Well after way, way, way too long since my last adventure …
I am excited to announce a new adventure is finally in the works!
What adventure do I have up my sleeve you ask? Oh sit down, grab that coffee or wine or pint or the hand of someone you love cause this is about to get exciting. Well, exciting for me at least, the one heading out on an adventure. Not sure how exciting this will be for you exactly but I will do my level best to make it at least entertaining.
Crazy. Fun. Here we go!
Offa’s Dyke Path, Wales
In 2008, I walked the Hadrian’s Wall Path which runs the length of the border of England and Scotland. So really it only makes sense that I would also walk England’s other border, the one with Wales. I cannot have borders getting all jelly if they are not included. They are quite dramatic like that …
Intro the Offa’s Dyke Path! The Path literally and mostly follows the Dyke that borders the two countries and was built by, you guessed it, a guy .. ok a King .. named Offa in the eighth century as a border (well there is a little debate on the purpose but it feels sorta border-ish so I am going with that). It is said to be the longest ancient monument in Britain and was opened as an official national trail in 1971. You had me at official national trail. Let’s go!
The official Offa’s Dyke Path trail runs the length of the dyke and walkers toggle between England and Wales a few times but mostly walk in Wales. The length? Just a short little jaunt of 283 kilometers (176 miles) marked by the classic acorn way finding signs of the UK national paths. I have read a few books and many are saying the elevation gain and loss combined is the same as claiming to the top of Mount Everest but the tail itself is clearly marked and the views are amazing … when it’s not raining. That is a little daunting and amazing.
I am walking this bad boy this summer, June 25 to July 9, and I cannot wait! The accommodations I will hike to each day all the way along the path have been booked and I have already started to explore torrential and constant Welsh rain strategies. I am also researching local folklore, legends and ghost stories – more on that later.
Want to know the icing on this trails’ cake? My friend Cheryl is joining me for the last week on the trail. What? No jokes! So excited.
After I give the Offa’s Dyke Path (or the OPD to us cool long distance hikers like me and Cheryl lol) a run for its money, we are off to …
Cotswold Way, England
The Cotswolds is the most picturesque region in England they say. You know that image of England with its rolling, beautiful green hills and crisp blue skies and there are a few air balloons dotted in the sky during the most beautiful sunrise that ever happened, ever. That is the Cotswolds! I am that little hiker off in the distance with the bright purple pack. Heyo!
The Cotsowld Way, a wee skip and a jump of 164 kilometers (102 miles), is another national trail in the UK and has been on the must do list for about a decade. Shar, my sister, and I started talking about this one when we did the Great Glen Way in Scotland in 2013. The intention to get this one under my boots was ‘thwarted’ first by the Camino de Santiago (wow), then the Arran Coastal Way (amazing) and finally the COVID-19 pandemic (not cool). While we might be doing the Way a few years later than planned, the wait almost makes it more exciting.
For this one, the band-o-four that conquered the Arran Way in Scotland in 2018 are making a comeback. Shar, and our closest friends Cheryl and Rosa are hitting the hills – the band is back together again folks and I cannot wait. We start walking on July 11th and wrap up July 20th. A couple nights in Bath, then a few nights in London (the queen has asked if I could swing by for a wee spot o tea and I would hate to let her down), and we head our happy selves home.
But before I go I need to recover …
Just the day before I was to start my fail-proof 20week training plan – I heard a pop, felt a hot but yet cold rip in my foot during a soccer match and I am now working through a 9-12 week recovery before I can even train. No damn way! Are you kidding me? Can the MRI be wrong?
I am reminding myself as I sit on a bike in a gym training instead of in my boots on a trail, that it could be worse. It could have been a full rupture and I could be heading to surgery. As it is, its just a couple of tears. Just. Ugh! I have a substantial longitudinal tear in my Peroneous Brevis Tendon, the one that runs from the pinkie toe to the heel (that little piggy is not running home anytime soon) and another Grade 2 (Moderate) tear of the medial Plantar Fascia. It hurts, I am frustrated, I could cry, I have cried, I could smash things, I might still, and I will overcome!
I will recover from this little pesky foot injury, train like a rock star in half the time I usually prefer and then voila .. 5 weeks doing what I love most and with my most favourite trail peeps. Stay tuned for how this one shapes up before we go and as we ramble!