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Posts Tagged ‘long distance walking’

Really excited to receive my first postcard from my Alps to Ocean virtual challenge today.

1st postcard

I started the challenge on 30 December 2020, walked 115.6 kms so far, and am 1.8 kms ahead of target.Β  I so enjoy reading the information that comes with the postcards; learning about places I never knew existed until I started these challenges.

Oooo…..just keeping ahead.

I was 20kms ahead when I arrived at my current assignment on Monday but if course with limited time and 2 days a write off, I’m going to be hard put to keep up to speed πŸ˜‰πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Alps to Ocean, New Zealand

Here I am at Lake Ohau, the third and smallest parallel glacial lake in the Mackenzie Basin that serves as a water storage for the Hydro scheme. It is connected to Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo (the other two parallel lakes) via an artificial canal. Lake Ohau is stunningly located between The Barrier mountain range to the west, Ben Ohau range to the east and Naumann range to the north which lies between Hopkins and Dobson rivers that feed into the lake.

This turquoise blue lake is a perfect environment for both powered and non-powered activities. Although at the height of summer the temperature reaches a mere 60Β°F (15Β°C) any swimming enthusiast wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity for a crisp splash in the lake. Luckily for me the weather was in my favour and I went for a brisk swim before starting my onward journey. However, I did hear that any sailor or windsurfer on the lake must be mindful of the northerly winds as the water gets choppy very quickly.

It might be debatable what’s considered a national dish in NZ, perhaps fish and chips or perhaps a gourmet meat pie. No matter, my choice was the traditional piping hot meat pie encased in a crispy pastry. This humble meat pie has been part of NZ’s cuisine since 1863 when the early British settlers brought it to NZ’s shores. It’s the perfect size to be eaten with one hand whilst chugging their popular Lemon & Paeroa soft drink with the other. The soft drink’s history goes way back to 1907 when it was originally manufactured in the town of Paeroa by combining lemon juice and carbonated mineral water.

After my finger-licking good pie and L&P hydration, I set off for what was to be the hardest part of the journey. The first 3.5mi (6km) was an easy section as I traversed the lower slopes of the Ohau range across several creeks before I found myself on a narrow track and a sustained climb of about 2.5mi (4km) to the highest point of the trail at 2,952ft (900m). Not that I particularly trusted that I was at the highest point for a while since all along there were several “false summits” where the trail appeared to reach the highest point to then discover that there was more upwards winding to go. During the winter months part of this upward climb proves to be even more hazardous as it becomes part of an avalanche path.

Reaching the top was quite the accomplishment but given its exposure and strong winds I spent little time admiring the view and started my descent. If I thought the climb was a challenge the steep descent with its tight steep bends was even more ghastly for the next half-mile or so.

The rest was a rolling descent crossing several streams. Clean drinking water could be collected at these streams enabling me to top up my bottles. The track joined with Quailburn Road and for the remainder of my journey I travelled beside Quail Burn River first to the west of me and once I crossed it to the east of me, almost like a constant companion, until we parted way with the river flowing into Ahuriri River and me rolling into Omarama for the night”.

Well, it sounds like I had a good time 😁😁😁 However, I’m not sure about the meat pie I ate πŸ₯§ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ since I’m vegetarian, but 🀫🀫 we won’t tell anyone. As for the “false summits” and descent of the Oahu range…that reminds me somewhat of the many false summits and descents I made in Spain along the Camino. πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄

So far along this challenge I’ve walked from Ramsgate to Faversham over a few days and 3.5 days in Throwley. I wonder where else my journey will take me!!

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The universe conspired to deliver a beautiful day to make up for the horrid news delivered yesterday. A grey, wet and dreary day would have been too depressing. Tier 4??? Seriously!

However, we are now one day closer to coming out of lockdown. Meanwhile, knowing as I do, how the British weather system works; grey, overcast skies in the morning…clear sunny, blue afternoon. Clear blue skies in the morning…rain by midday – with the odd exception.

Soooo, when I pulled back the curtains this morning and saw clear blue skies with just a hint of cloud on the distant horizon, I determined to use my shopping trip as an excuse to get out for a long walk. Which I did.

Heading along the same route as yesterday where I discovered Lloyd Park, I once again reached the park.

Thinking a slightly different route in the park would be good, I followed what looked like a nice, firm, dry sandy path to the trees I could see in the distance…it wasn’t firm or dry πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ within a few meters I was slipping and sliding along…

Slip sliding away…

Managing to keep upright thanks to my walking poles, eventually I reached a tree halfway to where I really wanted to go, and called it quits.

About turn….

I did a careful about turn and slid back to the concrete pathway, which although tough on the bones, is so much easier to walk on. I walked as far as the carpark on the distant side of the park, then returned. There were a fair number of people out walking, mostly masked up and keeping their distance. I overheard snatches of a few conversations; mostly about the lockdown and the mental health of people affected by the sudden change in the government’s position on Christmas.

On my way back out the park I ‘slid’ to the left and walked past a massive allotment plot.

I loved this path…
An enormous allotment

I stopped to listen to a robin sing and then went shopping.

A robin trills

Oh oh…who is that I spy lurking behind the bush?

Who could it be?

In all I got in a very good 9.1kms and as a result I’m now only 103.3kms away from reaching my target of 2020kms of my 2020 virtual challenge πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜ƒ

I noticed this amazing decoration on the side of a building near the station

Isn’t that just stunning!!!

As for the Great Ocean Road route in Australia I’m only 25km (15.6miles) away from the end of the challenge 😁😁 I am now close to reaching the end of my virtual journey…239.8km along the south coast of that epic continent – Australia!! I really want to finish by Thursday 24th.

I’m roughly halfway between Port Cambell which I left behind 4 days ago

Port Campbell and 51.2 km (32 miles) to go

And nearing the end at Allansford

I hope to visit Oz for real in 2023/2024….finances depending. I only just received all my postcards from the Conqueror Challenges team. It seems I started the route before they were ready, so they kindly sent the cards in one batch when they were done. So awesome. They’re all incredibly on the ball with their customer service.

And so as 2020 starts to wind down, I’m gearing up to virtually climb Mt. Fuji πŸ—»πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ Hopefully this challenge will dovetail nicely with the last kilometres of my 2020 challenge. And of course, it goes without saying…I’m going to participate in the 2021 challenge too….πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ What distance do you think I should set my target at?

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Got in a very respectable 15.9kms this morning. Starting off with a fantastic sunrise….red sky in the morning and all that

I headed up the coast to Stone Bay via Broadstairs where I stopped off at my favourite tearoom The Old Bakehouse for almond croissants (best ever) with a cup of coffee, which I enjoyed on the promenade, and fed the sparrows some toasted almond crumbs.

Almond croissant from The Old Bake House, Broadstairs
Ever so cute…

Enroute I strolled past the Dickens Museum – although he didn’t actually live here, it was the home of one of his characters in David Copperfield; Betsy Trotwood.

By the time I reached the end of Stone Bay the wind had come up and that promised storm blew in…with a vengeance.

Blowing up a storm
I wondered why….

Before heading back to Ramsgate, I bought some bird seed and scattered it amongst the bushes for the wee sparrows.

The wind was so strong along the foreshore that my walking poles were blown backwards and I had to plow into the wind.

Despite the wind and cold and rain, I had a fantastic walk. The harbour looked very different when I got back from when I left just after 7am

7:20am
11:14am

And tomorrow I’m back to work. I don’t feel as if I’ve had a proper break.

But I did have a most wonderful afternoon with my lovely family…Christmas tree decorating. I’ll write about that tomorrow..

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I really miss watching the sunrise on the coast. Sunrise is always lovely but when you’re living in a town or city, the view could be obstructed. I’m usually based in towns in the countryside and my routine doesn’t allow me to get out, so when I’m back at my base I try to get out every day.

I’m hoping there’s good weather on Sunday and I get a repeat of this ☺☺

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In April of this year, just one month after we went into lockdown, my daughter introduced me to the Conqueror virtual challenges. A friend of hers was participating in them, and knowing how much I love walking, she thought they would be a fun idea for me too. Initially I was like…hmmm that’s a bit expensive, but hey I like the Hadrian’s Wall medal, so yeah, why not sign up and do just the one (please note, at the time I said “just the one” πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ)

I signed up, downloaded the app and for the next week I swore and spluttered as I tried to get to grips with how it all worked…and I walked. But soon enough I figured it out and in no time at all I was adding on the miles and watching my progress.

My very first walk …

The organisers are very clever… besides the fact that the app has (actually) been beautifully designed, the features keep you hooked as you progress along the route…click on the map and you can see ‘where you are on the route’ and until I figured how to turn it off, all the other virtual travellers who were either with you, or ahead or coming up behind. I found that a bit busy and switched to only me.

A little too busy for me, but wow, there were a lot of people on the same route

Besides that, you get award notifications (via the app)…Flying Start Award 5%, or Trail Blazer 20% and Halfway There Award 50%, a bit like a coach would do, keeping you motivated.

Virtual coaching

If you click through to the actual challenge they have 2 stats: Distance and Time which show you the distance you’ve covered and how long it’s taken you. You can set the length of your own challenges. I usually overstate mine and end up completing well before my expected date – then you get a message that says “well done Cindy, are you sure you’re not a pro? Or “you’re well ahead now” LOL Brilliant.

Besides that excitement, they intermittently send you virtual postcards telling you more about the route and the history of said route or the country you’re virtually walking through – and they have really put a lot of thought into it. I get a thrill each time a new postcard pops up in my email.

Conqueror virtual challenges – Hadrian’s Wall
Conqueror virtual challenges – Hadrian’s Wall

They’ve recently introduced a new feature and for every 20% of the challenge you complete, they plant a tree in conjunction with their partners Eden Projects; their reforestation programs help the environment and reduces extreme poverty by employing local villagers. The trees are planted all over the world, from Madagascar and Indonesia to Central America and Haiti. Being eco-conscious and concerned about the destruction of our planet, this was an exciting feature and keeps me heading for the 20% markers. I’ve planted about 20 trees so far β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Conqueror virtual challenges

At the time I started the Hadrian’s Wall challenge I was working in a wee village in Somerset; Nether Stowey, miles from anywhere, out in the countryside and right slap bang on the Quantocks. Give me the name of a walk to do, and I’m there…πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Stepping out on Hadrian’s Wall virtual challenge

And so, during lockdown, I used most of my 1 hour allocated free time for exercise and I was out exploring and walking, the kms/miles soon added up. Using the calendar on the app I added a description of where I’d walked and added a photo for each day’s mileage and looking back its brilliant to see what I did each time I went out ‘boots on’ walking.

Suddenly hoorah!! To my excitement I completed Hadrian’s Wall challenge….I marked it as completed and waited in anticipation for my medal. Yes!!! You get a real life medal, and it is beautiful, a real solid medal on a lanyard. Clever clever organisers.

My first medal – Hadrian’s Wall

At that stage I was like okay, that was fun but I’m not going to spend anymore money on this….

Until I did 🀣🀣🀣 I ‘happened’ to look at the website and saw the Camino de Santiago challenge….my resolve dissolved. I loved the medal, and since I’m planning on actually walking the Camino in the next couple of years, I decided to sign up for ‘just one more’. So I signed up for the Camino de Santiago; at check out, they offered a 15% discount for doing 2 challenges….how could I resist!

And so my one challenge became 3 as I signed up for the English Channel challenge as well – of course the medal had NOTHING at ALL to do with my choice hahaha. Of course I had/have no plans to actually swim the English Channel, but I’ve walked along the beaches and waded in the sea often enough…so, I walked. The distance is only 34 miles and within 4 walks I was done! Whoo hoo…another challenge completed (30/09) and my medal was in the post! Some people actually swim laps in a pool while doing this challenge.

How could I possibly resist this??

Now what? I really really didn’t want to spend any more money on this, but! I follow the Conqueror Conquest Challenges on instagram and one day to my cost, I noticed their new challenge : The Ring Road – Iceland! OMG Sold to the lady in the corner LOL Dammit it. The medal is absolutely stunning. I caved, and not only that but I bought the 5 challenge pack as mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the 2020 Challenge which lists all my walks from 01.01.2020 right through to 31.12.2020 – super awesome. Of course the amazing medal had nothing to do with that either. My goal for 2020 was to walk 1600kms (1000miles) again, since I didn’t in 2019.

….and so I bought The Inca Trail – Peru (since completed), The Ring of Kerry – Ireland (since completed), The Ring Road – Iceland (for 2021), The Cabot Trail – Canada (for 2021), and the 2020 challenge. And then for good measure I added the Great Ocean Road – AUS (currently walking) and Alps to Ocean – NZ (for 2021).

Conqueror virtual challenges I’ve completed
Congratulations on starting the Inca Trail Challenge. This is a 26.2 miles / 42.1 km journey from Ollantaytambo District, Peru to Ponte da reserva de Machu Picchu, Peru.

This trail is so beautiful and full of historical value and because of that, UNESCO declared it a “World Heritage” site.

Machu Picchu β€” A New Wonder of the World

Richard L. Burger (an American archaeologist and anthropologist) thinks that Machu Picchu was built in 1450 – 1460.

The reason it was built is unknown. But most archeologists agree that the city was built to be a “royal” estate.

They think that the Inca emperor Pachacutec ordered the construction for himself, most likely after a successful military campaign. However, it is interesting that although it is considered a “royal” estate, it has not been inherited.

How is the journey so far, Cindy? Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and rest from time to time.

But at the rate I’m going trying to complete each challenge asap to get the medal, I’ve already exceeded my 1600km target and am close to completing 2020kms, my current total is 1749kms including today 9th December LOL – an awesome challenge!! Its been good to push myself to achieve that target.

Conqueror virtual challenges
Conqueror virtual challenges

And so, I’ve gone from signing up for 1 challenge to 10…..I love it. It’s a bit crazy really, but I love walking, and these challenges really keep me motivated, and the medals…..well, they really are beautiful and had a lot to do with my decisions..

In fact you can join up and either walk indoors, run, swim, cycle either indoor or outdoors, you can do rowing and skiing, you can participate even if you’re in a wheelchair, and of course outdoor walking which is my preferred method of exercise. It’s just brilliant.

As for the future…well there’s the John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge …that’s quite far at 1733kms/1083 miles, so I’ve looked at that for 2022 and maybe I’ll plan to walk that in real time and follow the virtual trail at the same time…πŸ˜‰

Now, I wonder what other challenges they’re going to design? I have no doubt that I will in all likelihood sign up for those as well. This could keep me going until I fall over…kaputski!! LOL

and unbelievably (or not) just last week I signed up for their latest challenge: to climb Mount Fuji – Japan…virtually of course 😁😁😁 The medal is absolutely stunning, why would I resist

I mean, come on seriously…why would I not!!

And that brings me up to 11 challenges!! To say I’m addicted would be an understatement….

Why not join me and sign up to complete a couple before the end of 2020 and maybe set yourself a challenge for 2021. If you sign up via my link you get a 10% discount, as do I on my next challenge. https://www.theconqueror.events/r/CE1474

See you at the top!! πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

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I’ve had some amazing walks the last few years since moving to the east coast. The scenery along the Thanet coastline is really beautiful, especially at sunrise on a clear day, and then sunset. You can catch a gorgeous sunrise from Broadstairs or Ramsgate, and if it’s a good day, an equally gorgeous sunset from Pegwell Bay or Margate. I’ve been known to rush over to Margate to catch the sunset or a quick walk to the cliffs above Pegwell Bay.

Sunrise in Broadstairs
Sunset over Pegwell Bay

I’ve always loved walking. As a young girl, in my 20s’ when I lived in Hillbrow Johannesburg, I used to spend the whole of Sundays just walking around the suburbs for hours on end. I used to walk to work every day, up the hill and down the other side….right up until I was 8 months pregnant, and then my boss wouldn’t allow me to walk anymore and insisted one of the staff take me home by car and collect me the next day.

I lost my walking after my daughter was born and my husband bought me a car. By then it wasn’t that safe to walk alone anyway and I got lazy.

When I arrived in the UK, my love of walking was reignited. I lived in Dublin, Rep. Of Ireland for 6 months and my sister, brother-in-law and I used to walk everywhere, especially on weekends when we’d head out to DΓΊn Laoghaire or Glendalough and the Wicklow mountains. In fact we travelled to so many places, I’ve quite forgotten all but the most memorable. I do remember though being able to walk home from Dublin to Monkstown late at night and never feel unsafe….and my love walking,  freedom really, was reborn.

I remember one weekend when we walked across country from Waterford city to PassageEast in the County of Waterford, took the ferry across the River Barrow to Ballyhack Lower in County Wexford, then walked to Arthurstown and onto Duncannon…and in reverse the next day. One of the many fun excursions from my 6 months there.

A walk across country in Rep. Of Ireland

On most of my overseas trips since, I’ve invariably planned a 10 day stayΒ  and walked….everywhere, and included a day trip to another destination. When I visited Venice I literally walked around all the accessible islands and usually started at 8am and walked till late at night exploring every nook and cranny. Actually, after Ireland, Venice was my very first trip to Europe and albeit terrified, I loved every minute.

I’ve since walked 80%+ of the streets in the City of London….much of my free time was spent exploring every court, lane and street, and I walked a fair amount of the City of Westminster too. When we still lived in Richmond, I often walked along the Thames riverbank, either downstream to Kew Gardens or upstream to Kingston and even Hampton Court. Even in the snow πŸ˜‰

When we moved to Broadstairs we used to walk along the beach to Ramsgate. I always thought it was quite far, but its actually only just over 3kms. Now that I frequently walk in excess of 20kms and occasionally as much as 35kms, it seems absurd that I thought 3kms was far 😁😁

During my last stay, I walked along the beach from Ramsgate to Stone Bay and back, and one morning I enjoyed a sunrise walk to Viking Bay…of course I stopped off at The Old Bake House and bought a take-away coffee and my favourite pastry; an almond croissant then sat on a bench on the promenade to enjoy my treat.

Its such a stunning section of the coast and offers much of interest to see. Stretch your legs and walk to Margate… fantastic route, especially along the beach.

No hardship walking in this environment

A few weeks ago I decided to walk to Sandwich (for the 3rd time) in order to increase my mileage for the Conqueror 2020 Challenge.Β  Somewhere along the way I hatched the insane idea of walking the whole of the English coastline….I know…bring on the strait jacket. I blame it on the moon 🀭🀭🀭 I’ve walked as far as Dover so far. Of course Covid-19 has held back my horizons, but I’m hoping to get out more frequently in 2021.

Crossing the White Cliffs of Dover

I love walking and one of the benefits of my job is that I get to travel all over England, often times to places I’d never heard of…and then I walk…

Old disused railway line in Lewes

But my walking got a real sense of seriousness when I started training for the Portuguese Camino in 2017, and started following the #walk1000miles challenge in 2016. That really got me going. I struggled at first to get into walking daily, bought my first pair of walking poles (still have them πŸ˜„), a decent pair of walking shoes (asics) and I’ve never looked back, now I find it difficult to not get out for a walk on a daily basis and get quite tetchy if my walking is interrupted ….πŸ˜‰

Stunning coastline between Deal and Walmer.

Show me a path and I’ll walk it….

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Oh my goddess I’ve found a new long distance walk to do!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ I was doing some research on distances between towns for my ongoing quest to walk the whole England coast over the next 5 years (I blame it on the moon) and found the whole route for the Saxon Shore Way.

I’ve touched on the route during some of my previous excursions, but I didn’t realise just how long it was and how far it extended. Sigh..you just know I’m going to have to walk it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The 160 mile / 257 km route starts in Gravesend on the banks of the River Thames in North Kent and ends in the colourful seaside town of Hastings in East Sussex. The route goes inland somewhere near Reculver and bypasses Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate and again from Folkestone to Rye/Camber but the rest of the route offers some of the finest coastal walking in England.

The reason the route bypasses Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate is due to the fact that they’re all on what was, and is still referred to as the Isle of Thanet, which used to be separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel up until 1550, by which time the river had silted up and was no longer navigable. And of course the Saxons were here from mid 5th century, so the route they created would have followed the then mainland coast.

According to wikipedia: The River Wantsum is a tributary of the River Stour, in Kent, England. Formerly, the River Wantsum and the River Stour together formed the Wantsum Channel, which separated the Isle of Thanet from the mainland of Kent. Now the River Wantsum is little more than a drainage ditch starting at Reculver, and ending where it joins the Stour.

I’ve walked small sections of the Saxon Shore Way when I followed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route to Canterbury via Sittingbourne and Faversham, again when I followed St Augustine’s Way from Ramsgate to Canterbury and again more recently when I walked from Sandwich to Dover.

Saxon Shore Way, Sandwich

I’m gonna have to stop working so I can do all these walks πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€­πŸ€­

The header image is of Gravesend on the Thames from when I walked Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral…my very first long-distance walks, along which I learned some really good lessons – like to never walk in wet socks πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ‘£πŸ§¦πŸ‘£πŸ§¦

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274kms for November 😁😁😁 48 kms more than October. Getting closer to my target of 2020km, but the days are rapidly declining …with only 29 days left this year and 317.9kms to go….and as they frequently remind me…I have to up my game. πŸ˜‰

#walk1000miles

But I have achieved my original goal of 1600kms/1000 miles. Hoorah πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Places I’ve walked in November:

Sunrise walk Ramsgate to Broadstairs
Lots of Ramsgate beach excursions
Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay for sunset
Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay / Sandwich Bay Nature Reserve
Temple – London
Temple – London
Shepton Mallet- Somerset
Shepton Mallet- Somerset
Shepton Mallet- Somerset

As for December….my kms will have to be a final push of 317.9kms to reach my target….so, I’m guessing the week between Christmas and Old Year’s Eve when I’m off work, will see lots of sunrise walks and full day marching along the east coast of England πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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So thankfully I start a new assignment today. I was beginning to panic just a bit.

But the agency finally came through and I’m on my way to Somerset to a town called Shepton-Malett, which to my delight is a Domesday Book town.

I’m looking forward to exploring πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Unfortunately it means that I can’t get out for sunrise walks for the next 2 weeks, so I made sure I got out this morning….and it was stunning. A gorgeous day for walking with clear skies and mild temperatures.

Spectacular lightshow at 06.45am
Stunning colours reflecting on the waves
Good morning sun 🌞

I walked as far as Dumpton Gap and back to the harbour chasing the incoming tide.

The tide was well in at Dumpton Gap

As with yesterday’s walk I collected 6 big pieces of trash that would otherwise have ended up in the ocean.

Besides these, I picked up a big plastic container and 2 other water bottles

I’m going to have to get back to carrying bags and gloves with me again…there was so much more I could have picked up but no means of carrying the stuff πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”

From yesterday

I was also attacked by a bloody dog again that despite the owner trying to grab the damn thing, jumped up and tried to get to my face. It took the owner a good few minutes to get the dog on a leash. My verbal commentary was not very polite. I truly wish people who own dogs would just train the damn animals. Thankfully it was a spaniel so not very big or my face would have been slashed. As it is I could smell its breath it came that close 😠😠😠😠 I did manage to wallop the animal with my stick which gave it pause, but as soon as I moved it went for me again.

Ultimately I managed to move off without much more than my trousers muddied. But seriously….

The tide really does encroach pretty quickly, which cut off part of my route along the beach.

On my way out I walked over this concrete slab.. a bit cut off on the way back…πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ thanks be for the promenade

A lucky morning; I found a real bounty of coloured and white glass pieces on the beach. Yesterday yielded only 2 pieces, today I found loads, especially of the dark green glass that is so beautiful.

I really do love that house…the views of the sunrise must be amazing
I cannot resist taking a photo every few minutes, it just is so beautiful. I love how the colours reflect off the waves on the beach
I saw another dead shark/dog fish on the beach, a tiny baby this time πŸ˜”πŸ˜” I do wonder what is killing them…probably the pollution

A magical walk and I’m so glad I made the effort. My kms are adding up, and the deficit going down πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

After such a beautiful morning at the coast, clear skies and mild weather, imagine my surprise as we approached Canterbury on the train….the countryside is heavy with mist…looks amazing and I was wishing I had the time to jump off the train and take photos

A complete contrast to Ramsgate…not that far away.
Totally spooky πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

My next post will be from Somerset. I’m looking forward to exploring a new town.

Have a good day folks.

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Lockdown and the government tiers certainly doesn’t allow for much by way of exploring, except in your local vicinity. If you’re lucky enough to live in a countryside area, close to the sea, or near a river, even if its familiar its usually different and can still be enjoyed every day.

Hands and Molecules – a familiar and favourite sculpture on the clifftop – makes a good frame for the moon
I adore this house. Located near the King George VI Memorial Park on the Dumpton Gap side, I used to have house envy till I realised how close to the cliff edge it is πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

I live (sort of*) near the sea and even though it’s the same, every day along the coast is different. I’ve found myself with time on my hands due to losing a 6 week assignment so made the most of the opportunity to spend time with my grandson and to catch up on my walking targets for 2020.

Sunrise 23.11.20 @ 7.15am
Sunrise 23.11.20 @ 7.26am
Ramsgate Harbour
Into the light….
Sunrise 25.11.20 @ 9.26am
Sunset 24.11.20
Sunset 23.11.20
My favourite sunset to date…23.11.20 across Pegwell Bay
Sunset from the cliffs above Pegwell Bay near Cliffsend
One of my favourite village signboards – Cliffsend has seen Viking raiders, St Augustine’s arrival and WW2 action

I’ve seen some amazing sunrises and sunsets and had much fun with the kid. He’s developing into a very determined little boy and like most kids his age, he has a strong will. He’s also growing rapidly and requires his Granny to carry him when he gets tired….but Granny is not a bodybuilder and has her limits 😁😁

My favourite swing…he loves it too
Finding a fairy’s front door πŸ§šβ€β™‚οΈπŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ
He’s going to be a displacement officer when he grows up πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ loves to move stuff
Empathy for a dead shark
Just a hop, skip and jump on the beach at Margate

I’ve mostly walked locally and managed a walk to Broadstairs and to the Sandwich side of the Pegwell Bay nature reserve.

Looking across the saltmarsh mudflats to Ramsgate
The saltmarsh mudflats, a fascinating environment

The mudflats are home to an incredible number of birdlife that visit here during the changing seasons

The reserve has an amazing history and played an important role in WW2.

On my way back from the nature reserve I walked along the beach beneath the cliffs; devastated to see the volume of plastic trash lining the high tide level and he number of dogshit bags piled up. It’ll take a team of 20-30 people to clear that up…it stretched from where I’m standing right along the cliffs; heartbreaking.

We’ve had a couple of family outings and made a special trip for the boobee to see the Christmas lights in Margate

Snowman!! Penguin!! Santa!! His vocabulary is expanding daily πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Ramsgate Harbour offers so many photographic opportunities, you could spend all day there

I’ve managed to increase my kms by 74 this week and passed my original target of 1600kms. I do however still have 375km to walk to reach my 2020 target of 2020kms. Looking forward to seeing if I’ve exceeded my October total πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I’m determined to reach my target

So yeah, I may be walking familiar routes, but every day it looks different.

* I sort of live in Ramsgate but because work all over the country I don’t actually have a home and liveineither a guest house or b&b between assignments. One day…I hope to have a home of my own.

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