Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lots and lots of walks

So, walking has become my new major activity. I've been at it most
weekends since my last blog - and I'm powering through Time Out Country Walks Vol 1.

Today, Simon Till and I conquered Walk 27 - Milford to Haslemere: it's supposed to be 11.6 miles, but I think we might need to add on an extra mile or so after finding the book's directions a little vague at one point, and making them up. The morning was gloriously warm, and then the afternoon moved from a light shower to proper full-on rain. Go England! However, despite the damp, we enjoyed Bagmoor Common's heathland of wonderful purple moss and heather; Thursley Common's eerie barren feel, post- a terrible fire in 2006 which has left it looking rather like an African savannah; and views down onto Devil's Punch Bowl after a steep ascent. The latter apparently received its name when the Devil scooped up earth to throw at Thor, the God of Thunder, who lived in Thor's Lie (Thursley). Not something I learned at Sunday School.
I opted to start at Milford after last weekend's fab walk - Walk 20 - Milford to Goldalming. Although helped somewhat by bright blue skies all day, all 11.1 miles of this was beautiful. Lots of beautiful old houses and mills, the village church in Hascombe with its remarkable Moorish wall decoration, and Winkworth Arboretum's blossom trees and daffodils together all made for a walk where the definite challenges of steep uphills were very much worth it.
Other walks have been plentiful - around the Lee Valley; Borough Green to Sevenoaks; and several more. The early starts on Saturday and Sunday mornings are still a little painful, but I'm glad to be spending so much time training for the big walk in July. My boots still give occasional blisters (generally in the same place), but just thinking about how much money we will hopefully raise for the two charities always keeps me going!

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