In this post, I’ll share only the first ten-miles of the full-distance challenge. It’s worth noting that this section is commonly regarded as being the most challenging and is exclusive to the thirty-mile walk.
On a rare day off from work yesterday, I found myself with a day that had become free and undedicated, as previous plans fell to pieces earlier in the week. Rather than reversing my decision and completing a full week in my job, I decided to hold on to this day of ‘me’ time and, naturally I was going to be looking for a walk today.
As with other recent walks, I wanted to stay quite local and didn’t feeling entirely comfortable with the outlook of the weather forecast. Having not been there for at least four months, I decided to head for Cheddar Gorge.
It’s now been two-weeks since I completed my second Mendip Challenge, the full thirty-miles of the West Mendip Way and it’s safe to say that my legs have fully recovered.
My aim for this year was simply to complete the same distance, albeit with a little more confidence and less loss of direction along the way. I’d have been happy to have shaved fifteen-minutes from last year’s time. As our two coaches left Uphill for the centre of Wells and a 7.45am start, the grey skies were there to suggest that this wouldn’t be the best day for rushing about.
Before I go on writing about food I probably prepared many weeks ago now, I’ve decided to sit here and write about a group walk I attended last Sunday. This current three-day weekend’s been filled with uncertainty, as dark clouds continue to loom overhead so, I’m not at all confident I’ll be able to get a walk in before returning to that horrible regular routine that deprives you of both freedom and morality…
This was in fact my third consecutive walk with the group and it’s been almost a year since I was last able to say that. A few familiar faces were met along the way. I’d been to Cheddar Gorge many times since 2012 already but I felt it might make a welcome change to be a bit sociable and rediscover it with a group of others; to see where and in which direction someone else may lead.
This Sunday will be a day I’ve been waiting for, as I’ll finally get to lead the walking group on one of my personal favourite routes. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed each of the previous two walks I’ve led but the ascent up to Crook Peak has been a firm favourite since my first journey almost a year ago. I look forward to seeing how the others take to it, especially for those who may not have even heard of it (several members of this group are relatively new to Bristol). I’ve extended the original route I found by about 5 miles, if my memory serves me correctly. I hope the extra climbs and the endeavour aren’t too much.
Last Sunday, in spite of a sore throat and a runny nose, I dragged myself down to Axbridge so that I could confidently complete the second half of this route, after a little mis-direction on my first attempt to negotiate the woodlands west of Cheddar Gorge…