The walked 27.47km blue route! Red is planned, Blue is actual. Had to cut out a fair bit in order to get back to Cheddar for the last bus on time!
This was a walk of many firsts…
- The first walk with a load over 11Kg.
- The first attempt at a real hill – albeit at only 325 metres elevation.
- The first attempt at cooking in the field.
- The first usage of a hydration system.
- The first solo walk out of my local area.
I learnt a fair bit on this walk, such as the difficulty of tracking water usage with hydration systems and I also learnt how to use my Trangia cooking set.
Much of the experience gained here put me in good stead for my later walks.
Here are some photos from my photo journal for the walk:
The kit for this walk. A lot of new kit would be tested for the first time, including the Trangia Stove, Hydration Bottle and Rucksack.
In the town of Cheddar itself. Here I learnt that OS maps, whilst good for country navigation are actually quite poor for town navigation as these maps don’t show street names!
Most of this trip is uphill as I will be tackling my first real hill – in this case called Beacon Batch the tallest in the Mendips. It stands at 325 mtrs, which whilst not a lot, was a lot more than I was used to!
These Bulls had sharp pointy horns – so I decided to give them wide birth on the way up!
At the top of the first ridge-line at around 250 mtrs. The view was awesome and blew me away! It’s views like these that make hill walking such an attractive proposition!
The bite-valve on my hydration system. These things take a lot of practice and getting used to. But once in the groove, the ability to drink without stopping more than makes up for it!
Just checking the map. My route can be seen pencilled in, as well as the last bus time. This made the last part of the trip a bit of a speed-march as I tried to make it back to Cheddar on time.
An enterprising goat using a wall to get at some juicy leaves!
Black Rock (alas fenced off)!
Parts of this trip had no trails – so the compass had to be broken out!
The Trig Point on Beacon Batch hoves into view indicating that I’m almost at the top of the hill!
Rather alarmingly the local horses all started heading my way!
TRIG POINT!!!!!! I’ve reached the top!! WOOOOOT!!
Victory pose at the top. Note however, that at this point I didn’t know how to adjust a rucksack properly(!) Whoops!
A view over to Blagdon Lake to the North East.
My chosen luncheon spot! I guess it’s now that I get to learn how to use the stove!
The Trangia – looking rather new in this picture 🙂 Note, that this stove is actually lit! Meths flames are normally invisible – something you need to take into account!
My fire starter – a Swedish FireSteel. Took me a few attempts to get good enough with it to light the stove!
Bacon Lardons cooking away! For some reason food during a walk always smells much more inviting!
The finished Pasta meal!
Water was getting critical – in fact I had to buy an additional Litre from an Ice-Cream Van. That was my only issue with using a hydration system, it can be very hard to tell how much you have drunk and how much you have left…
At some crags just before I have to descend down the hill!
This was the steepest descent I had done so far. It was quite muddy, which meant extra care needed to be taken on the way down.
Some of the tracks I had to negotiate were quite overgrown!
Here massive deforestation had taken place, which wasn’t on my map. What was worse, was that the trail I was supposed to have followed was obliterated. In the end I used the map and compass to get me to where I needed to go!
An old ruin spotted on the way back to Cheddar.
Cheddar reservoir comes into view. My journey is nearly at an end as the town of Cheddar is just down this hill!
This scare-crow amused me!
And the GPS says……. 27.47km!!!! My furtherest walk so far!
Of all my new kit, these hiking socks were the winners! This was my first distance walk that I had completed without sores or blisters! I liked these so much I bought another two pairs!