The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 14 June 2010

On My Way

"Can I borrow Connie?" I asked Mick the day after he took delivery of her.

He pouted a bit at the thought of his new tent having her first outing with someone other than himself, but when I volunteered that I was equally happy to take Wendy he kindly agreed to relinquish Connie into my care for a week.

"Can I borrow your Exos?" came next.

"My X-Socks?!" said Mick, a little perplexed.

I enunciated a little more clearly, adding a backpack wearing sort of a mime.

He thought a while.

"Do you just want to go as me?"

That was a couple of weeks ago, when my football-avoidance plan first started to form, ably aided by itchy feet after a week of being at home.

Next came consideration of where to go. The destination had to be somewhere reasonably easy to get to and from, with 4 or 5 days of walking in between, and somewhere that Mick didn't have a great hankering to go (the sulking would have been great indeed if I'd gone off to walk somewhere we already have intentions of walking together).

The Southern Upland Way was my first thought. With my nervousness about camping unlawfully (moreover by myself), Scotland seemed like the obvious choice. I plotted a route between Stranraer and Sanquhar (both of which have railway stations), found it was a perfect length to fit my plans and sorted out where I could spend each night, with a good mix of campsites and wild pitches.

Then I looked at the train fares and went back to the drawing board.

Glyndwr's Way was my next thought and a route was again plotted. Transport was easy enough, and cheap too. The only problem was the lack of campsites and the farmland of mid-Wales didn't strike me as the friendliest location for a nervous wild-camper to try to secrete herself at such a light time of year.

The Lakes was briefly considered and rejected, as was Snowdonia, even though both would have been easy from a camping point of view.

Then an idea struck me. It's not novel; in fact it's quite a lazy option really, but it ticked all of the boxes - and even Mick was happy with it.

So, I'm now sitting on a train heading east from Halifax. At Leeds I shall change trains and direction. If all runs smoothly, then at 10am I will be out walking - and contrary to my usual detailed-itinerary style of planning, I don't yet know my destination for the day. We'll see how it goes and how far I get.
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  1. So, after Leeds, north or south? Walking by 10:00. So Yorkshire or Derbyshire Dales??

  2. Those Scotland train fares are just ridiculous! I've cancelled a couple of proposed visits in the past because it was going to cost over £100 just to get there for the weekend. Crazy...

    On the other hand, it looks like you've chosen a great alternative :) I'm off to catch up now with your postings. I hope you're walking in sunshine as I write this.

  3. Phil - You narrowed it down nicely there, and I did indeed visit both of those counties.

    Shirl - Excuse me for being smug for a moment, but I did chose well (or at least I was extraordinarily lucky with the weather)! I nearly booked a foreign sitting-in-the-sun holiday for this week, but ended up with the exact amount of sunshine I needed, for a much more reasonable price, and with good and beneficial exercise thrown into the bargain. And all whilst enjoying our own scenery. Big grin!