Launching the Trail to Salamanca

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Blog, Trail to Salamanca

Launching the Trail to Salamanca

 

The 2nd of June,  a sunny Sunday morning on the shores of Lake Geneva, was the launching pad for the Trail to Salamanca…and the countdown to the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) that convenes in Salamanca, Spain 4-10 October 2013.  Between Geneva and Salamanca, “Earth Pilgrim” Geoff Dalglish  from South Africa, will anchor a changing consortium of local hikers over 2500 km( 1500 miles), across four mountain ranges and six countries.

The Musee D’Histoire Des Sciences generously hosted the ceremonial start of The Trail for the media and 40 hikers who assembled for Day 1.  Over coffee, croissant, and powerpoint presentations, we reviewed the route,  learned about the historic achievements of hiking and ecological research in the Alps, and outlined the global objectives of  WILD10 that awaits at the end of The Trail.

With great enthusiasm, part of the initial group were young people representing CoalitionWILD, a global network of people “Under 30 for a Wilder World”  to be launched at WILD10.  Moa Sylvén, Coalition WILD Ambassador,  lead the internal contingent of teenagers on this first day of the Trail to Salamanca.

And then, we were off….. walking along the shores of Lake Geneva on the first sunny, warm day after weeks of cold, rainy springtime in Switzerland.  There is a long and storied tradition of “Los Caminos,” or sacred pilgrimages,  throughout SW Europe, and as we walked through the  old town of Geneva we saw in many places the iconic symbol of the various Caminos that  have traversed the town and surrounding landscape for  centuries.

We call our Trail to Salamanca, El Camino Salvaje – The WILD Road – as Geoff and others will follow ancient migration routes of wolves and other wildlife in recognition and celebration of the return of wildlife and wilderness to Europe.  This process has been accelerating over the past 20 years, as farming on marginal land has ceased to be desirable or sustainable, and younger generations no longer stay on the land.  As a result, some 35 million hectares of land is naturally “re-wilding”, and wildlife is being reintroduced and /or is naturally increasing.  One of the objectives of  El Camino Salvaje and of WILD10 is to highlight the opportunities this presents:  to create a new vision for Europe, one that generates new rural economies, new jobs, and future-based lifestyles.

Geneva is a superb starting place for El Camino Salvaje, as it is an example of Nature Needs Half because of its progressive urban planning.  More on that in the next blog.

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One Comment

  1. Bravo. I will be joining you at the end! Go well.

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