A Tale of Two Walks

One moment I was walking on the crusty surface of the snow, the next moment my leg disappeared as I plunged through it up to my thigh. Cursing, I heaved myself out, only for the same thing to happen a few steps later. We had been walking like this for hours, relentlessly uphill, and I felt exhausted already.

Suddenly a man walking just ahead of me plunged headlong into a snowdrift, floundering as he struggled to get out. I realised that we were walking in full on winter conditions…

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Trekking in the Atlas Mountains- Day One

Looking through some old photos recently it occurred to me that there have been some walking trips I have taken that I have not written about, so if you would like to indulge me I will set about rectifying this little oversight over the coming weeks…

Some trips may not get written up for a while as the photographs predate digital photography so I will need to get them turned into jpgs. So the first trip to be written up is a walking holiday I took with Explore in 2007- a two-week circuit of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco with an ascent of North Africa’s highest mountain, Jebel Toubkal. I remember choosing this trip partly because I was training for the Marathon des Sables, which would also be in Morocco, and partly because it was cheap!

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The Wilmot Wander- Event Report

Having thoroughly failed to complete last year’s Wilmot Wander-, a 32 mile cross-country circuit round Derby- Sue persuaded me that a rematch was in order so we set about plotting the route on OS maps and memorising it as much as we could. I decided to bring in the big guns and asked Helen if we could borrow Doris the GPS as the route maps and description provided are rather vague at best!

As I haven’t done that much long distance walking lately I felt horribly under prepared and seriously doubted my ability to complete this. After all 32 miles in one day is a big ask. Driving to the start I relived the sheer horror of last year‘s disaster- repeatedly getting lost, endless slippery slidey mud and hours of unrelenting rain…

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Nottinghamshire’s Three Peaks Challenge

I set myself a little challenge last August but for some reason it didn’t get written up on the blog, so I decided to rectify this little oversight. The challenge was… to climb the three highest points of Nottinghamshire.

The reason I decided on the three highest points was not just because it seemed like a neat objective, but because there has been some dispute about where the county’s highest point actually is. Originally considered to be the former coal mining site of Silverhill Wood at 670ft (204.3m), other contenders are Strawberry Bank in Huthwaite at 666ft (203m) and nearby Newtonwood Lane, which has been found to rise to the lofty heights of 673ft (205m). Clearly, to be able to claim to have stood on Nottinghamshire’s highest spot I would need to climb them all… just in case…

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How’s Your 2018 Shaping Up?

So, how’s everyone’s first week (and a bit) of the New Year shaping up? Made great progress towards those goals already? Or finding it difficult to get going?

My week’s been rather a mixed bag- I have been back out running, and managed to run up a hill that I have not tackled for nearly a year! For the past months I have been walking up it so am quite chuffed with that.

As things do, my plans for 2018 have already changed slightly- I appear to have double booked myself for the Millennium Ultra. Helen and I are going away to the Dark Peak in March and of course it is the same weekend!

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My Plans for 2018

Following on from this post, I have been doing some thinking about what next year’s adventures should be…

I stumbled across this post on Tough Girls, (cool name!) which gave me some useful pointers. It talks about aligning your own values and the commitments you have with the types of adventures you want to do.

For me, I am single with no children, so basically I don’t have anyone to consider when making plans. However, I am mum to two cats, one an elderly lady (Lucky is now 20 and a half!!) As cats’ health can deteriorate very quickly I am reluctant to go away for more than two weeks at the moment as I would not forgive myself if anything happened while I was away. This rules the Pennine Way and other big trips out for next year.

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2017- My Review of the Year

It’s that time of year again… when we dig out that list of the things we said we were going to do in 2017, blow the dust off it and ask ourselves honestly whether we achieved them…

I think that reflection on this sort is very useful- not for beating ourselves up if we fell short of our goals, but in analysing what went right, what went less well, what challenges we faced, how we overcame them- or not- and the things we can do to make us more likely to get what we want to out of 2018.

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The Midshires Way- Part One

Ever on the lookout for a new challenge to add a bit of spice to our walks, Helen and I set out in October to complete the first leg of the Midshires Way as it traverses Derbyshire.

The Midshires Way is a 230 mile long distance path, running from the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire to Stockport, passing through Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The Derbyshire section runs from Long Eaton to Buxton and then onto Stockport, and has been written up in three handy guides published by Derbyshire County Council. It was the first guide- the 17 ½ section from Long Eaton to Duffield- that we decided to tackle.

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Short of time for an adventure? Try a Microadventure!

When thinking of adventure, particularly endurance type adventures, most people imagine weeks spent trekking an epically long trail in some distant land, probably along some unpronounceable mountain chain. Yes, this would certainly qualify as an adventure, but many of us just don’t have the time for these epic expeditions, much as we would love to do them. We have families, full-time jobs, cats…

This realisation can cause much frustration and you would be forgiven for assuming that you can’t live that adventurous life of your dreams, because you simply have too many commitments to just disappear.

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The Fitbit Revolution- I’m Part of it!

Everyone I interact with nowadays seems to have a Fitbit adorning their wrist as a permanent feature. These little black things seem to dictate everyone’s lives- I have lost count of the number of times a colleague has jumped up from her desk and started to march around the room to ‘get her hourly steps in’ or talk about how well or badly they slept last night… however they do seem to be helping folk to get more active and to lose weight, and when I recently had the opportunity to purchase a second-hand Fitbit I decided to see what the fuss was all about.

It’s strangely addictive. I have only had it a couple of days and am still getting to grips with it. I have had a merry time logging everything I have eaten and drunk and found out that my resting heart rate can drop as low as 51 bpm. It feels strange wearing it on my wrist, watch-like, all night, but it is strangely addictive to find out how well (or not) you’ve been sleeping. Who knew I was actually awake several times without even being aware of it.

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