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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Viking Way summary

Arnside to Wetherby  -  Saturday 26th April to Sunday 4th May             5.5 days

Wetherby to Oakham - Tuesday 18th June t0 Wednesday 2nd July         15.5 days

This walk fell into two halves after my involuntary break at Wetherby, returning home to support daughter Jill (High Horse) with her redundancy problem.

There was an extended plan not revealed. The initial attraction was to start by walking out of my own front door, and that was very satisfying. Later Gayle later guessed I must be intending to loop back home from the end of the Viking Way, but that would have been anti-climax. Whilst the first part of the walk was enjoyable, especially the Yorkshire Dales, this was familiar ground, and it was not until after Wetherby that I had the pleasure of venturing into new territory.

The first objective was to get to Caister to pick up the Viking Way and walk that to its end at Rutland Water and Oakham. I had already walked the northern section  from Caister to the Humber Bridge on my Broads to The Lakes walk in 2009.

From Caister the VW follows the high ground down the Lincolnshire Wolds through attractive countryside.

Later on there were more crop fields, but in general the VW is well maintained with cleared paths and pretty good signage. Providing one accepts that this is country walking I would recommend the VW.

My main attraction to the outdoors relates to hills and mountains. In consideration of my knee problems and prolonging as long as possible walking in general, over the last two years I have walked mainly flat routes - canals, rivers, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

RR commented on the last post of the walk:

"...In Lincolnshire especially huge houses are still available quite modestly. One might say that the county is simply unfashionable but the house price phenomenon has been going on too long for that. It's clear most people just don't want to live there despite the fact that the towns are still unspoiled..."  (my italics).

"...I'm sure it has something to do with the land being flat...  Man needs contours"

I agree with RR to some extent, but attraction lies in the fact the villages and countryside are still unspoilt as he says. Whilst one prefers the ambiance of the hills there is much to be said for the panoramic views and the awesome, massive skies seen from the slightest elevation because of the extensive flatness of the surrounding landscape.

If there was a choice between camping and other accommodation I chose the latter. In view of increasing age that may the way forward in future - shorter trips (only because of the increased expense) with more planning for the stopovers, obviating the need to carry the camping gear. Crawling in and out of a one man tent and carrying the weight is becoming ever more onerous.

This was a great trip and I would have liked to have continued. In one's youth fitness increases day by day on such ventures, but I believe that as age increases the graph goes the other way and all you achieve is more damage than good, so a rest seems a prudent decision.


mike M said...

Quite an achievement I'd say. The graph does indeed seem to go upside down at some point. 50 seemed the turning point for me.

gimmer said...

a retelling of the old saw :
a welsh sheep farmer went on holiday to England;
on his return, his neighbours asked him how it went 'what was England like?'
"oh, it's a wonderful country", he says (in Welsh, of course, but this is not a free lesson, so you get the translation into English), "a dream come true - marvellous country, so beautifully flat, not a b......y hill as far as the eye can see".
takes all sorts
great images - very impressed by your new Leica lens

Sir Hugh said...

Mike M ` I retired at 53 in 1994 and most of the outdoor achievements listed on the side bar of my blog have been done since then, so I reckon my graph inversion waited a bit longer.

gimmer - Thanks for the joke. A Dropbox link to my pics of our day on Holme Fell is on its way. For other followers there is a post coming.