My 2nd Walk! (24km – 23rd May 2012)

The 24km Route!

The 24km Route!

Whilst polishing my skills I decided that the second walk should stay nearby to Bristol. This walk differs from the previous one in that it is not circular. I had taken a day off work especially to do this walk, as a rare sunny slot in the weather had made it an opportunity not to be missed!

Kit Muster!

Kit Muster – Not much was carried, but I learnt a lot about hydration on my previous walk hence all the 500ml bottles!

Kit wise it’s all fairly simple day-packer kit. I had learnt my lesson from the previous walk and made sure that I had adequate drink this time – especially as my walk would not present any opportunities to buy new supplies.

Into the country - There are in fact two paths here. Without a compass it is too easy to take the wrong one straight ahead!

Into the country – There are in fact two paths here. Without a compass it is too easy to take the wrong one straight ahead!

The image above shows my first transition from the urban to the rural. This image illustrates perfectly why all walkers should carry a map and compass. The proper trail to take in this image is the faint one going diagonally from centre to the right. Without a compass and map it would have been easy to take a wrong turning!

One of my first relatively steep inclines.

One of my first relatively steep inclines.

To up the challenge level, the walk was chosen to have greater elevation changes than my previous walk – though still quite modest at a mere 500ft. Never the less it got me used to the more steeper inclines that I would be climbing regularly on later walks.

I spotted some odd wildlife on my walk...

I spotted some odd wildlife on my walk…

Unbeknownst to me (should have read my map properly!) part of the walk went right by an open zoo – hence the photo above. What the photo doesn’t convey is the cacophony of weird animal noises that could be heard in this area.

Many footpaths on this walk were either closed or just blocked by barbed wire.

Many footpaths on this walk were either closed or just blocked by barbed wire.

As with my previous walk, it would seem that many of the farmers here are trying to discourage walkers. In the image above they had legitimately closed off a foot-path – though in this case there was no signage at the other end, which resulted in me taking a parallel turning at the beginning of the walk into a wrong field! Other farmers were a lot less scrupulous and just seemed to deploy much barbed wire.

This field had an easy navigational marker in it - a copse right in the centre!

This field had an easy navigational marker in it – a copse right in the centre!

The field in the image above was one of my favourites – I really liked the small wooded copse in the centre. This made locating myself on the map very easy!

It seems this farmer was taking no chances with regard to walker's freedoms!

It seems this farmer was taking no chances with regard to walker’s freedoms!

Here a farmer decided not to block the footpath with barbed wire, instead, he elected to severely constrain access to his land to the bare legal minimum….

Church spires always make good navigational markers.

Church spires always make good navigational markers.

Above is a church spire I used to get a fix on my position. Much of these early walks were about refining my map and compass skills. However, by this stage, I still had occasion to doubt my compass and follow intuition which lead to some wrong turns. But I guess this is how one learns. After my first few walks I got more used to relying and believing the information the compass was providing me with.

My chosen lunch spot!

My chosen lunch spot!

Above is a picture of my lunch spot. It was a field in the middle of no-where and completely quiet and blissful.

This journey was characterised my much unofficial barbed wire. Looks like my trousers took a hit...

This journey was characterised my much unofficial barbed wire. Looks like my trousers took a hit…

This walk actually had less barbed wire to climb over than the previous one – however, I had let my guard down which resulted in my trousers getting ripped.

Bliss - The view from my lunch spot. All I remember was the total silence!

Bliss – The view from my lunch spot. All I remember was the total silence!

The above shot shows the view I had whilst eating my lunch. I have great memories of this lunch spot. I can remember the heat, the breeze and the silence – just pure bliss!

I visited many woods on this trip. Some, like this one, had trails designed for cycles!

I visited many woods on this trip. Some, like this one, had trails designed for cycles!

The walk incorporated 3 or 4 forest walks. I really enjoy walking in these as there is always a lot to see.

A few Deer that I spotted whilst making my way through Ashton Court.

A few Deer that I spotted whilst making my way through Ashton Court.

Toward the end of my journey the route takes me through Ashton Court to get to my bus-stop. The above image shows a few of the deer that inhabit the Court.

The view of Ashton Court as I was leaving.

The view of Ashton Court as I was leaving.

The above image was taken back toward Ashton Court house as I was about to leave for the bus-stop. Ashton Court is a great free asset available to anyone that cares to visit!

The GPS reckons I walked about 24km!

The GPS reckons I walked about 24km!

Finally I get home and check out the GPS. 24km!!! Though unlike my previous trip I did not hit the ‘wall’. I finished the trip fairly well energised and could of walked further. Though I noted that once again I had come away with a few blisters.

A lot was learned on this walk – especially with regard to the map and compass. At this point I felt I had exhausted the immediate local area and would have to plan my next walk further afield and plan it so that I had a ‘real’ hill to climb. It was important that I get hill climbing practice in, both for fitness and getting me ready for my Dartmoor Walk later in the year.

If anyone want’s the GPS GPX route files for any of my walks, just contact me and I will send them to you!

That’s it for this entry!

Laters
RobP

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About RobP

Got into backpacking in the spring of 2012. I started as a couch potato then made my way through walker, hiker and now backpacker! As you can see from below I have far too many hobbies! :)
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