RAWW (Virtual)- Actual

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Friday (Day 1)

Friday started early (technically it started at the usual time i.e. Midnight) alright, early for me, closing the front door behind me at 05:21. With the first dog beside me, we walked the local streets clocking up around 1.3 miles before swapping dogs and repeating the exercise.

One thing that I did notice is that on a section of the cycle path where the local car owners insisted on parking their vehicles leaving very little, if any, space to get past, the council has erected some little fences to hold the cars back.
I can’t see this lasting long before the fence “falls over” allowing the car to encroach once again !

After doggy walks and breakfast, it was onto the bus to go to work. I alighted, which is like getting off but posher, at Saltley and walked the remaining distance of just under two miles.

After work and in persistent rain, I walked to my daughter’s in Sheldon. Even with the rain, this was a pleasant enough walk along the Grand Union canal.

I had arranged to meet my other half in Sheldon and on arrival, she was already there at the ready with a towel and dry clothes. My top was soaked through and my feet were damp but luckily I’d picked leggings which dried almost straight away.

Saturday (Day 2)

Another early start with a couple of laps of the Water Orton circuit before breakfasts – 6.92 miles.

Post breakie, a short drive took me to Sutton Park. I entered through Banners Gate from Chester Road and parked up.

I had already loaded my route onto my Fenix watch so once I was ready I pressed start and was off.

I headed past Longmoor Pool then up the hill towards Holly Hurst before branching right towards Boldmere.

As I emerged from the trees, I was somewhat surprised to hear some mooing and a quick glance around revealed a bunch of young cows cavorting.
I ddi mention to someone that these young bovines were all male and they replied “Bullocks”. But it’s true !

Continuing on my circular tour of the park, I carried on past Widney Gate and the ford which a number of dogs were enjoying and continued to the visitor centre and Town Gate. The next pool was Keepers (just) and then alongside Blackroot Pool then through the trees to cross the railway before dropping down to meet Bracebridge Pool.

After a short, navigation failure, I followed the road from the Bracebridge restaurant, through the car park and onto the perimeter road for a short distance before diving back into the trees and ascending to the highest point of the walk at a heady 504 feet above sea level.

The route continued down (obviously) to a small pool (Little Bracebridge) before a short climb to re-cross the railway and onto the Golf course.

From the Golf course I followed the line of the Roman road known as either Icknield or Ryknild Street which ran from Bouton on the Water to Templeborough in North Yorkshire. Today, a lot of the ancient way is covered by ‘modern’ roads such as the A38 around Derby.

It was along this stretch that I came across a couple of ladies taking a selfie.
“If we go that way,” one asked pointing in the direction that I was walking, “where would we end up?”
“Banners Gate” I replied.
“And that way?” indicating the opposite way.
“Streetley” I stated.
“Oh, we’d better turn around then !”

The final stretch was along the Sutton Park parkrun course, albeit in the wrong direction and back to the car. Another 7.71 miles bring the RAWW total to 23.85 leaving 8.15 miles before end of play tomorrow.

Sunday (Day 3)

Another early start (this can’t last!) and once again off to Sutton Park.

I parked in a deserted Banners Gate car park at around five and set off the same as yesterday.

The cows were not where I’d left them the day before, if fact it was all very quiet.
I strode on to Town Gate then off to skim the edge of Keepers Pool.

Past Blackroot Pool, across the railway and off to Bracebridge Pool. There was someone sat in a car probably a staff member waiting to open the cafe. This was the first person that I’d seen since entering the park.

I continued around, crossing the railway for the second time. As I walked through the car park towards the road leading to Streetly Gate I found the cows. All of the bovines were wearing collars with orange boxes upon them. Are the cows GPS tracked, I wonder ?

The, still deserted, golf course was crossed as I headed back towards the car. I checked the watch and figured that if I went straight back I’d be short of my thirty two miles needed so decided to add a little extra. I would turn onto Lord Donegal’s Ride to pick up the park run route.

After seeing hardly a soul all morning, on reaching the ride, there were dogs and owners all over the shop !

I continued along the ride then up the over-dramatised “Hill of Doom” to the memorial stone turning right towards Boldemere. At Holly Hurst, I took another right, down the hill and back to the car.

The total distance of this morning walk was 9.39 miles and the total for the three day, virtual RAWW came to 33.24.

I filled the car and was back home before eight. Breakfast and a shower the it was off to Welshpool to play trains.