In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.
I started at the Hovel. It had been a cold morning so I had three layers on. And for once I did not take my rucksack so had no water with me, a schoolboy error.
The first half a mile or so was on the Welsh side of the Dee before crossing over a 13th century Bridge into England. It is on this bridge every morning and afternoon as I drop my son Joshus off at nursery (in England) or pick him up that he says “Goodbye Wales” and then a minute later “Hello England” or vice versa.
On the far side, I headed towards Chester keeping the Dee close to my left apart from in one place where there was a field full of bulls and I decided to take a rather long detour.
I walked through woods and fields on a path that seems, after a while, to be rarely used. I met few walkers and as I waded through nettles in some places I undersgtood why. Joshua would have loved the deep dark wood and would have started chattering about the Gruffalo. In one wood the smell of wild garlic was almost overpowering.
At about two and a half hours I saw a small village ahead and reckoned that I had done at least seven miles so turned and headed back the way I had come. By this time the sun was hot and I was sweating badly and feeling a tad dehydrated as my schoolboy error came back to haunt me. But my feet were fine and though a fourteen mile walk is no real test, that it was essentially so easy, is a good sign for what is to come. And the scenery was wonderful, the North really is not so grim after all.