Coast to Coast 2004

Planning & Preparation

As a novice at long distance walking and a senior, I was worried about how my endurance would hold up and how my gear would work out under the inevitable rain, wind and cold in October. Since Cathryn is allergic to walking long distances, a big decision was to walk on my own which I find comfortable and even enjoy.

My plan was to walk for two thirds of the 180 mile path (to Richmond) with a 12 pound pack, staying at B&Bs and eating in the pubs.

Training for the walk followed the pattern I established for hillwalking in Ireland, working out at the gym 3 times per week and walking in the local hills and along the coast twice a week for about 6 miles each walk. Before flying to England, I walked several 12 milers with a loaded pack. I had a new 48 liter backpack and well broken-in hiking boots (waterproof Adidas) which served me well. The less said about my jacket the better, just that next time I’ll have a new one.

I prebooked train tickets from London to Carlisle and from Darlington back to London, but chose not to book accommodations since I was told there would be no problem in October Sorry Richard, you were wrong! I was worried about the effects of jet lag on my first day of walking to Ennerdale Bridge, so I planned to shorten that first day by starting the walk from Cleator. Wainwright says Cleator is where “the industrial coast is left behind”, so I didn’t feel like I would miss much.

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