Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Consider the Isle of Wight well & truly WALKED!

This past weekend saw the family head out to the Isle of Wight to take part in Walk the Wight '08 "An annual charity event in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight". A record 10,000 people turned up on Sunday's 13 mile and 26 mile walk, which could probably be put down to the fact that the weather was in near perfect condition.

However, our journey started the day before in not-so-perfect conditions...

We decided that in order to get ready for the big Namibian 90km hike coming up in a month's time, we ought to test our camping gear during this walk. This included camping over the night before and then carrying everything with us the next day. (Tents, food, clothing, cooking gear, etc)

We booked our basic camping stand and set up camp, making sure we were ready to get an early night in order for the early start the next morning. But little did we know that an entire army, or should I rather say LEGION, of crows had a permanent camping stand up in the trees right behind us. Don't get me wrong, I like birds ... but I seriously doubt those screeching creatures up in the tree could be classed as birds!! (How they never lost their voices I do not know. Or maybe they did and had to take it in turns to screech during a 6 hour shift. You never know. Crafty things those crows...)

Night fell and so did the rain. In our attempt to lighten the backpacks we left behind some of the heavier items such as 10pound hammers, tons of steel tent pegs, 5 star luxury spa bath, etc etc. Which meant we ended up getting a bit wet as the wind thrashed the flimsy tent around letting water in.

Needless to say we hardly got much sleep that night.

The next day came and we were off. Starting our way up and down some very steep hills and through narrow walk paths stopping only now and again to catch a breath, eat snacks to refuel and at the various check-points along the route.

Where most people only took their small picnic bags and a change of socks, we each had in excess of 10kg rucksacks weighing us down. As we charged on through the walk we constantly heard people muttering under their breath wondering what the hell we were up to. We even caught the attention of a TV crew that were filming on the day and had to stop for an interview. (I did notice one young guy doing the entire walk on those new bouncy-stilts...Good on him!)

We finished the 13miler at Carisbrook Castle, collected our medals and decided to call it a day. A quick photo finish with the Mayor (We go way back...we're practically best buddies) and then set off on our way back to the mainland.

Overall the walk itself was very picturesque and something I will certainly do again ..... minus the rucksack and this time go the full 26miles!!!

No comments: