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Archive for the ‘Preramble’ Category

A horse and i

Maybe the last chance for a practice hike today, Kintbury out and return (10miles) on mostly canal path that was showing a less than attractive surface in places.

No matter as at Kintbury i found the horse drawn barge parking up and the nice operators where happy to take my photo with the horse who had apparently been spoilt with carrots.

Anybody fancy riding a horse drawn barge, they do regular trips during the summer (food, tea/beer) bring the horse a carrot and you’ll have a friend for life.

 http://www.kennet-horse-boat.co.uk/about/boats.shtml

To save confusion, the horse is the good looking one.

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Sign of spring

After bemoaning the long winter in true Brit style, it was time to search for signs of spring and find one i did in the form of an Adder.

I realise snakes aren’t everyones cup of tea but i’m very pleased to see them, not sure my route passes through much snake environment but luck is a fickle friend and camping in sheltered sunny glades probably gives me the best chance of seeing wildlife.

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Long dry summer

Forecast a summer long and dry
When hikers enjoy a cloud free sky
If this brings worries of endless thirst
Please remember it’s April the 1st.

The above was inspired by the rain in many forms that seemed intent on filling the day when of all the suprises a hole in the cloud appeared letting through the sun and i had to fumble in my poket for camera to catch the fading double rainbow that appeared and dissapeared as quickly as the sunny moment.

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Practice pitch

An eight mile loop today primarily to try a practice pitch of new (coleman) tent that promises to be more stable in windy conditions.

Pitch involved a small amount of head scratching but ended looking good, still not happy with the mobile photo quality but it works so that is good.

Mileage

My last post distance was dictated by the availability of rail stations and though it went very well i don’t expect to cover as much ground on a regular basis, this has however laid the germ of an idea that just maybe somewhere during lejog i could manage a marathon distance.

Boots

Also on that hike i wore Hi tech pathfinder boots and must say my feet were completely happy in them all day, these have probably done over 200 miles now and the only problem seems to be not hugely waterproof (fine with mud, wet grass and shallow puddles, anything deeper and damp socks). I have been braking in a pair of Berhgaus explorer boots (11 miles so far) that have all the waterproof promise of gortex yet feel a narrower fitting,  soon i’m gona have to make a choice.

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Canal completion

Today i covered the section of kennet and avon canal not hiked in any other of my walks, this being Pewsey to Bradford-on-avon, with the walks to and from rail staitions a good 25 miles.
Starting at Pewsey (9:45), there wouldn’t be a lot of time for rest stops to complete the route in daylight so just keep walking until Devises with my only stops being for photo’s, again some splendid architecture in some of the bridges over the canal.

Walking here i became aware the “Barge inn” is a popular name for canal side food and drink esteablishments, (see flikr photo widget), after passing honey street one of the many hill carvings in this area came into view.

Arriving in Devises i was given directions to town centre where i found a good shop for a ham,cheese and chutney baguette with large coffe in snuff street which seemed and unusual name to me. Back on the trail took me down caen hill famous as one of the seven wonders of the waterways. In total caen hill is home to 29 locks to get from the lowland to the top of Devises so a one place where one can actually go uphill on water and a sight to marvel at for those who admire victorian engineering.

As can be seen in the photo there is much maintenance taking place on the canal so its ready for the easter rush when todays quiet canal side stroll will become very busy with walkers and hired barges with those in control trying to avoid becoming a water borne version of bumper cars.

The canal really highlights the changing terrain as caen hill sees locks yards apart, the following flat terrain sees locks miles apart which led to level walking to Bradford-on-avon whose railway station i arrived at 5:30 rather tired but pleased as the weather had been good, forecast 20% chance of precipitation produced several light showers on a strong wind but each time i got near to finding shelter or putting on water proofs the rain abated and my clothes soon blew dry.

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photo test

trying text and image

(looks like i may have this working but will have to try and improve image quality)

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text test

will this work

(presently struggling with mobile blog updates by phone, so some dross may appear here and be deleated later)

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