Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A "To Do" List…

… of unfinished business;

The Overland Track, The Devon Coast to Coast  and The Ridgeway National Trail.

My tribulations on the Overland are well documented on this blog, but the other trails are other charity challenge failures that stick in the throat. With a date now set to return to Tasmania in 2012, I have decided it is about time to revisit the other two.

Three years ago, my Devon Coast to Coast attempt was curtailed on the morning of day three, after 32 miles; this was a combination of one of the wettest summers and some badly blistered feet piled on top of my decision to use Contours Holidays to arrange my accommodation and baggage transfers. The latter meant I could not reschedule en route and factor in shorter legs to give me time to recover. The irony is that a day after I stopped, I felt I could have picked up where I left off, but the moment was lost.

2005_0904RidgewayDay1_0014

Five years ago, I retired from the Ridgeway National Trail after 12 miles; Forced to compensate for a foot injury sustained two weeks beforehand, in training, I inadvertently developed a hip problem that stayed with me for five months. My friend, Simon, went on to complete the 87 miles in six days, with me acting as a support vehicle, supplying cups of tea and transporting gear along the route.

It is The Ridgeway that I will be returning to first. This time, I will begin from the Stone Circle in Avebury, and, as before, will stay in a combination of campsites and hostels.

The itinerary looks like this;

  • Day 1: Avebury to Ogbourne St. George – 10.7 miles
  • Day 2: Ogbourne St. George to Wantage - 19.8 miles 
  • Day 3: Wantage to Streatley - 13.6 miles
  • Day 4: Streatley to Watlington - 15.3 miles
  • Day 5: Watlington to Wendover - 17 miles
  • Day 6: Wendover to Ivinghoe Beacon - 11.8 miles

With ambitious plans of greater distances in the future, the main purpose of this walk is not so much to complete the journey I failed to finish, it is more to see if I still have the appetite to walk a long distance trail. We shall see how I fare.