Europe Archives

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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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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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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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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Autumn’s Appeal at Bradgate Park

I am not usually a big fan of Autumn. For me, Autumn means the end of Summer, the end of those lovely long light evenings, the onset of winter with rain, cold, mud, mud and more mud…

I prefer Spring- when the countryside starts bursting into life, the days get longer and you start being able to go for a walk after tea. However, I must admit that Autumn has a certain appeal, especially those gorgeous colours.

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Walking in France; Azay-le-Ferron

We had planned another route in La Brenne for our last day’s walking. Helen had a route card displaying a variety of routes, and our intention was to put the longest one and the shortest one together…

… well that was our intention. On waking (every morning we both woke up at exactly the same time… 7am. We weren’t psychic- the village church is only feet away from the gites and the bells ring at 7am every morning…) I went down to make a drink, took Helen’s in to her and settled back in bed with my book.

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The Spires and Steeples- an Event Report

It was time for another Spires and Steeples rematch and to my delight Helen decided to join me again- makes it so much more fun when there‘s someone to walk with. The Spires and Steeples is a 26.6 mile walk from Lincoln to Sleaford, and as the bus leaves Sleaford for Lincoln at 7am this involved a very early start, driving half asleep through dark country lanes and trying to force down an instant porridge pot in the car park (Helen rather unwisely entrusted me with her not quite empty pot which inevitably ended up upside down under my seat on the coach)

We were expecting warm weather according to the forecast so had both donned shorts for the occasion along with many other people, but the sun didn’t make an appearance until about 3pm- it stayed rather cloudy with rain in the air a couple of times although it wasn‘t cold.

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The Grand Randonnee of the Valley of the Creuse had turned out to be an unexpectedly delightful walk, so, eager to see more of it we decided on a slightly longer route, 22 miles from Argenton-sur-Creuse to Le Confluent and back to Argenton along the other side of the valley.

 

 

 

Argenton-sur-Creuse has some lovely old buildings, best viewed from one of the town’s bridges. It was a sunny day and so lots of photos were taken!

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A Walk Along the Valley of the Creuse

Studying the maps back at the gite, we noticed an interesting looking long distance path that performed several large loops around the valley- the Grand Randonee of the Valley of the Creuse. This path starts at Argenton-sur-Creuse and winds its way around the river down to Crozant, so walking part of it seemed like a plan for today.

We parked at the viewpoint looking over the Boucle de Pin- a large bend in the river- before dropping steeply down to the shore. The first part of the walk followed the river closely along a narrow rocky path that rollercoastered its way along the wooded shore, stepping over tree roots and at one point utilising a wooden staircase.

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