The Big Walk starts 6 weeks tomorrow.
With that in mind you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’d be planning my long walks in advance. You’d be wrong.
I had a wonderfully chilled (by current standards) day yesterday. Haircut, making a quiche, followed by dinner out and watching Eddie Izzard at Wembley with my little sister and her husband. It was even more lovely as I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my sister usually – which is by far my own fault I know. Today I met them for brunch, then drove over to Dartford to drop my car off for a service, and walk back. According to the quick check on Google maps, the route was about 15 miles door to door. Plenty of time to get back and have dinner, pop in some washing and have an early night. This however was not the case.
This is the route I managed.
I hadn’t actually looked at where I was going to go enough detail. I didn’t really fancy following the A2 and A205 (South circular) back home, and I got a bit lost at the start (this map doesn’t actually show how much I went back and forth for a good half hour). Eventually I stumbled across the ‘Shuttle Way’ This seemed to be the right direction. It then linked to one of the Green Chain walks – ideal I thought. Then I joined the capital ring and at somepoint checked my route on my phone as it was tracking the walk. I’d gone more than a little off in the wrong direction. On top of that it had been raining steadily for a while, and whilst my new waterproof trousers (that come in a handy bag) were fantastic, I realised that my jacket was not. It’s great when it’s cold and raining as it keeps the wind chill out. But when it’s warmer and you’re perspiring slightly, it keeps all the moisture in as well. I became suddenly aware at one point that, although the rain was kept out, my upper half was completely soaked from my own sweat. Not pleasant!
So I gave up after 15 miles around Bexley and caught a train and tube home.
Next time, I’ll put a bit more preparation in.