A Walking Charm

I’ve been rereading my book, The British Book of Spells and Charms, and came across this Celtic charm.

It should help me across the hillier bits of Wales.

A Blessing or a Charm for a Journey

May the hills lie low

May the sloughs fill up

In Thy way.

May all evil sleep

May all good awake

In Thy way.

England Wales East West Possible Route

Estimated 470 miles with ascent 38,590ft (11,762meters)

 

Start: Lowestoft

The Angles Way/Via Beata

Beccles

The Angles Way/Via Beata

Ditchingham

Great Moulton

Banham

East Harling

Via Beata

Thetford (North of)

Brandon

Ely                                                Fen Rivers Way/ Via Beata/ Ouse Valley Way                                  

Stretham                                   Ouse Valley Way/ Via Beata

Bluntisham                                Ouse Valley Way/ Via Beata

St Ives

RAF Wyton (Graham was posted here in the 1970s)

Huntingdon (South East of)

Godmanchester (North of) Ouse Valley Way

Brampton                                  Ouse Valley Way/ Three Shires Way

Raunds                                        Three Shires Way/ rural FPs

Irthlingbrough

Wellingbrough                         rural FPs/ Via Beata

Brixworth (South of)

Northampton (North of)

East Haddon

Long Buckby

Daventry (North of)              rural FPs/ Grand Union Canal

Braunston

Long Itchington

Royal Leamington Spar       Grand Union Canal/Via Beata

Warwick                                    Shropshire’s Avon Way/Via Beata

Snitterfield                                Monarchs Way/ Via Beata/Arden Way

Wooten Warwen

New End                                    Millenium Way/Via Beata

Ink Berrow

Crowle

Worcester Rural FPs/Three Choirs Way/Via Beata

Darbys Green

Stoke Cross

Little Cowarne

Marden

Wellington

West Hope

Breadwardine

Hay on Wye

Wye Valley Walk/rural FPs

Breacon Beacons  Three Rives Ride/rural FPs

LLangynidr                                Beacons Way

Fan y Big                                    Beacons Way

Pen y Fan                                  Beacons Way

llwyn-y-celyn    (YHA)           Beacons Way

Dan yr Ogof            (Caves)   Beacons Way

LLanddeusant (YHA) Beacon’s Way

Carmarthen                              Beacons Way/ rural FPs

Bronwydd                                  Landsker Boarderlands Trail/ rural FPs

Cerrig LLadron rural Fps/ Via Beata

Letterston rural Fps/ Via Beata

St. Davids rural Fps/ Via Beata

Finish

 

 

Preparing the Kit

Just starting to panic now.

How is all this gear going to fit in my rucksack?

My new tent is a bit bigger than my old one and a little heavier too. I was struggling with the lack of space in my lovely old Vaude Lizard tent – getting in and out of tight spaces seems to get more difficult as I get older.

I’m trying out a sleeping quilt on this trip – should be much more comfortable than a sleeping bag.

Also, as I’m travelling in summer for once, I’m going to try a solar charger for my power pack. I’ve tried solar before with no joy but this setup is bigger and I’m hoping for a decent amount of Sun!

So far so good

More kit news as I get going.

England Wales Coast to Coast – 2021

Planning for the Next Walk August 2021

Next week, the latest of Graham’s long walk adventures will begin. He will be walking from Lowestoft in East Anglia to St David’s in Wales; a journey of around 450 miles. Hugo (our chorkie) and I will be dropping him off and picking him up at the other end in the motorhome. We hope you’ll enjoy following his progress on the blog and on Instagram (grahamslongwalks).

C2C summary

Here is Graham’s summary. I’ll add some of his favourite photos from along his trek at the end.

Actual walk

Now that I have access to my laptop I have been able to download the data from my GPS.

I had a problem with the GPS on a very wet, windy and cold evening on Satura Crag and reset it. Luckily the GPS automatically saved daily data so I have been able to recover everything apart from the section high above Grasmere walked on the Friday 11th.

A bit of a wobble

Interestingly the GPS had continued to record (after the reset) even though it did not display anything on the screen. It shows me on the wrong path, realising I was wrong, then returning and looking for some shelter to put up the tent. Others were less fortunate (or prepared) that night.

The Total distance walked is 196 miles (315km) over 14 days so averaging 14 miles per day.

The maximum distance walked in a day was 22.4 miles

The highest point in the Walk was Kidsty Pike at 2559 feet (780m)

Ups and downs

The maximum ascent per day was 3770 feet (1149m) and the totals ascent was approximately 22, 825 feet (6995m) which is about 2/3 of an Everest.

Little flag

Touch wood I don’t seem to have any injuries other than a few aches and pains.

Here are some of my favourite places:

The Hermitage – after Grosmont near Falling Floss Waterfalls
Lord Stones
Easby Abbey – Richmond
Kidsty Pike
Nine Standards Rigg
Random derelict mine building in the Dales
Starting out at St Bee’s
Final day at Robin Hood’s Bay
Sleeping in nature
Not loving the skinny styles – very difficult with a backpack

Finish Line

The support team made it to Robin Hood’s Bay yesterday to Hooks House Farm Camp Site which has fabulous views over the bay and is pretty much right on the coast path at the end of the Wainright walk.

Walking in sunshine

Graham expected to arrive on Tuesday but picked up a bit of speed and made it to us yesterday afternoon, Monday, about 5pm. To say Hugo was excited to see him is an understatement. He almost turned himself inside out with joy.

A sheepish walk into town

After a shower, a glass of wine, and a massive burger, Graham was happy to sleep in an area where he could stretch out rather than his usual minuscule one man tent.

Throwing the pebble

The weather is fabulous today – sunny and clear. This morning we went down to the beach so he could dip his toes in the water and sign the register in the Bay Hotel. He was happy to leave his backpack in the van to head down the steep hill into the village. Of course the pebble he chose in St Bee’s had to be thrown into the sea here to totally complete the traditional end of walk activities.

I made it
Hugo loving the beach

There was a casual stroll on the beach, post toe dip, followed by a rather tasty fish and chips from The Fish Box. This afternoon there will be chilling out and no walking.

A perfect meal to end the walk

A Flappy Night

From Graham’s diary – the night before he got to the Lion Inn.

The wind is flapping sides of the tent. It feels and sounds like a hurricane then stops and total silence sets in for a few seconds.

Flappy tent action

I’m having a hot chocolate and, as I’m on a grouse moor, a large splash from the whisky flask. I stopped some ten miles short of my destination today – just ran out of steam and don’t want to be searching for a pitch in the dark. But no worries, I’m snug in my little home for the night even if it’s a bit noisy.

I met several groups of C2Cers today. The path was pretty busy. One woman asked where I was staying. When I said I was wild camping she looked horrified and turned away disgusted. She reacted as though I’d said I was a drug dealer. Maybe she doesn’t understand what wild camping is.

Trudging on

Just removed a tiny caterpillar from my sleeping bag. Fewer ups and downs tomorrow so I may catch up a bit. My sleeping bag seems to be filling up with white feathers. Either my sleeping bag is leaking or a group of angels have had a disco in the tent last night and shed their wings.

The Lion Inn

Graham managed to WhatsApp me from The Lion Inn in Blakey today as there has been no phone coverage for the last section of his walk.

Trying to be artistic
Labyrinth on route

He’d just consumed a gigantic steak and ale pie (I wonder if it was bigger than the previously mentioned black pudding) and was feeling more like a nap than another ten mile walk.

Last night’s location – yet another field

The Lion Inn is an isolated 16th Century inn in the middle of a bleak landscape but it manages to attract quite a few walkers and tourists.

Graham had walked through a landscape dotted with labyrinths and standing stones. He sent the photos through but I’ll need to get more information from him as to their exact location.

Across the stones

As for the support team, we are moving on from Barnard Castle tomorrow to our final destination of Robin Hood’s Bay just south of Whitby. Graham will probably get to us on Tuesday and we’ll go down to the sea together so I can get photos of him dipping his toe in the sea, as is tradition.

I think this is Round Hill, Boston Head

Sheepish

Here is yesterday’s report:

A bit of a slog today but mainly flat. After I set my tent up last night hundreds of sheep appeared out of nowhere. I thought about moving on but was too tired so decided to brave it out.

Any sheep about…?

I kept waking up wondering if they would eat my tent so didn’t sleep too well but it remained unscathed and I was able to continue unmolested by my woolly neighbours.

A fun and useful box to come across along the way

I walked on and hoped to get a meal at the pub in Danby Wiske but it had gone the way of so many pubs and had closed 😦 A kind woman next door to the pub filled my water bottle so all was not lost.

Not a sheep in sight

Along the track I met an old lady, probably mid 80s, tending her vegetable garden next to her ancient farm cottage. We got chatting and she told me her husband was in hospital and it was a bit difficult as she didn’t drive. Going by the rough track and lack of road to the cottage I don’t think a car would have been very helpful, anyway. Her neighbours were over half a mile away. Her only complaint was that the butterflies had been eating her cabbages. Her husband had lived there all his life and had been born in the room they still slept in

What a tough, spirited woman.

The photo of the gigantic black pudding finally came through so here it is. I don’t think it’s that massive. What do you think?

The gigantic? black pudding