 1000 cheeses. Try them all!

The scenery. Scenery of the Le Puy path is incredible. The agricultural landscapes of the southern France are stunning. The little towns the path goes to our incredible. Plan on taking a lot of pictures

The Weather. The weather was variable. Could be 70 one day and 40 next day. It’s essential to be able to layer your clothes. Bring some warm clothes.

You can’t go wrong with walking this route. every facet is well done. Plan on spending 50 a day if you just want to relax and have a great time.
Today’s travel
Waking up at 4:00 am to catch a 6:00 am train from Saint Jean Pied De Port to Bayonne switch traina Au Revoir and go to Bordeaux. Then bus to the Bordeaux airport. Fly to Milan. Catch the commuter train to Milan. Then walk a couple kilometers. Then dinner, laundry and answer emails..,.

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