Because of the lockdown rules and because so many of its campers have immune deficiency issues, Woodlarks cannot open this year and so it has no income. So if the Rogue Bloggers do not do another walk and do not raise £48,000, Woodlarks may not reopen at all next year so please do donate now HERE. As such, we band of seven have pledged to go the extra mile. This year it is 34 not 33 miles from Winchester to Woodlarks on May 29. And I am not in great shape.
So March 21 was my first training walk, along our fields on the river Dee up to the bridge and over it to England and then on the English side I walked downstream towards Chester. You are always quicker at the start than the end of a walk so my calculation was that I would do at least three miles an hour for the first couple of hours, even though I am not in peak condition and even though in a couple of places I was struggling through a muddy quagmire.
Hugging the bank to my left, I made good progress with the added joy that I was almost undisturbed by other walkers so could spend my time thinking undisturbed. The first couple I met were almost at the turning point and they were lost. As I doubled back on myself having reached the 1 hour 45 minutes mark, they may have worried that I was a stalker but I made a point of saying that I was not as I quickly overtook them and headed homewards.
By the last couple of miles, it was starting to darken a bit and the sun was low in the sky and it felt cold. And I was visibly slowing. The church spire from the village on the English side of the river came into view and I thought I was almost home but it is a cruel trick. The river bends in a wide arc and the more I walked, the further it seemed to be. But I was home while there was some light and I reckon that it was a good bit over 10 miles in all.
And I managed it with no great aches and pains either in completion or the next day which is a good start to training. For my next walk, on the same route, scheduled for tomorrow, I am targeting two and a quarter hours outward which really should be 13 miles in all. And I promise some photos from that jaunt.
In advance, I thank you.