Sunday, 3 February 2013

Canal and River

As February 2013 kicks into gear, I’m beginning to realise how quickly the Bibbulmun Track is approaching. Two hundred and thirty five days before the first step, but still plenty to be done and many miles of walking to be completed.
The weight loss is going well. As I hit the scales this morning I am pleased to see that I have lost 13 pounds since I began at Christmas! I am well on track to reach my fighting weight of eleven stone by May.
Once I’m there, it’ll be time to adjust the big rucksack, and maybe purchase a new one if my new shape won’t accommodate it comfortably. This is a bit of a worry, financially. Understandably, as the pounds drop off I’m constantly adjusting, hoiking, tightening, and I can see the prospect of a new walking wardrobe looming just in time for the Summer Catalogues!
So, to the first walks of February:

Saturday, was a brisk eleven mile loop from Uxbridge to Denham. Joining the South Bucks Way at Denham Lock, the route goes through Colne Valley Nature Reserve, into the village, passed the aerodrome, and back to the canal near Harefield. Then its about 5 miles down the towpath to home.

Nothing much to report on. it’s a tool I’m using in my fight against the flab; a route where I can put my head down and motor along as quick as I can. At the moment, “quick” is turning out to be about 3.6mph. Trying to do 4mph, a speed that, for some reason, I have in my head as the magical mark, is proving difficult to sustain for the duration. I was doing well 6 miles in, just under the mark, but when I returned to the canal at Harefield, the sodden state of the towpath on this section made it impossible to maintain my goal. The legs soon tired and I ambled back into Uxbridge.
The track log can be seen below;

Sunday, and it was back to the River Thames with a walk from Staines to Windsor along the national trail. A marked contrast to the sedate Grand Union, the river was high, and flowing at such a pace that even the poor old swans below were having a hard time and wisely chose to make their way to their local!

The path was a little soggy through Runnymede, but no need for a diversion until the path simply disappeared into the Thames when we reached Old Windsor. We ended up road walking for a mile or so, before finding a footpath to take us back towards the trail, re-joining it at Ham Island.
It wasn’t long though, before we came a cropper again. After nimbly stepping along some branches strewn under a waterlogged arch of the Albert Bridge near Datchet, we found ourselves conceding defeat to the river when the scene below faced us.
Back onto the road, we crossed a bridge on the B470 and rejoined the Thames Trail on The Home Park. Looking back under bridge, we were left with no aspirations of taking a shortcut up to see Liz!
We skirted the playing fields, to the railway bridge, where, once again, the banks had been breached forcing us to back track.
Still, the alternative route did afford us some good views of Windsor Castle!
All in all, an enjoyable 9 miles, if a little frustrating for the purist trying to walk a national trail.
Log of the route below;

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