West Mendips Way – Trail Walker Training

Hello World!! Where have we been since October 2016? Not blogging by the looks of things.

So let us introduce you to our main challenge and focus for 2017 – the Oxfam Trail Walker. It’s an invigorating 100km trek across the South Downs, as a team of four, which has to be completed in less than 30 hours. All in aid of raising funds for Oxfam to help end world poverty – whilst also testing our minds, body, stamina and friendship. The latter should be a doddle as we’re walking with our great friends Caroline and Dan! Mind, body and stamina… that’s a different story!

Oxfam trail walker 100km

With this in mind we took advantage of an empty weekend to go test out our endurance walking. The plan: drive both cars down to the Mendips, leave one at Shipham, drive the other to Wells and start the walk back from there. Simple.

We were following the West Mendip Way a 48km trail which is incredibly well sign posted throughout (still a novelty for us having not quite adjusted to life off the Te Araroa trail.) The route took us out of Wells – which is England’s smallest city by the way – and across farmland, through nature reserves, up gorges and along the top of the Southern Mendips.

West Mendips Way
West Mendips Way

The day started in a thick British mizzle, not the best weather but not all together unpleasant. Within an hour or so we found ourselves soaked to the bone, torrential rain and walking in to a head wind. “It won’t be like this in July” we told ourselves “and it’s all good training”. That old line again. We had no choice but to keep walking and rescue Alex’s car from the other end. Pretty good motivation to keep going actually! And luckily the rain did stop eventually.

Ahhh British weather
Ahhh British weather

This is British walking at it’s finest, with rolling hills and (weather permitting) views over the patchwork quilt countryside. The route winds through the quaint villages of Wookey Hole and Priddy before cutting across Cheddar gorge and back to our car in Shipham. It was muddy and squelchy under foot but a fun walk none the less.

Ebbor gorge
Ebbor gorge

We walked 25.7km in total today which puts us at having completed 25.7% of the required distance for Trail Walker… a daunting thought. It’s going to be tough that’s for sure.

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