25km that according to Strava turned out to be more like 28km… but let’s start from the beginning right?
Last year I managed to convince a group of girlfriends to join me in a 50km charity walk. (if you’re interested we’re doing one of these ones here). Why? mmmhhh. Don’t know why… I guess I just fancied a challenge and needed a reason to go out and do some exercise, I’ve never been very good with the ‘just do it because it’s good for you’ and I thought, if I join this, and pay money, and try to raise money then I won’t back down. Maybe it was an act cause by a midlife hormonal disfunction episode… we’ll never know, but what we do know is that ‘covid’ happened and the walk got cancelled, and then we got a puppy and walking took on a new meaning.
A year has passed and the walk is back on. Out of the five people who were going to join me two have chickened out (you know who you are!) and one has – conveniently – booked a holiday during the same period. I know… disgraceful. But two of us will carry the flag and will try to survive the twelve/thirteen hours on the road.
So now you know why I’ve been and will be doing all the long walks we can get to the crazy part… last Saturday my sister and I (she’s the one who’ll be on holiday, but I made her come with me anyway) had signed up for an official training walk just to get the feel for the organisation and how things will be run.
No problem there, all went as smoothly as a baby’s bottom.
The problem was more with the weather.
Let’s just say there was a lot of weather… the wet kind. For the whole time we were out.
It was from the point of view of testing the clothes and shoes. My Scarpa leather boots were brilliant, my Berghaus goretex trousers (worn over Acai thermal tights) were fab, my jacket (Fjallraven Kep, eco shell) lasted about 4 hours of incessant downpour, underneath I had my beloved Findra 100% merino top and then I got wet, but they both still kept me warm so I didn’t realise I was wet through till we got back to the car and got changed. I call that a win. I wore a woolly hat too. Worm even when wet too, although wool stretches when wet and was getting bigger and bigger…
This is the gear I spent ages selecting and was very very happy with. I did also have a Patagonia nano puff jacket as a mid layer, I got one off eBay and I’m really happy with it. The crazy thing there were plenty of people in trainers (what???), someone in shorts, running tights or sweatpants… bonkers.
The group of about 30 met in Stroud and did a big loop in the area, the first half was really hilly and hard, most of the second part was mercifully flat and follow a canal. All of it was very beautiful. And wet.
It stopped raining for the last hour… the canal walks is really pretty and very interesting. I had never seen it before even though I’ve visited the area on many occasion. Fascinating.
And then we were back. Hungry and tired (and wet), but feeling rather happy with ourselves.
I can’t wait for the next big walk, which is something I didn’t expect ever to say!