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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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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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 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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Walking in France; La Brenne National Parc

Today we ventured into La Brenne National Parc, heading for the village of Rosnay- we were hoping to see some wildlife and were not disappointed when a pine marten ran out in front of the car before thinking better of it and doubling back.

We had a card detailing a number of walks, but as we are keen walkers and all we felt that they wouldn’t be long enough for us and extended the longest one by using a long-distance (Grand Randonee) trail that twists its way around La Brenne.

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Walking in France; Le Pont-Chretien-Chabanet

Knackered from travelling most of the day before and very little sleep on the overnight ferry due to losing an hour to the time difference and quite possibly drinking beer until 1:30am, we decided to make use of a card detailing a variety of walking routes we found in the gite.

Le Pont Chretien-Chabanet, where we were staying, is a lovely part of rural France, in the Indre Department near La Brenne National Parc- the ‘land of a thousand lakes’. Our gite was rustic but charming, part of a converted mill with its own balcony overlooking a stream.

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Race Report- the X-Runner Wild Warrior

I was out of control, sliding fast towards the murky water with no way of stopping or slowing down. With a huge splash, I was under- opening my eyes a little I could see nothing but dark brown. I could feel the water enter my nose and choking on it I started to feel disorientated. For a brief second I felt panic, but told myself to just relax and let myself float up to the surface. Eventually my head broke free and I started swimming to the muddy water’s edge, fingers trailing slimy weed with each stroke.

I was undertaking the X-runner Wild Warrior obstacle race- doing one of these bad boys has been on my bucket list for some time so when a work colleague started recruiting a team to tackle it I let myself be roped in.

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Walking Home From Work

‘I can see a pair of eyes ahead’ I heard Helen say. Already rather spooked by the perfect darkness of the towpath apart from the little circle of light cast by my head torch, this rather casual statement filled me with cold fear. Who, or what else was walking near the canal at two o’clock in the morning?

Following our aborted attempt to walk home from work to Helen’s home in January we had decided to do it again; only this time we were going to literally walk home after work instead of walking at the weekend. We both showed up in the office as usual on Friday (after dropping my car off at Helen’s), put in a full work day then changed and walked out the door with everyone else at 5pm.

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