Pilgrimpace's Blog

re-creation 2
April 15, 2012, 6:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

The time immediately after Easter and Christmas are difficult for me.  I’m supposed to be on holiday but am absolutely exhausted.  They are really recovery time rather than anything more life enhancing.  But part way through Thursday I suddenly found some energy (see the poem in the last post).  I went for a walk on Friday, and on a whim, inspired by Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside decided to push myself by catching the train to Stratford and then walking home along the entire length of the Stratford upon Avon Canal.  This was a stretch of 26 or 27 miles which I had to walk quickly as waking up late and missing a train meant a mid morning start.

still a long way ...

I walked in and out of sun, over frost, through rising mist.

It was a beautiful walk, through the city, the edgelands, and varied countryside.  I realise the need to improve my skills at botanising, of recognising birds and plants (can anyone recommend any books for this?) but I did see cowslips, the may in full blossom, rabbits, ducklings running on the top of the water, a yellow wagtail, buzzards, something (surely too early) that flew like a swallow catching insects over the water, swarms of flies, and a very angry swan.

The names of the places I walked through are a poem in themselves:

Stratford upon Avon, Wilmcote, Wootton Wawen, Lowsonford, Preston Bagot, Lapworth, Hockley Heath, Warings Green, Earlswood, Dickens Heath, Solihull Lodge, Yardley Wood, Brandwood, Kings Norton.

Looking back on the day, it was one of intensity of experience and enjoyment, but it was challenging.  My comfort zone is 15-18 miles; this was considerably longer.  There were some mental battles in the first couple of hours; some physical battles in the last.  I fell asleep once, but woke up before I walked over the edge.  I had to pass far too many good pubs if I was to finish, but I was able to wet my whistle in the Fleur de Lys.

A great walk.  Tired.  Refreshed.  What’s the next challenge?

edstone aqueduct

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

exhausted? Of course organists work harder than priests! But I know what you mean…although walking 27 miles isn’t my idea of recovery. The route you took sounds lovely.

Best regards


Comment by Johnniewalker

Let’s get this clear, Andy … you fell asleep while walking???

A tremendous day. Yes, sometimes it’s really good to push oneself further …

… but it’s a shame about missing those pubs … 😉

Comment by The Solitary Walker

thanks both of you. It was long; I’m wondering about pushing my capabilities to do some really long walks. I certainly felt it at the time but feel huge benefits after sleep. And Robert, I do tend to fall asleep while walking if I’ve done over 24 miles and I’m walking in a straight line. My head comes up and I realise I’ve had a siesta!


Comment by pilgrimpace

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