Back on the road

Less than a year after last taking leave of my senses I have once again attempted to fit everything I need to survive in a single rucksack and leave myself to the mercy of the elements for an extended period.

I’ve grabbed a two week window of opportunity to complete the coast to coast long-distance path, an almost two hundred mile walk that cuts across Britain at it’s most dramatic and beautiful ‘neck’ of northern England before joining the ‘head’ that is Scotland. Not only is it the most amazing cross-section of England, taking in three national parks including the daddy of them all (the lakes), it is supposedly the second best long distance walk in the world, I guess because of the variety of landscape you experience. It’s legendary among walkers and I’m grabbing the chance to do it before other commitments make it unfeasible to do in a single stretch.

In some ways I’m more prepared than last time. I have extended backpacking experience and have been building up my stockpile of lightweight (and expensive) gadgets and technical clothes for a while. On the other hand I’m probably less fit now then when I started last year and definitely more overweight-I’m wearing the same trousers as before and they feel noticeably tighter against the small slab of flab that is protecting my midrift from imminent danger. If I was about to go walking in the desert I’d be all set with my camel-like hump. As it is, the one thing northern England is not scarce of is calourific foods laden with saturated fat so I doubt I will be required to dip into these reserves very often.

Joking aside, I am slightly concerned that it it took me about 2-3 weeks to adjust my body (especially my feet) to the rigours of walking over 15 miles a day, with the first 2 weeks being the most painful. This is fine of you’re walking for 12 weeks, but if the pattern repeats itself I’ll end up spending the entire two weeks in varying degrees of discomfort and pain. Not ideal obviously! However I have to remind myself this isn’t the Himilayas, how bad can it get?

3 Responses to “Back on the road”

  1. 1 Gayle June 7, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Have fun! Hope the weather is kind to you and your feet are happy (or at least forgiving!).

    I rather liked the Coast to Coast – even the farmland bit in the middle that many describe as uninteresting. It’s a busy old route – but a good one.

  2. 3 baz carter June 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Good to see that you’re back on the trail.

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