Thursday, 20 August 2009

Walking the coastal path

Well this is my first day off after completing the JOGLE so what did we do today....go out walking!

We did about 9 miles of the coastal path north of Lands End today. It was so nice to be walking with Patch again - and John and Snowy (our other Jack Russell) of course! The walking was fabulous, lovely scenery, good weather and interesting walking.

Patch loved it and is currently flat out asleep. We're going to have a meal in the campsite bar now and decide where we're going's good!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Made it to Lands End woohoo!

Well I finally arrived at Lands End today - very exciting!

It's a strange place...a bit like entering Disneyland but it's full of gift shops and cafe's. I savoured the moment and had a wander around before getting the final stamp on my "Transit verification form" and leaving a message in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed a latte and a piece of carrot cake while awaiting the arrival of John and the dogs. Patch was over the moon to be out of the car and was ready for walkies - we didn't go far, just down to get our photo taked at the famous signpost, but it was good to be out together again. It was of course good to see John again too!

I've now had a shower and am in clean clothes - always good. I have a cup of tea on the go and am looking forward to a meal in the campsite bar later. I must say, I'm feeling rather pleased with myself!

Thanks to everyone for following and your supportive comments, I read them all and it really helped. When I get back I'll start reviewing the kit I used and the campsites I stayed in for anyone that's interested. I'll also keep blogging about new adventures with Patch, but I'm sure they won't be as big as this one!

Thanks again!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Just Outside Penzance!

I'm currently about 2 miles east of Penzance...I thought I was going to be in trouble as my planned campsite was apparently full so I had to plod on with no known campsite for another 8 miles or so. Thankfully as I walked along the seafront I noticed a field with a rough board that said "Camping - pitch your tent and the farmer will be around later". Excellent.

So here I am in a field with one other tent and a caravan. There are 2 portable toilet cubicles and a tap for drinking water - all that I need! Oh, and it's just 4 pounds.

I've been sitting by the sea admiring the view for an hour or so before wandering off and having some fish and chips - again, by the sea. I do love the sea...

Tomorrow I have a final plod to Lands End, it's only about 13 miles away so I'm going to have a lay in first. Then it's 3 nights in a comfy caravan before going home to an even comfier bed. Very strange!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Almost there!

Wow, I'm almost there!

I'm currently camped about 3 miles west of Truro. Tomorrow I'm heading for a campsite near Lower Downs - about 6 miles east of Penzance....and then Wednesdays the big day.

All's going well, the trainers have been brilliant- really comfortable and breathable too.

I have to mention a great place I stayed at a couple of nights ago as it was a good find. I'd walked 26 miles and with no campsite around I spotted a field that would do the job nicely. I ventured up towards the driveway to the house to ask the owners permission to camp only to find there was a tea room there. The owner was fab - he plans to sort an area for camping, and I was shown an outside toilet and shower before being taken to a perfect pitch just around the corner. He wouldn't take any money, so in the evening I had a lovely and very well priced meal in his tea room (come restaurant in the evening!). Lasagne & chips, red wine & a latte all came to about 10 pounds which I thought was very reasonable.

The place is called Louis Tea Room, and is just a mile or so east of Liskeard on the main road from St Annes Chapel. A really nice fella.

I've had some good luck lately on the camping front - I found a very basic campsite that did the job for just 2 pounds, then a great quiet site by a pub for just 4 pounds. I plan to list all the sites I stayed at once I get back along with the price and whether or not I recommend them or not!

Not long now...!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I'm in Somerset!

Another 30 mile day today...I'm very pleased with myself- I even fitted some shopping in!

I bought some trainers today and sent the Brashers home. So much better, now I just have to wash the blood out of my socks!

It was a lovely sunny day today - a pleasure to be out in. I'm currently camped in a lovely site just south of North Petherton. This site is really a caravan park I think, but he gave me a pith with no problems and only charged 4 pounds! A lovely guy.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

We've crossed the M4!

We're still going - sorry for the rather late I'm covering more miles I like to start earlier, which means I can't leave my phone in campsite receptions charging up overnight - so I'm being a bit stingy with the battery use!

Lately I've been following the wise advise of "10 by 10" Mr Manning passed onto me from his PCT experience. The idea is to walk 10 miles by 10 O'clock then you have all day to do the rest. I must say, it really is good advise. I'm now packed up and walking by 7am, so 10 miles are covered by 10am. The pressure is off to cover the other 15 or so miles. I do actually stop now to eat lunch and air my feet when it's warm (yes - it's actually been sunny!) whereas normally I keep plodding all day without stopping as I hate arriving in camp late.

I've now walked to about 7 miles or so south of Chipping Sodbury - John then picked me up to whisk me off to the caravan site he had just set up at, for 2 days off. Lovely! Tomorrow John will drop me off to the same spot to continue walking. This will be my last stint.

I've spent the last couple of days changing the route on my maps to a slightly more direct route. This means leaving some good walking out, including time I was very much looking forward to in Exmoor which is a shame. It's very difficult as I know I should me making the most of this walk and enjoy the hiking, but since Patch went home all I want to do is get back to her. It's very difficult to explain, but I've always walked with my dogs - for the last 3 years it's been Patch, and before that I walked with my collie Ellie, for 11 years. Walking alone isn't really my thing, so the choice was to either go home with Patch (which I deperately wanted to do) or to just crack on and finish the walk. What I am planning to do though is to return to many of my favourite areas at a later date with John and the dogs for some walking we will really enjoy - it's time we ventured out more away from our old haunting ground of Snowdonia!

It's been a lovely couple of days off, and the end is in sight now. Apologies to those who hoped for more information on the actual the day goes by I make mental notes of the things that have happened during the day that I want to tell you through the blog, but by the time the evening comes I'm often tired, wet and fed up and end up whinging!

Tomorrow I set off with a different set of original boots (Asolo) are pretty worn from my wonky walking, and have started giving me blisters again. I'm setting off in my Brashers that were originally bought for the hike but ended up giving me alarming blisters and were not at all comfortable. I'm hoping that the combination of ENGO patches, Superfeet insoles, and volume reducers will do the job, but unfortunately these haven't been tried and tested yet as I ended up buying the Asolo's last minute before the hike and breaking them in. I'm very concerned about covering 25 miles plus a day in these boots, but I know the Asolo's are causing problems themselves now so it's worth the gamble....eeek!

In the last 10 days walking since Patch went back I've covered 226 miles, and I plan to finish the walk in another 10 days. If I can stick to my plan of 25 plus miles a day then I should get into Lands End a week wednesday. This is my own personal challenge now, and although strange things are happening to my feet and ankles I'm sure I can do it!!

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Still going!

I'm still plodding on!

I joined the Severn Way at Bridgenorth and it's been a mixture of nice walking and some boring stuff. Today I passed through Worcester and am camped just south on the outskirts.

My boots eventually dried out (yay!) but then got sodden again (boo!) and are currently outside my tent stuffed with toilet paper from this way overpriced campsite!

The forecast is for some dry days now thank goodness...I just wish I hadn't put my Selskinz socks on inside out this morning in my sleepy state as my feet got soaked and the socks too. I have one pair of dry socks that I'll have to wear tomorrow now the sealskinz are sodden, but as the boots are somewhat soggy I don't think the joy of dry feet will last long!!

The good news is my pack is much lighter and emptier without Patch's clobber and food. There, I said something positive!!

I'm making progress!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

A couple of things wring with the blog's name...

Soon after creating this blog and calling it " The Longest Dog Walk In Britain" I found that at least one person has walked their dog around the entire UK coastline - which is considerably longer than my JOGLE!

The other problem is that it is no longer a dog walk...Patch is now at home putting her feet up as the walk was too stressful for her as we came off the footpaths to avoid the problem with dogs & cows. It's very strange not having her around, and I really do miss her terribly. John would love to go abroad on holiday but I won't leave her so it is incredibly frustrating that I'm now plodding across the UK alone in the rain. Not fun anymore.

The new goal is to get finished ASAP so I can get home! I'm now doing more mileage each day - a minimum of 20 a day (30 covered today!).

Things have been good lately though on the social front. I met Gayle & Mick who treated me to a very nice bar meal, and 2 nights ago I had a lovely evening with John, Martin, Sue & Viv. I stayed overnight with Martin & Sue & thoroughly enjoyed everybody's company - a really lovely group of people.

I'm currently near Cannock Chase and sodden. My boots & socks honestly couldn't get any wetter if I threw them in the river. Let's hope the rain stops soon!