Loving Long Distance Trails at 79 Years Young

Wandering through the village of Conques
Wandering through the village of Conques

Loving Long Distance Trails at 79 Years Young

If you're looking for some walking inspiration, look no further than Heath de Burgh. 
 
Heath is a veteran UTracks Traveller and has completed many of the world's great hiking trails. Her accomplished routes include...take a deep breath...sections of the Via Francigena and the St Francis Way in Italy; sections of the Camino de Santiago and Granada and the Alpujarras in Spain, Mt Everest's Kanshung Face in the Himalayas; Macchu Pichu and the Inca trail; the 18-day Mongolian Panorama; and the Warrumbungle Summits and end-to-end Larapinta Trail in Australia.
 
She was recently interviewed by The Senior in an article by Therese Murray, titled 'Heath de Burgh returns to long walks'. We highly recommend reading it for a healthy dose of inspiration.
 
Scenes along the French Way of St James |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i> Scenes along the French Way of St James |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i> Scenes along the French Way of St James |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>
 
Heath's only just returned from walking the Full French Way of St James. This is an epic 40-day self-guided hike through some of France's most beautiful villages and scenery. Not only did she walk the trail at 79 years young, she did it by herself! 
 
I met heaps of people, made friends and then lost them again along the way. Sometimes I walked all day without seeing another soul but you’re never alone on the Camino!
 
Wandering through the village of Conques Near the Dalaizon Ravine Rush hour in Le Chaze
 
Heath gave 5-stars to the the Full French Way of St James in France walk.
 
"Another fabulous trip with UTracks! The scenery was beautiful. Moorlands and broom for the first week or so – dairy country - punctuated by beautiful little villages and cathedrals, churches and chapels along the way. Then miles and miles of wheat, corn and sunflower crops with a few grape vines thrown in. 
 
I met lots of people, and then lost them again when we did different distances. And then we’d bump into each other again later. Wonderful camaraderie and all doing the same thing and loving every minute of it. UTracks, as usual, organised everything beautifully. All I had to do was walk."
 
Many cows of the Way of St James |  <i>Allie Peden</i> Tonight's lodging along the Way of St James |  <i>Allie Peden</i> Country lifestyle spotted along the Way of St James |  <i>Allie Peden</i>
 
Our favourite quote is at the end of the article, where she perfectly sums up the UTracks active travel philosophy: "I'd much rather see the world this way than in a tour bus," she said.

 
 
 

  
Do you have an inspiring tale to share? We'd love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below.
Or do you have any recommendations on where Heath should walk next? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
 
  
 
France, Full French Way of St James, Senior hiking, Senior walkers, Long distance walking trails

Comments (2)

Sheila Manning

Such an inspiration to me! Who will be 79 in January. Although I have done hiking and walk everywhere in my city, I have always wanted to do something similar, but everyone has concerns about going solo..I have done many many cycling tours in Europe, but never a walking tour..I have pondering such a trip during Covid while traveling virtually! Lol Maybe this will be an idea for celebrating my 80th! Thank you Heath and UTracks for this article!

2 months ago
William from UTracks

Thanks so much for your kind words Sheila, it's made our Friday here at UTracks! We'll also pass your message to Heath who will certainly appreciate it too.

Regarding your ambitions for a solo walking trip in Europe - there are plenty of safe options for hiking for solo travellers. The Camino de Santiago is a particularly good route for solo travellers as there are many people walking the trail so you're never really walking alone. Feel free to reach out to our team of active travel experts and we'll be able to make your 80th birthday wishes come true. :-)

2 months ago
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