Walking Wounded in training

Ouch. I say again for emphasis – ouch. Pete & I went on a bit of a hiking practice binge over the weekend, trying to get ourselves in any sort of shape for the BIGFoot, and I’m a little tender today! We decided that two days’ effort in a row was more realistic preparation for the event proper, y’see…

Saturday’s practice was the Thames Path, starting in Mortlake, wandering through Kew, Teddington and Richmond, then back through Richmond Park to Mortlake – all in all nearly 9 miles of pretty easy strolling. Sunday was a different matter, as we decided to yomp from Box Hill in Surrey to Reigate, along the North Downs Way.

Starting at the National Trust’s Stepping Stones site, just by the A24 outside Dorking, there’s a ridiculous climb up to Box Hill over what seemed like hundreds of steps built into the path. At the top, a mere 10 minutes into the hike, we had to stop at the visitor centre and grab a cuppa – and our breath! Then onward along the (occasionally obscure) North Downs Way – which is a terrific hike, with some beautiful views over Surrey.

A 15-minute break at the top of Reigate Hill for refreshments, and then we had to retrace our steps – by this time, we’d done almost the equivalent of the Thames Path walk, and we had to do it all again to get back to where we’d parked our transport! Oddly enough, it was quicker on the way back, but my knee injury from Nepal reared its ugly head about halfway back, making downward stuff quite difficult. Walking poles are the order of the day next time, methinks!

We got back to the car park at the Stepping Stones at about 6:40 PM, having set out at something like 11:20 AM – so a long day was certainly had. Riding the motorbike home with shaky legs wasn’t too comfortable either! But at least we did it – and that’s a good feeling, if tempered a little with some trepidation. When you add it up, we did something like 25 miles – only half of what we need to do on the BIGFoot…

At the moment, my time is pretty much taken up with work and walking, so I’m a boring git when it comes to gossip. Although I had a fine old time at Stu’s barbeque on Saturday – damn fine sausages, mate! Having been up at 6:30 in the morning to go trekking in Richmond, and then walked 9 miles before coming home, getting cleaned up and then going to the barbie, I wasn’t able to party so hard – in fact, I think I got quite tipsy on what seemed like a ludicrously small amount of alcohol. An early night was in order – sorry for disappearing when the party was getting into full swing, folks!

And with all that said, I’ve got a bunch of work to do – so I’ll love you and leave you.