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Photo Article: Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks - Serious Training starts, walk 1

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 13 March 2022

My pal Matt is over from New Zealand and suggested a gentle seven mile Saturday stroll along the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire followed by lunch at the Pheasant. I thought that sounded easy enough and so said “why not” and that I would carry Jaya, a chunky sixteen month old, on my back. I had never encountered the Sandstone Trail before.

For starters it has a lot of climbs.The photo below is of the high point we encountered and some of the climbs were darn steep and what with Jaya on my back I was panting heavily. And some of the terrain was tough going, I had to work hard to balance Jaya as I lowered myself down slippery slopes. Then there were the fallen trees which I had to either climb over or limber under commando style with Jaya clinging on hard. 

Matt is a couple of years older than me and thought he was getting down with the kids by navigating with an app. That stroke of genius took our walk up to eight miles. On a couple of the climbs I was a bit breathless. But at the end my lungs were fine,my feet were in no real pain and my legs not aching. However, within a few hours of finishing, as I sat on the sofa with a few cans of Guinness watching Ireland deal with the infidels, my lower legs started to stiffen and this morning I felt the pain. But it is a good start and I reckon those eight Sandstone miles with Jaya on my back are the same as 10-11 Woodlarks miles (much flatter) with no Jaya.

If I am recovered, Jaya and I will try a ten or eleven mile walk along the English side of the river this week. The big 34 mile walk from Winchester to Woodlarks is on June 11 so if I can get to doing 14 miles in reasonable comfort by the end of March I shall be very much on track. Woodlarks is a great cause and if you want to join the other rogue bloggers on our walk you are more than welcome, just drop me an email. 

If that is not something you fancy how about you make a donation. Over the first four years of this annual torture we have raised almost £190,000.  Help us take that total to close to £250,000 and you really will be making a difference to the lives of folks less fortunate than you and I.

You can donate HERE.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
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