Unexpected Joys in the Clag

Barely am I back from my cruise to Greenland, Iceland and Norway (more about that if I get around to it in due course), then the post-holiday gloom of returning to work hits full face. A lack of decent walking opportunities on the cruise, means it’s 3 months since I did any form of backpacking, and I’m itching to get out. One break from work quickly spawns the need for another.  Continue reading “Unexpected Joys in the Clag”

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 7 – Everything Looks Better After a Big Glass of Whisky and a Poo

Renewed hope surges through me, thanks to the liberal application of whisky last night and some ibuprofen this morning. To cement the deal, a big cup of tea for breakfast and then I seek out the “facilities” – it’s my … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 7 – Everything Looks Better After a Big Glass of Whisky and a Poo

Old Skool

Recently I unearthed a couple of sets of typed route instructions for sponsored walks I did at school in the late ’80s. I remember these being in the region of 20 miles, which I polished off fairly easily, which was nice because I was at a sporty school and was crap at most of those sports. I remember feeling slightly smug being one of the only kids with proper walking boots. I remember feeling less smug when my Dad was operating on my heels to pop the resultant blisters, a job he botched so much I still have rough skin there to remind me of those days.

In recent years, the vague memories of those days have set me wondering about these routes and they’ve achieved an almost mythical status in my head. Many is a time I’ve been out for a walk on the North Downs and felt a stirring of a distant memory or wondered if such and such a path were part of the original walks. Now this is all solved. Continue reading “Old Skool”

The Quest for a Furthest South

Just as I arrived at Paul’s, he had the news on and a general election had been called. I took this as an omen that there could be no better time to lose myself for 3-4 days in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading “The Quest for a Furthest South”

Making it up as I go

What little fitness had been instilled in my legs in Wales already felt like it was ebbing, and so it was time to top them up. The aim was simply to do a long walk and carry a decent load – and to have a bit of up and down. That ruled out staying my side of the river – it’s pancake flat here. I quickly hatched a plan whereby I’d catch the Tilbury ferry to Gravesend and do a big circular walk on the North Downs from there, finding somewhere to pitch up overnight. The sort of thing I’ve done many times before, usually when training for a bigger walk to come. Continue reading “Making it up as I go”

Cambrian Way #9: Bryn y Fedwen to Mallwyd (Days 20-21)

The euphoria of knocking off 15 miles and nearly 1000m of ascent on a day when I was feeling sluggish soon wore off. The wind picked up in the night and was really pressing on the tent. Again I had bits of cheap Chinese inner in my face. I was glad to get up, but boy was it cold. I set off wearing 4 layers. Continue reading “Cambrian Way #9: Bryn y Fedwen to Mallwyd (Days 20-21)”