Off we go!
All the boring bits are done – kit is all sorted, B&Bs are booked, if posting gear ahead it’s already on its way, and the last few days of training are complete. Now for the exciting bit.
Whatever the starting point for your walk, make the most of the trip by staying overnight beforehand. Nice leisurely evening meal, not too much to drink if you want to avoid the headache and dehydration – entirely up to you, of course! – and a decent breakfast a good while before you actually start walking.
It is always a good idea to take a photograph of you as the intrepid adventurer at the start and end of the walk. Will you lose weight? We did some hard walking over 15 days with little opportunity to eat at lunch time except for nibbles we had with us. I lost one pound, yes just one pound, over that time – there is no justice.
The few final points:
- Protect feet from blisters at the very first time you start to feel any pressure points.
- Some people like to get their head down and walk as far as possible before the first break. I prefer to take my boots off after a couple of hours walking, wet wipes and talc to give them a chance to cool down, put them back on after about 15-20 minutes so that they are happy to walk the next few miles.
- Check straps on rucksack regularly. It is amazing how far one will slip more than the other, depending on which side you swing it to put your first arm in. It really makes a difference to how evenly the bag sits on your shoulders.
- Keep drinking the water
- Everyone has their own method, but I aim to keep a regular rhythm to my pace (3 miles an hour on average) whether walking on the flat, uphill or downhill. Take shorter strides on uphill and keep as upright as possible so less strain on thigh muscles and lower back.
Obviously, be aware of safety and only take the necessary things with you such as one debit and one credit card. Don’t forget to check how your B&B will want to be paid as sometimes they will accept a cheque if they don’t take card payments.
Basically, enjoy it! Admire the views, explore the little towns and villages where possible, take lots of photos and keep a personal journal. Someone meeting you at the end point with the bottle of water and bubbly is a fitting recognition of your achievement. When you get home, send us a blog about your trip!
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Ramblers Walking Holidays for guided and independent walking holidays.