This week, as the sun hid its nose behind the bushy white clouds and the air softened its glow around my face, I felt autumn.
What was I to do on an autumnal day, to keep fit, healthy and well I thought. I picked up my phone book and was nudged by a lady I knew that organised group treks in the mountains around Barcelona. I called her up and did what I usually do…I interviewed her.
I came off the phone feeling very inspired to discover the region, by foot, with a beautiful group of like-minded others. Here’s what our conversation looked like.
What inspired you to start your trekking groups?
I absolutely love nature. I love being in the mountains. I love being outside the city and I love trekking. I thought to myself one day, why not combine all the things I love and make a living doing it. That way I help me and I help others love trekking like I do.
What does the trekking day look like?
We start at a reasonable time, around 10am. We don’t go to early in case people want to sleep in or use their mornings for other things. We hike for approximately 2-3 hours and amongst that, we have 30 minutes of Pilates and 15 minutes of meditation along the way. We also stop for a break at a beautiful bar or cafe after the walk so people can relax and get to know one another better. Plus I think we all deserve a nice treat after all that work we do. We aim to finish around 4pm so people can have the evenings to themselves.
Where are the treks?
Always outside of Barcelona, usually in zone one or two so we don’t have too far to travel with public transport. There are so many beautiful spots to trek, like the Collserola in the mountains, the Masnou region on the coast and Garraf and its boastful national park.
What sort of person would enjoy a day out on your treks?
Anybody really. It’s open to all age groups, even children. You don’t even have to have done Pilates before, or be a keen meditator. If you’re open for a good day of trekking and Pilates and meeting new people, then it’s the group for you. One thing I’ll add is that everyone that comes is very friendly.
What do I need to bring?
Proper clothes and shoes for walking, good sun block for the summer and rain gear for the winter. Definitely some water and snacks for the road.
Do any surprises show up on your treks. You know, like romances or realisations?
People always seem to go away with new friends and new aspects of their community. They really bring people together. And I think the walking, meditation and nature brings people home to themselves. They get to connect to who they really are. I haven’t seen any romances yet, but it would be cool if it happened.
How do you feel when you guide a trek?
It feels great. I feel like a mountain guide, taking care of everyone and making sure they have a good time. It gives me purpose. And to be honest, I’m a really friendly woman who loves meeting new people so it really uplifts me spending the day with the groups.
What’s your dream for you and the trekking group?
At the moment we have one group a month. But they’re so wonderful and in fact very popular that I think we need to run them once a week. There’s only 12 places in each group and they fill up quickly so it seems the group and I dream of doing more of it. That would be cool, to take people trekking and spreading the love in the mountains.
So, in the spirit of mountain love, trekking guides and wellbeing, thank you Niki.
If you’d also like to join us on a future trek, you can contact Niki here:
Anneka and Teresa