Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Welsh Walk Preparations


This post relates to my proposed walk of approximately 1000 miles round the borders of Wales - for more details see two previous posts under "Welsh Walk" label.

The date is set. I bought a senior railcard and ticket for the seven hour journey from Preston to Fishguard departing 20th April (My daughter Jill will drive me to Preston to catch the 6:00am train). For followers not familiar with UK geography my train will be traveling from the north (see map below), and to get to Fishguard it has to go to Cardiff  on the south coast of Wales before going north again to Fishguard.


Originally I intended to go after Easter but on realising this coincides with the royal wedding and its attendant bank holiday I would not have been able to go before the beginning of May to avoid that period, so I will  take my chances on accommodation over the various bank holidays.
A saving of £5.95 has already been achieved via the senior railcard on this one journey.
A more convenient starting point, closer to home could have been selected, but I know the North Pembrokeshire Coast Path from St Davids to Fishguard as a delight of littoral scenery as good as anywhere in England and Wales, and it should provide a fitting finish. The pragmatic choice would probably be Connah’s Quay - not quite so inspiring.

4 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Very interesting plan Sir Hugh. How long will the walk take?

Barrett Bonden said...

I never realised there were aesthetic considerations in planning such a route other than it should be an aesthetically pleasing experience. Or perhaps I should say bringing it to a close. I'm slightly familiar with the conclusion you have in mind and I agree about its beauty. You will be well-served visually but what about aurally? After 1000 miles on foot you deserve some stirring music as you stagger over the finishing line: may I suggest Charles Ives' Symphony 4? I fear this wouldn't be an inexpensive geature since you would need to hire a full orchestra, a string orchestra and a brass band, plus three conductors. But what the heck, you'll deserve it.

Sir Hugh said...

afootinthehills - Having plotted the route it looks as though it will have much variation with contrasts between, rural, industrial, urban, seaside, country and hilly sections. My main enthusiasm has always been for mountain environments in the past, but since doing the LEJOG walk and Lowestoft to The Lake District I find a lot of satisfaction of a different kind with these ventures.

I am looking forward to this one. I average about sixteen miles a day so I guess it will take about two months.

BB - I have not thought about the aesthetic content of the planning, but I suppose it is manifest in various ways, which for me would include the studying of our incomparable Ordnance Survey maps, and the pleasant anticipation of the event to come, and I am sure there are numerous other examples I could mention.

As for the walk itself this is hopefully an almost entirely aesthetic experience tempered by occasional unforeseeable misfortunes which can be seen as a challenge for the positive thinking adventurer.

The music could be provided, in substandard form from the live extravaganza you mention, by my iPhone which still has capacity for goodness knows how many more cds. Could you suggest an appropriate recording?This is not an opus I am familiar with, but I have some faith in your recommendation

Barrett Bonden said...

My version of Ives 4 (Ozawa with the Boston SO) is elderly but OK and has the the advantage of being coupled with Three Places in New England which is much more peaceful and reflective. I have checked with Radio 3's Building a Library and they don't recommend any Ives, perhaps because they think he's trivial. He sold insurance and never heard of his orchestral compositions played during his lifetime. I heard the premiere of the Fourth while I was in America on the Public Broadcasting channel and conducted by one of Ives' champions, Stokowski.

If you aren't familiar I should warn you that Ives specialises in mixing up different rhythms, causing jolly old chaos. Also he weaves in hymn tunes, folk songs and pop songs of the turn of the century.. Columbia, Gem of the Ocean is heard in at least five of his works.