Preparing for the Capital Ring 5

Up early to brilliant sunshine so I was out for a walk soon after 7am. Across the farmtrack and fields to join the C2C cycletrack. A roe deer ran across in front of me as I was walking through a wooded area – first one I’ve seen round here for a few years.

Walked along the C2C eastwards to Greencroft, then came back west to the Jolly Drovers before cutting across the fields and up around Pontop Pike. Great to hear the skylarks and a couple of curlews singing above my head. Recored 15 km today which took my walking for the year through the 1000 km barrier.

It was redhot for the rest of the day but began to get muggy around 6pm and before long we had thunder and lightning to contend with.

Preparing for the Capital Ring 4

The intention had been to get out early on the bike for a change of muscle use but I woke to mist and drizzle – there had evidently been a heavy downpour overnight. By the time things had improved I no longer had time to go out as I had a hospital visit to make.

However, things had improved even more when I got back so I was able to get out. I decided to cut the pavement walking back from about 1.5 km to 0.5 km by going out the back of my garden and along a farmtrack, before cutting back a couple of hundred metres along a relatively quiet country road to join my previous route up and around Pontop Pike – that meant just one hundred metres along a designated “Quiet Lane” and back the two hundred metres on the country road.

It was a beautiful late afternoon when I was out, pleasantly sunny and warm but just enough of a breeze so that I didn’t overheat. I managed to increase the distance to 10 km by adding a stretch across the fields after leaving Pontop Pike. That srtetch was certainly the high point of the walk as not only did I see a red kite but also saw and heard at least four curlews.

Preparing for the Capital Ring 3

Another glorious day so out for a decent walk. Walked over the tops down into my village and then along through woodland to the Jolly Drovers before back along the C2C cycletrack and up around Pontop Pike.

For some reason, the walk along from the Jolly Drovers, passed the New Transformers and up across the fields always reminds me of my favourite section of the SWCP – no similarity really since one is twenty miles inland while the other has views out over the English Channel but they do both have a long sweeping vista to the right. They also both make me feel really at ease with myself.

The weather was wonderful and I really enjoyed the walk and the views. Only saw one other person out walking once I’d left the Jolly Drovers.

Went out again in the early evening for my usual walk up and around Pontop Pike. It was still very sunny but there was a pleasant breeze that kept me cool. Total for today was 14 km but I have something bigger planned for tomorrow.


Preparing for the Capital Ring 2

What a night! Thunder and lightning from about 12:45 such as I’ve never seen in this country with hailstones pounding down. That meant a dreadful night’s sleep so it was after eight before I went out for a walk. Howevre, by then the sun was shining and there was little indication of the previous night’s fireworks.

Did the same walk as yesterday up and around Pontop Pike but then continued over the fields to the Jolly Drovers before coming back along the C2C cycletrack and over the fields back home to make it a further 12 km. May go for 12 km again tomorrow and then a longer one the next day before dropping back to 12 km again for a couple of days so that I gradually build the distance up.

Preparing for the Capital Ring 1

I’ve found the best way to succeed with something is to write about it as that commits me!

I decided to do the Capital Ring, a walk of 120 km around Greater London, over four days in late September to tie in with this year’s Byte Night for Action for Children. The idea is to do it in four days and finish off by walking back along the Thames Path to the Byte Night registration point to drop something off before returning home by train and today is the first day of my official preparation for doing the Capital Ring.

Up just after 6 am and out for a 6 km walk across the fields and up around Pontop Pike, at just over 1000 ft. Glorious sunshine and it was very warm even that early – even heard a tawny owl hooting as I passed a local farm. On days like today the view is fantastic – north to The Cheviot, 75 km away; east to Sunderland and out to sea; south to the Cleveland Hills, which one can occasionally get a sighting of; west across to the Pennines and a glimpse of Cumbria.

It was a weird afternoon as we had thunder and lightning but no rain for sometime before a short, sharp downpour – still rumbling on a bit now. Had to go into Newcastle this evening but managed to avoid any more rain and ended up with an urban walk of 6 km as well so a good start with 12 km today.