Sunday, 26 January 2014

All Change

Last blog account had me looking forward to finishing the Glyndwr Way and then heading for the Welsh Coast to Coast. Well two trips to the physio for my “niggily knee” have changed that plan.

Out go long walks up hills, replaced by shorter walk on the level, for the short term anyway. Apparently, by upper thigh muscles are in balanced and pulling my knee cap incorrect and the cap is grating on the bone….. Therefore exercise program and “taping” of the knee cap to get it corrected.

So, what alternative have Ito the Glyndwr Way, well, having started the Grand Union Canal some years ago and only getting to Daventry, I have the opportunity to progress all the way to Central London.

Yesterday I undertook the first of the remaining legs (those without doggy knees!) and had a very flat (1 lock) walk of 16km, skirting around Milton Keynes (more pictures – for the most, than it sounds). I have decided not to restrict myself to following the flow of the canal (that’s if they do in fact flow) or complete it sequentially. I’ll just do which bit takes my fancy that day (how liberating!!)

So with the final mention of the Glyndwr Way for a few months, with the fact that I had completed the very pleasant stage from Lake Vyrnwy to Llangadfan, two weeks ago.

Inbetween, that walk and the walk along the canal, there has been a weekend up in the Lakes pursuing my next favourite hobby, buying from Outdoor Shops. The occasion being my 50th. (More niggily pains to come, lets hope not.) Bagging anymore Wainwright’s was put on hold in favour of visits to the hot tub at the hotel Spa!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Into 2014

In 2010 it took me 7 weeks to complete the LEJOG walk, upon its completion, to make exercising on my tread mill more interesting and to have a goal, I started a simulated return walk (JOGLE). Plotting the distance walked on the treadmill on my mapping software. Well three and half years later I final arrived at Land’s End on the last day of 2013. Saying I arrived at Land’s End, the last walk needed to be 6.9km to arrive at the coast. Having actually walked 7.0km, I suppose I walked over the cliff at the end and now have to decide whether to swim to the Lundy Island!!
So now I need to replace the challenge with another, or give up the treadmill.
Looking back to the end of 2013, I walked every weekend with the exception of 2 and I am now well into the Glyndwr Way, having started from Knighton, helped with a three day away, walking 20+mile days around Llanidloes, I am fast approaching Machynlleth, the halfway point, but as the nights were drawing in I decided to change my approach and re-start the walk from Welshpool, as it was closer to travel to, aiming to Machynlleth from there. Thus the walk will eventually end in the middle having approached from the two ends. If that makes sense? I have now completed seven walks in the original direction and three walks in the new direction, covering 60% of the walk and all contributing to the 1204miles walked last year. In December, I was distracted and walked four legs of the Trent & Mersey Canal, two at each end, thus completing this walk. Ending just outside Runcorn and at the Trent River by East Midlands Airport. Another LDP ticked off.
Whilst both the Wye Valley and Glyndwr Ways have been undulating and regularly seen days of 800m+ ascent. I need to refocus on building up my mountain legs. I have a niggling injury to my knee which hopefully some physio should sort out, then I upon completion of the Glyndwr Way I will start the Welsh Coast to Coast. Starting by Anglesey, crossing the Carnedds, the Glyders, Snowdonian, The Moelwyns, the Rhinoggs, Cadris Idris, onto Pumlumon and the Elan Valley Hills, the Black Mountains and onto the south coast at the Gower, should provide some ascent. Due to travel limitations, I plan to complete the walk in the same manner as the Glyndwr Way, by walking out and returning on the same path. Once again complete the entire distance twice upon its completion.
With my 50th Birthday and 25th Wedding Anniversary this year, there will not be a multi week walk, such as the Pennine Way or Southern Upland Way like completed in the last two years, however I plan to squeeze in the North Downs Way over two 4 day walks. (This will complete the British section of the E2 European Path) Additionally, I plan a weeks trek over Exmoor and Dartmoor on the Two Moors Way, in the summer, camping en route.
Planning is still proceeding for the Alps walk, helped by the account of a Finnish walker who completed the walk this year.

A link to an excellent video of the walk
GR5 Video 1

And one more, from two brothers who also did the walk this year
GR5Video 2