The art of walking...
"Learning to write Inntravel walking notes is an eye-opener. Thousands of you have had the pleasure of being guided through your holiday by David Lanfear – one of Inntravel’s walkers-in-chief – via his route notes. If you didn’t give them a second thought, so much the better. His art, after not sending you up blind alleys, is to take you through each day with minimal intrusion and just the right amount of reassurance about where you’re going, to ensure you can simply enjoy the sights, sounds and experiences along the way.
To learn from the master, I accompanied David while he explored a new Pyrenean route. Aside from the nitty-gritty of constructing a clear, concise set of notes, the level of effort he puts into recording each day’s walk, motivated by an overwhelming sense of care for his walkers, is humbling. He might never meet most of you, but he’s thinking about you throughout each day, not just on the ‘tracks’ and ‘paths’ (there is a difference) but over breakfast and dinner, or as he builds wonderful relationships with your hoteliers, taxi drivers and other locals who’ll be looking after you. His endless charm and enthusiasm opens doors for all of you who follow."
"As for the walking itself, what might be 15km to you – a perfect day complete with refreshing bar visits and picnic stops – could be 30km to him by the time he has explored every alternative (paths as well as bars). For once he's not joking when he says his head-torch is the most important item in his rucksack. Not only has every Inntravel route been tried and tested, but plenty of others too, before being edited out in favour of yet better ones.
It was an honour to have ‘merged paths' (one of his favourites) with David and I look forward to more time walking together one day. It’s a shame all Inntravellers can’t have that pleasure in person, though I suspect many of you wouldn’t get up the first hill before exhaustion set in, brought on by helpless laughter at his anecdotes. So the next time you reach a 'multi-junction' and unerringly find yourself heading up the correct path without undue squinting at the map, raise your water-bottle to David and remember, should your paths ever cross, to ask him to tell you about the time he almost drowned Mrs. Branson, Richard’s mum…"