DEUX PAS VERS L’AUTRE
March 15, 2018
Words & Photos: Deux Pas Vers l’Autre
A 10,000 kilometer (6214 mile) thru-hike may seem epic, but it’s not. It’s just us: Marie and Nil. It’s just us trying our best to live the way we believe we’re meant to live – striving to satisfy both our curiosity and our thirst for nature.
We could have chosen to travel by any other means. We could have taken a plane and traveled to Istanbul in three and a half hours. Instead we’ve opted to go on foot, to set out on a journey that will take us a year and a half.
The magic of traveling on foot comes from the way it forces you to slow your pace, to see and appreciate everything around you, and the time it gives you to stop and chat with strangers along the way. The less magical part is the logistics: finding food and water (and treating blisters!).
The making of Deux Pas Vers l’Autre
Deux Pas Vers l’Autre (2PVA) means ‘two steps towards others’. We like to picture 2PVA as a triangle made up of the three kinds of people (or actors) that are involved in our adventure.
In one corner you’ll find the upstream protagonists – us and our various partners. This includes all the preparation work we’ve done, our partners, and their products and services. Among our partners are institutions that are willing to spread and preserve Europe’s cultural and natural heritage, several reputable outdoor industry brands, and the various media that are telling our story.
In the triangle’s second corner are the people we’ll meet along the road. They don’t know it yet but they will play a major part in this project! They’re the reason we initiated this adventure – we want to make sure we meet new people every step of the way.
The last corner includes the people who are following us in one way or another. We imagine 2PVA as a common resource, a window to the world, something shared between all those who want to be a part of it.
Exploring Europe by foot
Chile, Vietnam, Canada… all are great destinations, but for us Europe is home. We’re often asked why we chose to travel in Europe when we could have picked any other part of the world. Well, we’re both European but we shared a nagging feeling that we still didn’t know much about our own continent.
2PVA is an attempt to discover and learn more than what modern media tells us – from hidden landscapes to the tiny details that can only be revealed when you take the time to look, listen and pay attention. In each country, we’ll invite a local resident to hike along with us for a few days. This way, we intend to go deeper in our understanding of each country, culture and environment.
"In each country, we’ll invite a local resident to hike along with us for a few days. This way, we intend to go deeper in our understanding of each country, culture and environment."
From the extreme south west in Sagres to the far south east border of Europe in Istanbul – we’ll hike around the edge of the Mediterranean Sea’s European banks (with a few extra countries thrown in for scenic and cultural reasons).
Thru-hiking in Europe might be different than hiking in most of other parts of the world. Our journey will be filled with history, remote villages, various countries and even more various languages, and we’ll be traveling with a feeling of freedom.
20km (12.4 miles) a day for 17 months
After several training trips, we’ve set our daily average distance at 20 kilometers. This will vary depending on the various terrains, weather, encounters, fatigue, injuries, and so on. 20 kilometers miles a day, even with a heavy bag, is quite reasonable. From a physical point of view, the real difficulty will lie in being able to repeat this for 17 months. Neither of us have ever embarked on such a long thru-hike.
But there’s more. As well as hiking, each day will be filled with encounters, interviews, video and photo editing, and writing articles to share our adventures with you in almost real time (and, yes, we’re aware there are only 24 hours in a day!). Succeeding in doing all of this when spending our nights in a tent might turn out to be the adventure’s biggest challenge.
"We could have taken a plane and traveled to Istanbul in three and a half hours. Instead we chose to go on foot, to set out on a journey that will take us a year and a half."
This adventure wouldn’t be possible without the freedom offered by modern technology. Without the latest advances in the outdoor and electronic technology, especially ultralight equipment, we simply could not undertake such a journey and share it in the way we’re planning to – making it both interactive and collaborative. Similarly, it would have taken years to create the itinerary we put together thanks to the countless resources available on the internet.
Join us on our adventure
On 3 February, we set off on our 10,000km adventure! Follow us through our stories in The Southern Chronicles as well as our website, blog, Facebook and Instagram.