Sunday, 22 April 2012

Glyme Valley Way

Having suffered a bout of 'flu and also a torn hamstring, I thought I could do with a good day's walk just to check that the legs and feet are up to the Challenge which is now less than three weeks away. A little rain was forecast for the afternoon but the sun was shining nicely when I set out at 7.45am. I got on to the Glyme Valley Way towards Woodstock.

I'd only ever done the route in the opposite direction and I actually went off in the wrong direction at Radford Bridge, realising then that I must have gone off route when I did the walk previously! The main reason appeared to be the lack of a bridleway sign indicating that I should go slightly to the right through a particular gate instead of going straight on up a sloping field. Anyway, I soon put myself right. It was all very pleasant and, in view of the recent rain, there was plenty of water for drinking from streams.

Kiddington Hall

Dovecote at Kiddington
I stopped for lunch by the River Glyme in Glympton. I had my first encounter of the year with some aggressive cows and calves. They were very determined to get me but, as luck would have it, I was able to climb over a fence and get to the gate at the other end of the field (a big field probably four hundred yards or so) by going through a paddock. This infuriated the cows - they knew I'd outwitted them. I know I won't always be as fortunate. Walking on to Wootton, I found that the pub, The Killingworth Castle, is closed until further notice. Shame. I walked on to Blenheim Park, joining the Oxfordshire Way/Wychwood Way to Stonesfield. Altogether, about fifteen miles and the leg was fine.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

TGO Challenge

With less than three weeks to go, yesterday's post brought the *Final Details*. This comprises twelve pages of information such as missing bridges, Glen Feshie landslips (still there but no new ones), ways you can and can't go through the Balmoral Estate and so much more. Warnings about ticks, statistics (the oldest person crossing this year is 89 and this will be his 18th crossing - amazing) together with a list of everyone who will be taking part. There a few familiar names so it will be good to bump into friends along the way. I must now get resupply parcels organised and map sheets printed. I've already started sorting out gear to take and trying to keep the pack weight down. There's always at least one piece of kit that goes walkabout. This time, it's my Lowe Alpine mountain cap. I shall be very annoyed if I can't find it as it has become one of those *essential* items. It's also fun to dip into the Challenge Message Board to see what the latest chatter is.