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Am off on 29 August to walk from Ravenglass to Lindisfarne. Part of the aim is to decide which gear is going to take me from Lands End to John o’Groats next year but it should be a good fortnight away. Here is the schedule:
and here’s a map of the route
The route is from a book by John Gillham.
Have got to get busy cooking the food I want and dehydrating it. I’ll send a resupply parcel to somewhere near the half way point.
I hope to blog each day, ‘phone signal permitting. My gear for this will be a Palm Tungsten E2 and a Sony Ericcson T610 (which I hope to have shortly from Ebay). I think the Palm has now been discontinued and, although the Palm web site gives a list of compatible Bluetooth ‘phones, they are all obsolete models. Still, if I can pick the ‘phone up cheaply then it’s worth trying.
Well, I think it was a success. Good to meet up with faces, old and new. The rain could have been worse and at least it didn’t rain all the time. In fact, Saturday evening was so nice that I returned from the pub after only one pint to enjoy the view from the tent! Yes, tent. A last minute decision for me was not to take my tarp but, instead, my new Wild Country Sololite. It was good, easy and quick to put up and kept out the rain on Friday night. I probably won’t use it again now until the winter as the tarp will suit me me better for the summer months.
A few minor bits of kit were bought on the way down in Bristol – an Exped Dry Bag (XXS) to keep dry bits of kit like ‘phone, GPS, Palm, car keys, etc. and two Source 2 litre water bottles.
Saturday was spent with John Hee on a circuit taking in Lints Tor and Fur Tor avoiding paths wherever possible and just following compass bearings across bogs and leaping across streams. No good having Goretex lined boots if they go in bogs over the tops! Still, it was a good day in good company.
Here are some photos.
I can’t really get my head round this. I know that I’m not due to set off until early April 2009 but the detail of it is not falling into place. As far as Cornwall is concerned, I had thought of just ploughing up the middle until I get to Devon. After all, I’ve walked the South West Coast Path before and, although I’ll do it again one day (as it, and the beer and pasties, were so good) but it’s so up and down and in and out. On the other hand, I might just be tempted to dip in and out of it.
The other thing that’s testing me is looking at the schedules of others who have done the walk. Their routes are all neatly planned in advance so that, at before they even start, they know where they are going to be at the end of the day on each date. I’m not sure that’s for me. I’m no novice at multi day hikes and what I’ve tended to do is, if the weather is good and I’m feeling fit, to go on until perhaps the light fades and then look for somewhere to spend the night (usually wild camping). It’s amazing how unfussy I can get about the quality of a pitch if it’s getting dark! On the other hand, if it’s raining, I might want to stop early. At the moment, I’m not necessarily intending to find a proper campsite at the end of each day, although I will take an exhaustive list of sites with me so that, at a given point, I’ll know where the nearest site is.
However, I’ll need a food parcel once a week so I’ll need to know where I’m likely to be each weekend. The route is largely planned in outline (apart, once again, from Inverness northwards). Northern Scotland is so vast and empty, I’m not sure that I want to spend days floundering around cussing my lack of navigation skills. Perhaps better to stick to an eastern route which isn’t so remote.
Just got back from a weekend in Rutland – a birthday outing. Not walking but in the campervan on a delectable site at Whissendine, north west of Oakham – Greendale Farm – I can thoroughly recommend it. Just fifteen pitches and “adults only” (no, not what you’re thinking – what it means is no kids cavorting around disturbing the peace).
I didn’t get any walking done, although took the bike on a very pleasant 10 mile circuit. Nevertheless, Rutland appears to be a potentially good area for rural walking. I see that Andrew McCloy’s eastern LEJOG route passes through Oakham. However, I must get next year’s LEJOG done first and that won’t be taking me as far east.
What seems to be a compulsion for me is that whenever I’m out walking or on the bike, I cannot help looking to either side of the path or road for potential wild camping spots – very sad.
Just come back from a great weekend in the White Peak area. Drove to Youlgreave, leaving the car in a secure location there. The basis for the weekend was the John Merrill Challenge Walk, about 25 miles – a challenge if done in a day but otherwise a very pleasant circuit for a weekend. The official start and finish point is Bakewell but no reason why it has to be there.
We (that’s Frank and me) pointed ourselves towards Monyash, where we stopped for a pint at the The Bulls Head – shows how long since I’ve been there – it was called The Hobbit previously and the name was changed 16 years ago, although I assume it was The Bulls Head before then. It was raining by then and our route took us to Flagg, Taddington, up Monsal Dale in pouring rain, over the viaduct to the campsite at Park Farm. A good little site with decent facilities. The evening was spent in The Packhorse at Little Longstone.
The next day we diverted from the Challenge route and headed north to Cressbrook, stopping for a bacon butty and tea at Katie’s Kitchen at Wardlow Mires – a welcome break. Then via Foolow to Eyam, the old plague village, and a pint at The Miners Arms. After that, we dropped down to the River Derwent and climbed up to Froggat Edge, an exhilarating walk along the edge before cutting across to spend the night at the Eric Byne Memorial site, just above the Robin Hood Inn (yes, we went there). The site was good although the facilities were quite basic. The setting is superb though. There must have been about thirty or more youngsters on a D of E weekend there and it was an amazing sight, on Sunday morning at about 5.30am seeing them packing up. The only sound was them rolling up their survival bags and packing away. I don’t know if they were under orders not to make a sound but it was very impressive.
After breakfast, a pleasant walk down through Chatsworth Park to the tearoom at Edensor, meeting friends who’d come along just for a day walk back to Youlgreave, with more rain in the last hour before getting back to the car.
This is beginning to annoy me. The advertisement for this says that you get the magazine before it is in the shops. Last month, on 30 April, I emailed to jog their memory that I hadn’t received the latest issue. It was sent right away. This month, here we are on 8 June and it still hasn’t arrived. I’ve emailed them but no response as yet. I am seriously unimpressed.
This was a well attended event with around 100 or so tents and three tarps at the camp site and a lot of new ones on display. Lots of familiar faces and some fellow bloggers as well.
The weather was better than forecast with rain only coming on Sunday morning. Saturday’s main event was at the village hall in Ashford-in-the-Water, with traders offering lightweight gear that’s not available in the shops and a lot of money changed hands. At the site, I was persuaded (by me) to buy a tent, a Wild Country Sololite, mainly for winter use when it’s too inhospitable to use the tarp. It seems well designed and well made. It weighs 1.9kg which is acceptable. I wasn’t wanting anything ultra-light as I have the tarp for that. Many thanks to Ali of Wild Country who very patiently demonstrated how it was set up.
I had to try it out so one night this week was spent in it in the back garden. It was a still night with no rain but it seems fine. Of course, it hasn’t got anywhere near the space of the Golite Cave but that’s fine. It’s not meant to be a substitute and it will only be used on 10% of outings. Inside there are two pockets for personal items overnight and a hook for hanging a light from. There’s room for a pack either in the inner or in the porch. There should be room for cooking in the porch, provided I can ensure that there’s sufficient ventilation. The porch interior can be enlarged by taking a peg out and thereby shortening the length of the inner – a neat idea. I’ll get away for a weekend with it some time to give it a good test.
The weekend was over all too soon and no real opportunity to get any serious walking done. Still, that wasn’t the intention and there’ll be more trips away as summer approaches.