Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Peddars Way Day 4

Peddars Way Day 4 - Great Bircham to Hunstanton

Distance -  19.55 Km - 12.15 miles
Time Taken - 6.5hrs (inc. breaks)
Assent - 135m

We intended to get up at about 8 and leave at 9, so when  I woke early, the birds were tweeting and it was light outside a quick check of the watch showed it was half 3 in the morning!  The dawn chorus is lovely except when you are trying to sleep in a tent, bloody wildlife! I woke again later, feeling fairly refreshed and full of life.  Feet drained and cleaned we made it on the way before 9.30, our earliest yet!

Again we started off down a country road, 1.5 miles of tarmac.  Whilst it kept the pace up, I'm not sure how good it is for your feet (especially at my weight!).  The trail followed farm tracks and footpaths for the most part until Ringstead.  Again it was sunny and warm, so the white legs were out getting a good airing.  Like most of the trail, it was an arable field lovers heaven, with a few woods and hedgerow thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Peddars Way Day 3

Peddars Way Day 3 - Castle Acre to Great Bircham
Distance -  20.3 Km - 12.6 miles
Time Taken - 6.5hrs (inc. breaks)
Assent - 155m

A good nights sleep and coming second last in the pub quiz (we was fiddled out of a couple of points, but thats another story!) seemed to revive tired feet and mind.  Both blisters drained and a good breakfast and it was on the trail, or I should say road.  The weather had changed and it was sunny with clear blue skies, so it was on with the sunscreen, I had however forgot my hat.

Castle Acre
The first 3 miles were completed at a good pace within an hour.  Despite being a mix of road, on verge and behind hedge next to road, it felt better than the previous day.  The sun and clear skies made the endless arable fields seem nicer and more interesting.  Birds seemed to be louder, colours brighter and generally better!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Peddars Way Day 2

Peddars Way Day 2 - Great Cressingham to Castle Acre
Distance - 18.5 Km - 11.50 miles
Time Taken - 6.5hrs (inc. breaks)
Assent - 138m

I woke with a slightly sore head (it was strong cider!) and a sore foot.  So all was looking good for the day.  The weather was again overcast but not cold.   My legs and back felt good, suprisingly considering I had never walked 16.5 miles before.  Nick had a very sore shoulder but had identitied the problem (Rucksack's load lifters were uneven, once adjusted he didn't have any issues).  Todays route involved a 1.5mile walk along lanes until we got back on the peddars way, this section passed fairly quickly and once warmed up we kept a decent pace.

Once we were back on the trail things didn't change much, a further 2 miles along country roads, whilst quiet, they were hard and quite boring.  The guide book uses the description - 'The walking is easy, if tedious' and it wasn't wrong.  A mile through fields led into North Pickenham before it was back onto roads for half a mile.  We finally broke away from the hard roads along Procession Lane which was a nice mile and a half until the A47.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Peddars Way Day 1

Peddars Way Day 1 - Knettishall to Great Cressingham

Distance - 26.62 Km - 16.55 miles
Time Taken - 7hrs (inc. breaks)
Assent - 187m

The day had arrived, a few months ago it seemed like a good idea to do the Peddars Way from Knettishall to Huntingdon in 4 days, so here we were on the start line.  It also had seemed like a good idea to camp on along the way so full packs were required.  Nick had previously done the Peddars way in 3 days but had ruined his feet in the process.  I had promised to do some training but had done little.  It had been forecast to be the coldest May in 100 years.  The Omens were good!

The beginnings of the walk (and much of the day infact) are on good well marked tracks alternating between woods and open fields.  With the weather overcast, it was actually a good day for walking, not to hot and no rain.  After approx. 4 miles we had a break next to the A11, not the quietest spot (!) but it had toilets and benches.  Feet at this stage were good, the 10Kg pack (inc water and snacks) wasn't that noticeable, and I was glad I decided to go lightweight! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Peddars Way Preparation

Peddars Way Preparation

It's fair to say I'm not as prepared as I should be.  By that I mean I have not done anywhere enough walking recently.  Knocking out an 8-10 miler tomorrow would not cause me much worry but 53 miles in four days is something different.  Tender spots become blisters and aches become pains.  Saying that, I'm looking forward to it!

The planning (done by Nick on this trip) breaks the trek into 4 days, 17.05, 11.5, 12.6 and 12.29 miles.  The first day is the obvious killer.  Whilst there is little ascent, it will be the furthest I've ever walked in one go.  And to top it off we are camping so we are carrying our full packs.

Luckily I've been quite strict with what I'm packing and as such my base load (pack with no food or water) should be around 9kg's.  Depending on the weather I might get that below 9, but cold nights this week have lead to some changes.  Exped Synmat in the place of the Exped Airmat UL and the addition of a down vest and Icebreaker leggings.  These changes alone add over 1Kg.

My quest to save Kg's might seem perverse to some, as I'm weighing everything I'm taking, when I am 10's of kilos overweight!  Well the simple answer is that I'm 'used' to my weight and addition weight in the pack is as noticeable to me as someone who weighs 10 stone wet through.

Now how heavy is that Pot Noodle?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chicksands and Rowney Warren

Chicksands and Rowney Warren

Distance - 11.7 Km - 7.3 miles
Time Taken - 2hrs 20mins + 10 min Break
Assent - 149m

Well after a month of not much I decided to head out into the scary big outdoors.  Normally a month off in a funk would only affect me, but next week I'm supposed to be doing the Peddars Way to Hunstanton over 4 days and i fear my lack of activity will annoy my trekmates!  The first day is a nice 17 miles, so I thought a bit of training might be needed.

With heavy rain and hail in the area I decided to head down to Chicksands and have a wander around 2 woods linked by the Greensand Ridge Way and the John Bunyan Way.  The paths are reasonable well waymarked, but are clear, wide and obvious.

Along the John Bunyan Trail