Tomorrow I try my first New Zealand Great Walk it’s the Tongariro Northern Circuit and goes around two active volcanoes Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. What makes it different for me is that I have to take all my food & possible water for two nights & three days. I’ve booked both the Oturere Hut and Walhohonu hut and taxi service to take me to Mangatepopo and collect me from the Whakapapa Village Centre
The weather forecast is looking OKish although there are certainly high winds. I don’t intend on going to the summit’s so hopefully should be OK.
I’ve downloaded the relevant New Zealand Topo50 maps into the Viewranger app and will be taking a spare battery.
Should be interesting – now to pack my bag
It’s time for another walkie This time it’s a 113mile stroll, completing the 538 mile GR10 trek from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean coast along the French/Spanish border.
Last year I returned and set out from Bagneres on the 9th July hoping to reach Arles sur Tech, so that I could spend some time with Dave & Susie who had rented a gite there.
However, I ran out of time, so decided to stop at Merens Les Vals (Actually at Ax les Thermes) and save a few days by taking the train to the Spanish border at Latour-de-Carol where I caught the lovely open topped Yellow Train to Villefranche followed by a bus to Vernet . After spending the night. I then walked back up to the GR10 near Canigou and then down to Arles (a tough day’s hike!).
This year I’m taking Sally (previously I walked it on my own) to Ax les Thermes to sample the sulphurous waters and hot baths before starting the GR10 again at Merens. This time, walking all the way, so we should finish the GR10, arriving at the Mediterranean in Banyuls. :-) I’m not taking the tent this year so hopefully the gites/refuges/hotels are not to busy!
Not sure how much blogging etc will get done especially after reading this excellent article by Earl “Why Have Travelers Stopped Talking To Each Other?“also some of the refuges are quite remote with no regular phone line. But I’m taking the Air just in case…..
Today started with two ferry crossings both costing £4 single! The first was a mega journey of 16 minutes the second taking less than 10mins. The day’s walking started in the sleepy hamlet of Place where you are carefully directed around the back of Place House so the owners can avoid the inconvenience of looking at the unkempt and spoiling their sea view.. A common practice on todays walk.
The day was overcast with very little wind so was quite pleasant walking conditions. The path’s are also much drier now with almost no bad muddy spots at all. So please don’t be put off with my earlier mud ridden posts
It was a reasonably tough 14 miles especially the last bit, I felt quite sorry for Roger & Pauline who I met on the ferry, as it is their first day of their weeks holiday to Plymouth. I really wish the National Trails could buy an acorn stencil and a can of a special colour spray paint, it would make the marking much simpler & cheaper, it is all so ambiguous with these expensive, elaborate, individually carved wooden finger posts and chunks of granite etc only situated far apart and then not at trail Y points
I met a couple of National Trust volunteers and a paid employee mending fences and later litter picking, I’m sorry to say they had to listen to my little diatribe on the evils of the National Trust. btw If you are reading this, the boardwalk and bridge at Nare Head are lovely and in good condition (although perhaps they should be stained a light green colour ) My idea for insulating electric fences would be using spiroband see here
All in all a good day’s walking with very pretty villages. Had interesting chats with the NT folks and the volunteer National Coastwatch guy who reminded me of Jimmy in Reginald Perrin plus had a good natter with Roger and Pauline about dentistry and bureaucracy gone mad.
Today was a good 23 miler in pretty awful conditions, started with light rain and some sun but then turned into a gale (not funny on cliff tops) with some very vicious squalls. Not a pleasant day at all. Even the Scillonian ferry was cancelled.
All the equipment is keeping dry OK, although its a drag to keep hiding the camera in a dry bag every time there is a particularly big downpour. The iPhone is great in its Aquapac, which is large enough to hold the Tecknet iEP387 batter pack connected up. The iPhone can be operated OK through the plastic, although not so good for phone calls!
The biggest disappointment are the Scarpa boots. The left boot has now sprung a leak so my foot & socks were thoroughly soaked when I arrived, plus they have lost traction in the mud since the tread has worn away. All with just100 hours of walking covering 300 miles in 680,000 steps.
The terrain was a lot gentler to begin with but getting hillier towards the end but certainly hot as bad as the first few days. Adze thought I had climbed 4117 feet today The Guide thought 2848 feet (maybe I should add the Adze figures to the spreadsheet). So a pretty heavy day really. The next couple of days are going to be 20 milers as well.
The Mounts Bay Guest House is comfortable, the owner is very pleasant and he is trying to dry my boots out, the b&b is directly linked to the pub kept by his son. The food was more for car drivers than hill walkers maybe I should have gone to the chippie.) Thanks to Mike for booking me in.
Unfortunately the historic Marconi station at Poldhu wasn’t open and the inclement conditions meant I didn’t hang around. Still amazing that transatlantic radio only started in 1901.
Todays stats are here photos here and Everytrail below.
South West Coast Path – Penzance to Mullion at EveryTrail
Today I’m taking a rest day in the pleasant town of St Ives, enjoying the hospitality of the owner of Cornerways, Tim after first rescuing him from paying a fortune for a .mobi url!!
After our little drinks session last night I couldn’t face a mega breakfast (tomorrow will be different) so today it was just haddock & mushrooms with the most stunning fresh fruit salad of the trip
We went for a jaunt in his little sports car over to Penzance to do his fresh fruit & flower shopping and to see where I will be walking in the next few days & a jar at the Gurnard’s Head.
As you can see from my spreadsheet I’ve now covered over 232 miles of the 630 in 14 days. Thats a daily average of nearly 17 miles implying that it should be about 37 days to do the walk. so finishing about the 20th May.
The weather has been pretty poor although not as bad as Sally has been reporting on the East Coast . I’ve got rained on heavily once a couple of days ago (I bought a flourescent yellow rucksac cover today just in case, as the black dry bag has loads of micro perforations in it – spotted by sticking my head in the empty bag and pointing it at a bright light.
Anyway must go now as Tim and I have just returned from another bender
495 miles to go on The South West Coast Path.
Firstly many thanks to all the new visitors that came from this tweet:
and also many thanks to Betty & Chris for the lovely email sent after I met them in the woods atop Clovelly
Today started of very miserable & wet (both me & and the weather can’t say I enjoyed Bude at all! Plaice & chips last night was ugh and a garret bedroom with no room to stand up in the shower, might be OK if you are 4′ but not for me However, things started to improve at breakfast, the kippers & poached egg were excellent.
The day was once again amazingly windy especially at the 500/130 bench on top of Dizzard Point (wonder if it got his name from making folks dizzy) where I nearly was blown over! Thank goodness for my sticks. The scenery is totally stunning.
I tried to find the landing point for TAT-14 our umbilical cord to the rest of the world in Widemouth bay but it is not to be found anywhere not even any notices warning about submerged cables.
The section as always, has many steep coombs. Here is the profile:
I dropped down into Crackinton Haven and decided I had heard enough wind for the day so I settled for a pint and room at The Coombe Martin Inn, room 6 has fab views, to watch the sunset, over the bay and it’s own terrace. Real luxury compared to last night. Food is excellent too. To top it all I just missed the last torrential downpor of the day