Sunday, 28 April 2013

Navigational Issues on Watership Down.

On the 17th April I set out early to do a walk over Watership Down and the surrounding area. It was supposed to be a 15 mile walk. It ended up a little more than that. I parked up and got walking at 0730 following the Wayfarers Walk. It was a mix of grass tracks and lanes that took me over beautiful countryside through Oakley and Overton. I also walked by the source of the River Test. I followed the Test to a crossing point, where I underestimated the 'Infant river' and got my feet soaked.My dismay compounded by the next crossing point being under a few feet of water, I ended up retracing my route, getting my feet wet again and finding a way around it. Things started to go very wrong when I ended up on the downs. I followed the 'wayfarers walk' sign but somehow went off track. I had to rely on the gps on my mobile phone to find a way back to my car along busy roads. By the time I got back to the car it was 1730. I had originally thought the walk would take me 6 hours or so, so clearly I did more than 15 miles, I think it was probably closer to 20. I was pretty tired by the time I eventually got home, but quite pleased that I had gutted it out for 10 hours with just a short lunch break. Some days on Kilimanjaro I could be walking for 10 hours or more, so this turned out to be good practice. Thankfully, and perhaps reassuringly for my family and friends I will have guides on the Mountain, so my sense of direction will not be put to the test.

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