Since coming back from the West Highland Way and making sure I didn’t incur the wrath of medical professionals, I have been mainly resting up to avoid any lasting effects from injuries sustained on the West Highland Way. So although I haven’t done a great deal of walking, I have been doing a lot of planning, which I feel is almost exactly the same thing.
As I was finishing the West Highland Way blog, the motivation was high for many other adventures and challenges and, having been hiking vicariously through the actions of others on YouTube and through the words of those in magazines, I came up with a number of things to do over the next year.
500 Mile Challenge
Emblazoned throughout the May edition of country walking was their 1000 and 500 mile challenges for 2017. They insisted that there was plenty of time still to do it and it seems that everything counts: walking to work, walking to the shops, walking at lunchtime and even, fittingly for a magazine called Country Walking, walking in the countryside! So, having done the calculations, there certainly is plenty of time, especially if I include the 96 miles of the West Highland Way. Then I started thinking: I walk to work every day, well, to the station and then from Liverpool Street across Tower Bridge to work, so I should be able to work out my total for the year so far. In addition to that, I know the dates I walked the 13 miles from Newbury Park to home (having missed the last train and having no battery on my phone to get an Uber one Friday night) and the two miles along the shore of Rutland Water. There are quite a few lunch time strolls that I won’t be able to include between January and April, however, by the end of May, I will have still clocked up around 550 miles for the year.
So, now the challenge is 1,000 miles and my progress, along with lots of nerdy stats, can be found here.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could include some quality miles in my 1,000, rather than just commuting miles, so I have included a couple of trails in my challenges. Having been bitten, well, mauled, by the Thames Path last year, I thought I would try and complete this trail, in stages on day hikes. I just need to find a few spare weekends. There’ll be a page for that as soon as I start.
This is something I had planned last year but was unable to do because of injury. It should be possible to do over three days by walking from convenient station to convenient station and going home each day. Inconveniently, these stations tend to be closed over bank holiday weekends: the most convenient time to do it. I shall probably have to take a couple of days leave to do this.
I saw this walk in the September 2016 issue of Country Walking and again was going to do it last year, but again . . . injury. I had planned to do it on the Saturday of the May Bank Holiday when the trains were working. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to do anything approaching the necessary planning conducive to achieving a 21 mile walk away from home. Soon . . .
Going to the pub
So instead, I walked 18 miles to The Viper Pub in Mill Green, Essex. This required absolutely no planning as I had done it before, required absolutely no map, as apparently I have a really excellent memory and absolutely no waterproof clothing because the weather on the bank holiday weekend was unusually scorchio.
I won’t rehash an old story, but I will just say that cows with calves look angry if you go anywhere near them and horses look really disappointed if you enter their field without any food (poor horses).
In other pub news, The Viper is great, sells a mean bacon and brie sandwich and serves really good beer. I think that is probably it for May.