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Backpacks and blisters - the walking thread

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    Doesn't compare to Paul's adventures but I got blisters and carried a small backpack so don't mind dropping this in here. Did the Keswick to Barrow charity walk for the fourth time on Saturday, having missed it last year. The first time I did it the distance was c. 40 miles, and the next two times it was 42.65, with a changed start and a more challenging off-road section between Elterwater and Consiton. This year they had to move the start again, making it 37.5 miles, with a route change so that we went down the east of Thirlmere rather than the west. Although the shorter distance was welcome, the path on the east of Thirlmere is much hillier than the west, and the first 1.5 miles was a shocker.

    The first three times I did this I had a tough time on the long section along Consiton, when you're past halfway, the novelty has worn off but the end section is still some way off, and it becomes a gruel - and the blisters start. In each of those years I had to sit in distress outside the pub at Lowick, change socks, apply blister plasters, and steel myself for the end section over the highest points of the course on the moors. This year with the reduced distance and better foot protection I was able to carry on past the pub and push on, and although the blisters did eventually come, I was much closer to the finish and felt I beat some demons. Finished in 10 hours 25.

    You get a tankard for completing seven, so that's my stated aim so it feels like I'm past halfway. If I do the next three years it'll mean I'll do my 7th when I'm 50, so it feels like a fitting target. My team mate, already in his 50s was completing his 8th and (he says) last, and went out with a bang with sub 9 hours, and is very much 'no mas'. It should be back to the 42.65 mile route next year, so I may be saying the same myself this time next year.

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      Nice going Walt. Assume the surroundings were stunning?

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        Originally posted by Sits View Post
        Nice going Walt. Assume the surroundings were stunning?
        They are, the first sections along Thirlmere and Coniston are proper heart of the Lakes territory and in the ideal conditions at the weekend it looked splendid. In the final section once you get to the tops of the moor you can see for miles over Morecambe Bay too.

        There is another charity walk I've done from Workington to Keswick which is even better, the route takes you alongside four lakes (Loweswater, Crummock, Buttermere and Derwentwater) and over Honister pass.

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          A bridge in the Monadhliath Mountains. Yesterday was a bit of an epic walking from Ault na Goire to just short of Carrbridge Station through the Monadhliath mountains in hot weather. However, I only walked for an hour this morning and am now in Aviemore in a laundry watching my clothes get clean.

          Question, what do you think is more embarrassing, asking for condoms as a teenager or asking for anusol (external piles) as an adult?!
          Last edited by Paul S; 15-05-2019, 09:53. Reason: Poor spelling

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            I originally read " Ault na Goire to just short of Carrbridge Station" as just short of Cambridge Station and was wondering what sort of following wind you were walking in.

            Had an attack of the Chalfonts? Never mind about the embarrassment of buying rubbers or bum-cream, find a toy shop and summon up the courage to get yourself a child's plastic swimming ring!

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              Ouch. And you're distance walking? Best of luck Paul.

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                After yesterday's rest day, back on the walking and 23 miles to Tomintoul were I've got myself a B&B for the night. I had planned to camp 5 miles away, but good firm tracks meant I flew along for most of the day. Tomorrow I walk the Spur of the Speyside Way I am yet to complete with a low level campsite somewhere in woodland west of Aberlour. I note that Aviemore was the warmest place in Britain yesterday.

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                  Paul I watched some programme last night where a guy is walking along disused railways. He went from Elgin along the coast through Buckie to Portsay with a detour to Lossiemouth. Any of those on your route?

                  Looked lovely.

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                    Possibly a mile or two thus evening and tomorrow morning, but I don't like walking on old railway lines as they are flat and generally very boring.

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                      Not quite at Paul's level, but there's a regional park not far from my house called Mission Trails, and it's a thing to bag the five peaks in a single day. I did it this (extended) morning. It was just over 18 miles (It would have been 21 if I walked home, but I got an Uber), and about 5000 feet of climbing. I don't understand how you'd be able to do it again tomorrow without a whole load of lubrication.

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                        I somehow got to Aberlour last night where Airbnb got me a cheap room for the night. After the joy of the Speyside Way I ended up with a 6 mile schlep down the road in a walk that will excite no-one. Just six miles to Dufftown to do today and the rest as a rest day.

                        The actual name of the place I am staying in is Charlestown-upon-Aberlour but everyone just calls it Aberlour. Similarly Kingston-upon-Hull is just called Hull and I was wondering if there are any others?

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                          I think that the inhabitants of Bury St Edmunds simply call it Bury.

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                            My brother lives in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, which everyone refers to as Ashby. (I mean I guess that there are loads to be honest. nobody in the Potteries talks about Newcastle Under Lyme, for example)

                            Or are we talking simply about places like Hull, which the final word in the whole name is taken as the place name? In which case, I guess there are significantly fewer

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                              I think it's the final word business, otherwise there are loads of places where people omit the - on-sea part of the name.

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                                Well, if you want to know where I am camping right now, I am just 50 yards from this sign in Bellabeg, Strathdon in Aberdeenshire. The sign points to Lost Farm, a collection of buildings that was once a smuggling route from Dufftown.

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                                  That's a great shot Paul. Hope there are no midges.

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                                    Originally posted by Paul S View Post
                                    I think it's the final word business, otherwise there are loads of places where people omit the - on-sea part of the name.
                                    What do people who live in Milton Keynes call their town?

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                                      "Home"

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                                        The first midges forecast for Scotland has been issued alas...they will be out down here too...

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