Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

The Three A's way

The three A's are "Alfie, Andy and Alderwood LLA" Alfie is my dog, i'm Andy and Alderwood LLA look after Autistic children ,the aim of this blog is to raise a bit of money for their prefererd charity GlosAid in the Gambia. So how are we going to do this? well on the 11th April 2010 Alfie and I will start a walk of approximately 1000 miles from lands End to John o'Groats (abbrev=lejog) largely unsupported and carrying all the camping gear we'll need. am i mad? probably!




The Charitable side of our walk has shifted slightly. Originally I wanted to raise funds for the autistic kids at Alderwood LLA , but having consulted Alderwood any funds we raise would have greater benefit if donated to GlosAid,
GlosAid is a registered charity for rural poverty alleviation. Their main aim is to help education in The Gambia and are based in Gloucestershire and The Gambia. Alderwood have sponsored eight children at the Roots Nursery School in Madiana Village and any funds raised by the walk will go to the same cause.
Please hit the donate link. (no longer functional!)
Thank you from
Andy, Alfie and Alderwood


SUNDAY, 11 APRIL 2010


One of two achieved

Well after a nice easy drive to lands end (thanks mum and peter for the lift!) We are finally here, we arrived early enough to get the picture taken at the first sign post, time will tell if we get the second but it will prove harder to get I think !. The transit verification form for the end to end club has its first stamp and now everything is in place for our 8.30 am start. while at lands end we met up with the mayor of penzance who was seeing a group of cyclists of for the start of their trip to great yarmouth so we stole the oportunity for a  photo  (will add this to the blog upon the return home) nice chap.
We are now at our hotel the commercial in st just, an excellent fish pie dinner has stoked the engines for tomorrows start and an early night is in store for us.
The walk still feels unreal even after all the planning and training a few days walking and this will resolve itself. the weather is excellent and looks set to stay good for tomorrow so we can count our blessings and await the morrow.

Day 1(added after completion!)
stunning sunshine for the start what more could you need?
oh yes beautiful scenery.....
All the training walks at home can't prepare you for coastal walking, i knew there was a good reason I hadn't walked a coastal path before, bloomin hard work!
I quickly headed in land and followed the quaint local roads to Treen where after a refreshing ice cream we headed back onto the coastal path at Penberth

(looking inland to a wheel used to land boats I presume)
(looking in the other direction!)
following the coast past St Loy the path blurs somewhat requiring a scramble over a barbed wire fence to get downhill thru woodland to the real path!
Another stop for refreshments at Lamorna bay (its very hot and the goings hard!) and round to Mousehole and the long drag around penzance bay to Marazion

 and our campsite Dove meadows.

4 comments:


John said...
This is it Andy after months of planning the weather gods are smiling on LeJoger's, enjoy. Must say Alfie looks quite relaxed about the event. Cheers J.P.
Ruth said...
Excellent picture of the signpost and the sea looks lovely. Good to see Alfie is looking northwards! All the best for today, I've been thinking of you.
Alan Sloman said...
All the very best of luck Andy (and Alfie, of course). The weather looks set to be fine for a while. Enjoy your trip of a life-time!
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Thanks for all your kind comments!

TUESDAY, 13 APRIL 2010


Early day three

Ok I'll admit it cornwall is tough walking , very glad to have finished the coastal path, it was of course very beautiful but the first day following the coast from landsend to marazion was harder than most of the mountain walking I've done! Tho having said that the cornish ice cream kept me going ;).

The weather for the first two days has been amazing and today looks to be another day of sunshine and clear blue skyscapes !

Yesterday went a bit wrong at both ends of the day,packing my tent away in the morning I managed to snap the main pole! Glad I bought a repair kit with me ! And at the end of the day the pub I was aiming to have dinner at closes on a Monday night! And just to finish off the day my chosen camp site doesnt open till may, kindly they let me stay ! Today should be better.

Day 2 (added after completion)
we headed out through Marazion with a quick walk along the beach to see St Michaels Mount,
then along the coastal path once more, a quick snack at Perran sands (very kind as they weren't actually open!) walking round Prussia cove we met lots of french girls (ooo la la!) the reason became clear when we passed The Enys where a musical (college?) was based, very pleasing to walk past and nice to see some of there handy craft on the beach below!
Passing Pra sands the surf dudes did there best too....
a walk of extremes!
A bit of field walking to Porthleven and its harbour
and we head inland not to see the sea properly again untill Queensferry!.
More of those tiny Cornish lanes bypassing Helston and we get to Porkellis for our rather unusual campsite!




Location : Wendron, Cornwall,

4 comments:


Darrell said...
Is that all your walked? It's nice that the camp site let you be fitted in, enjoy your walking today... from a Jealous Guy
Judy said...
Oh bro! It's sounding like a comedy of errors - all except the wonderful weather! You sound happy anyway, which is the main thing - hope Alfie is grand too. Keep strong and smiling :) Love from me, the mob and the dogs x x
Sophie Easterbrook said...
Hi Andy, glad I checked your blog - I was wondering when you started. Well done - coastal paths can be tough going...we're planning to some of that this year. Don't worry - things can only get better. One thing I learned on my jogle is how wonderful strangers can be when you least expect it. Well done both of you...give Alfie a scruff from me! Sophie
saz2020 said...
"I managed to snap the main pole! Glad I bought a repair kit with me" You're a sparky... a repair kit to you would be a reel of gaffer tape and a Philips... s'pose you could tape the screwdriver across the break in the pole. see you soon, you're nearly getting to the civilised end of the South West, Saz

TUESDAY, 13 APRIL 2010


God an early blog!

What a day! Blazing sunshine lovely people and my first pint of the walk, the picture if it uploads is the view from bench at the pub ,honestly its scenic ok! The blur behind the trees to the right is truro cathedral , and we have just been watching two lads fishing in the river that should be at the bottom of the pic,just gonna grab some fish and chips and some supplies then off for our first wild camp, see ya

Day3 (added after completion)
We leave Porkellis by road to Carnkie where we head out across farm footpaths to Stithians, the weather is great again and upon arrival at Stithians refreshments were bought at the Spar there, before more road walking to Truro via the delightfully named Frog pool!.
After our stop mentioned in the original blog above we headed north out of Truro to St Clements wood and our first wild camp.
Alfie braving the wild wood.

2 comments:


Judy Moore said...
Sounds like you had a great day. Hope the wild camping didn't spring any new surprises on you. Try to get someone to take a pic of you and Alfie sometime? Keep on enjoying! Big sis xx
walker_across said...
Your not meant to enjoy yourself! Get a move on!

THURSDAY, 15 APRIL 2010


The dog is officially knackered!

Wednesday (d4)
We woke up nice and early and were enroute from our woodland wild camp by 7.30 a relatively warm night so both of our energies were high, a good thing too as 20 miles of mediocre road walking under grey skys was to follow, the highlights of the day consisted of a huge Bacon butty at a roadside cafe,followed by an ok meal at a pub in a town called Indian Queens, out of town we head over Castle an Dinas an old hill fort
you can just make out the earthworks in the pic (i hope)
as the walk ended at Ruthurn bridge we met an eccentric old chap with a garden full of ex millitary vehicals and two huge remote controlled boats each at least 5foot long which he had made himself one of which was a functioning submarine !.

Shortly we made it to the splendid ruthurn valley campsite, where we very quickly fell asleep!.
Day 5
Sadly our nights sleep was less than comfortable as temperatures dropped sharply below zero, this in combination with leg cramps from overworked legs has left us both tired today (thursday).
The scenery and landscape have been a balm for our tattererd energies as we plodded the 12 miles to St Brewards along the delightfully flat camel trail (top pic Alfie on the camel trail!)to the push up hill to the pub we now sit(me)/sleep(alfie) in,
Our planned days end is only 2 miles away wildcamping on bodmin moor at king Athurs Hall

so we taking advantage of every modcon a pub can give "hic!".
As the planned stop was a bit exposed we pushed on a further kilometer east to a sliver of woodland below Garrow tor.

6 comments:


Claire Paterson said...
Hi Andy - we are all following your progress with interest and so glad we are all sitting in a warm office drinking lots of tea! We are a little worried about poor Alfie - I hope you purchased him the socks you were telling us about! Take care and wishing you better weather. Claire, Sarah and Jade at Alderwood
Judy Moore said...
Hi Bro :) Great pic of Alfie :) xx Always good to read your updates - and (only a big sis could say this!) your writing style is getting quite impressive! (Teacher head on there...inevitable as I've spent all day assessing children's writing! Rather be in your shoes!) Well done for coping with the hard or boring days and appreciating the quirky, pleasant and joyful ones. Hugs to both you and Alfie, and keep the posts coming - I check at least 5 times a day :) Lots of love, Judy xx
Anonymous said...
Hi Mr Green and Black lol, have been checking out your blog everyday and your doing brilliantly, keep up the good work. P.S mum said it was a shame you weren't near a screw fix when you broke the tent pole lol Love Lisa, Denise and Romilly :-)
walker_across said...
Hope you find a sheltered spot tonight, for you both. I see the temp dropping well on the day temperature, so make sure you have a nice warm drink before you get in bed! also remember to "Stick to the path!" >sound effect: "Bone chilling howl!!" from not your mum!
Anonymous said...
Hi Andy and Alfie, Good to hear your progress through the wild west country. Hope the high way men and masked bandits leave you alone. Why are you cold at night, you should be wearing your woolly draws and your vest. You know the saying, dont cast a clout till May is out.lol You might have an itchy arse but you will be warm. Be of good cheer,just think of me, smashing up bus'es as l have over the past couple of days. On me last warning. Thinking of you all the time (well it takes me mind off the crash's) Good luck Phil.
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Hello all thanks for the comments every one I read makes me smile and keeps home that bit closer, thanks :)

SATURDAY, 17 APRIL 2010


Gallery of fellow nutters 1&2



The first two lejog walkers I've met.

Namely Peter and Chris.




Location : Launceston, Cornwall, 

3 comments:


Mags Saich said...
Hi Andy - Chris in the photo is my Dad. He called to say he had met a chap called Andy with a dog called Alfie who said he was going to post his and Peter's photo on his blog. By the power of google I managed to find your blog and their photo. Good to see the old man is doing ok. if you see them again say hi from us! Good luck for the rest of your walk. Mags Saich
Helen George said...
& I'm Chris' other daughter, Helen. You did well to get him in a photograph but very glad you did. All the very best for your walk and say hi to Dad if you see him again. Helen George
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Hi Mags and Helen glad I could perform a comunity service ! LOL! If I see them again I'll pass on your hellos Thanks for your best wishes too !

SATURDAY, 17 APRIL 2010


Gallery member 3

And here's another! a nice lady named Shirley

SATURDAY, 17 APRIL 2010


Fridays late blog and today

Friday started of with the now usual routine of shaking ice off of the tent and walking a few miles before breakfast, this time was a bit unusual as breakfast was eaten at the highest point on bodmin moor at the summit of the unfortunately named Brown Willy,
 superb views all around with the moors to our selves we headed east blazing our own trail to the roads that linked us to launceston.
 this road section was again through tiny country lanes in beautiful sunshine and that gentle breeze keeping us cool, dinner was had at a pub (The Rising Sun Inn) enroute consisting of a nice bangers and mash followed by sticky toffee pudding.mmmmmm the last few miles saw us to our destination the thornbank guesthouse where we are now( Saturday) chilling out for our rest day.
 Pleasant town with a nice castle ruin in the middle, just had lunch here and am looking forward to doing nothing for the rest of the day ;)

6 comments:


Judy Moore said...
Whoa Bro :) Well done for making it to the first rest day - I'm sure you're all set for succeeding with the rest of the challenge now :) I'm trying to plot to drop by one weekend when you have a rest day, but that's looking a few weeks away yet, so don't start panicking yet :) I'll give you plenty of warning. Hope you got a really lovely rest today - it's been gorgeous weather here and hopefull it's been the same with you two too. Love to you both. Big sis xxx
Anonymous said...
Hi Andy with help from my friend Ron I have finally sorted it.Hope the weather is still good and your feet are ok,hope Alfies leg is still ok and he is still happy.Let me know where you are staying tonight.Love Dad
Anonymous said...
Hi Andy I forgot to mention I had to go to see the Diabetes Nurse this morning and she told me that she has two Border Terriers one twelve weeks old and one four years old,she got the puppy from a breeder near Earls Barton.How about that then! enjoy le jog.Dad xx
judy said...
Hey Pops! Congratulations on working out how to do this :) Pud's doing well isn't he :) Love you both! Judy xxx
walker_across said...
Hi Judy and Dave(Dad). Andy's not blogging much is he! I'll tell him off when I next speak to him, with hope I'll be meeting him next month and walk with him for a week, to give a bit of support to the Old Man.. Darrell
Anonymous said...
Hi Judy and Daryl nice to hear from you both.Judy have Steve and Rob had their B/day cards ?.Isnt it a lovely day today more like spring,hope you are all O.K no colds etc.love to you all.Dadxxx.Hi Daryl have not seen you for a few years,hope you are keeping well regards Dave.Andy and Alfie hope you have good weather and your feet are OK Love Dadxxx

FRIDAY, 23 APRIL 2010


A technical hitch!

Or it's OK we're not dead honest!
I've tried three times this week to restart the blogging but after every try the phone has reset itself! aargh!
Hope this will get through and I can play catch up for the last week!
Pressing send button now fingers crossed!

2 comments:


Anonymous said...
So please to hear you are both ok. I check your blog when I check Pete's and was worried there was a problem. Pete has been having problems getting his blogs to load so you are not alone(the wonders of moderm technology). Anyway hope you are both still having fun (if thats the word) Take care Zoe Birch (pete and Gyp)
Geoff said...
Hey dude its Geoff from Alderwood the guy from resources. Hope all is well with your travelling and you are enjoying the fine weather we are having. Im so jealous would love to be travelling around the country and discovering losts of new and wonderful places. Takecare both of you.

FRIDAY, 23 APRIL 2010


Launceston to sourton down



Today was a day of easy navigation almost one continuous straight line, this could have been really dull as the straight line in question turned out to be the old A30 now a b road the views were pleasant as the road crested then followed a ridgeway keeping us occupied when not dodging traffic! lunch time saw us taking a break at the blue lion in Lewdon where all the locals made us welcome till we headed off again with liquid pain killer for the feet nestling nicely in my belly!
The straight section continued to Bridestow where we joined the two castles trail through pleasant farm land to sourton down, enroute we encountered the most odd looking pub I've ever seen( see pic) half old mother Hubbard and half Dick turpin theme with black Bess rearing on top of the porch! Sadly it was yet to open will have to inspect more closely at a later date!.

The campsite was nice and as I set up for the night the neighbouring caravan owner walked over and gave me an ice cold beer to say hello!

1 comments:


Judy Moore said...
Ho Bro Reading between the lines, are those feet struggling? Hope not, too much :(... Fingers crossed. Noticed Darryl's planning to join you for a whole week :) that's awesome! And you've got Dad online and almost functioning :) bless x x Good to see your posts again tonight. (and to chat to you t'other night!) Lots of love, Judy x

FRIDAY, 23 APRIL 2010


Sourton down to Uton

Left the campsite nice and early and headed east on an abandoned railway line nicely converted for foot and cycle travel, more good views as we passed over the meldon viaduct looking up to the moors above,

 following the railway tracks we came to okehampton where we took to the moors via the beautiful east okement river cleft
up to Belstone stocks where Alfie had a rest...

only for a short while as our route was again east to sticklepath where yet more roads carried us to our camp site Beare farm campsite, at Uton near crediton. Lovely chap running the site who upon hearing our plans and charitable intent (pun intended) allowed us to stay free!

0 comments:

SATURDAY, 24 APRIL 2010


Uton to tiverton

More road walking today! first of we had the bizarre experience of walking in a traffic jam on the road to crediton, a new layer of stone chips was being laid on fresh tarmac with on a tiny single lane road with only enough room for the works vehicles so we stood in line with the other traffic!
We restocked supplies then headed out of crediton to thorverton via shobrooke pleasant drink at the Exeter arms with the locals, pubs most interesting feature was the well in front of the bar!.
Off we go again uphill following the Exe valley way and I mean really uphill! to about 600 feet in height! worth the sweat and the effort for the panoramic views back the way we had walked,

then down into the valley past bickleigh castle and on into tiverton for a resupply stop and fish and chips supper quickly scoffed down and odd to find a wild camp for the night near the Grand western canal at a delightful(!) abandoned railway line.

0 comments:

SATURDAY, 24 APRIL 2010


Tiverton to taunton

An early start from our dodgy railway campsite and pig go along the canal again to Halberton where a ghostly sight appeared!.
Can you see it?

Further along to Sampford Peveral where we met a lovely lady named Lou and her dog mojo

( see pic), who kindly took us in for tea and biscuits ! alfie had great fun playing with mojo think he needed some dog time as his spirits were certainly lifted as were mine too!
With a spring in out steps we motored on to a lunch pub stop where as alfie got lots of fuss and attention.A push into Wellington saw us disappointed for our early finish as neither campsite allowed tents  ........ So much could be said here! ... .. So a further six miles of walking had us rush through taunton with just a blur of the cathedral until we reached Bathpool and the lovely Tan pits cider farm campsite where the routine of tent up,dog fed, me fed, sleep. ended the day.

0 comments:

SATURDAY, 24 APRIL 2010


Taunton to Bowdens campsite

An easy day today with just 12 miles to walk ,so after a slovenly10.30 start we once more followed the canal,

 this time to a place called Charlton then via road we went through Knapp and Lower Knapp where we were passed on the North Curry road by a beautiful horse drawn carriage 
(pic to follow) another pub for lunch and met some great people who between them raided they're loose change to the sum of ten pounds ,thanks to Gail,Nina and Taff (pic of Nina and Gail).

A good straight road through Stoke St Gregory had us finally to the Somerset levels and through them up the hill to our campsite Bowdens (near Aller) superb site this has its own restaurant and pub with unbelievable views to the south west over the levels.

0 comments:

SATURDAY, 24 APRIL 2010


Bowdens to Glastonbury

Once again a 12 mile day to complete our first two hundred miles ,both tired and looking forward to the Saturday restday ,our path went through the pretty village of High Ham then once more to the Somerset levels,to the quite boggling amount of people in the town of street, probably normal levels of population but after two weeks of walking quite dizzying to see so many faces! Another pub meal and we finished our day by 3 pm at the overpriced Isle of Avalon campsite (12 pounds per night!) .
Enjoyed a great visit from friends Saz Rab and another Andy......

 and had pleasant meal in town where Alfie won over the bar maid to gain entry! Will insert a picture of her and Alfie when I can, sooooo funny to see her melt into "ooo cute puppy mode"

0 comments:

SATURDAY, 24 APRIL 2010


Glastonbury rest day 2

What can I say about Glastonbury? The hippy capital of GB I can only hope those who come here looking for spiritual peace find it , all I found was that I felt overdressed in my travel stained walking gear and unsure of Alfie's security when left outside a shop, sad really thought I'd like the place. My Nirvana remains in a quiet high place surrounded by open views with a gentle wind to take away the heat of a walk.
Other than Glastonbury the mechanics of the walk must continue, washing(see pic) repairs and ration restocking. Fully rested now so all systems are go for another week up to Bewdley.

4 comments:


Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Do I sound despondent in this post ? Trust me I'm not , this is the point in the walk where we turn from heading east to heading north so its been a focal point for the last 2 weeks, the time to prove ourselves is nearly over and the time to reach beyond any planned rescue points is approaching so quite a heady time and serious desicions lay ahead. Of course all challenges will be met with a laugh and problems delt with sensibly! So a cheerful pair will continue on !
Judy Moore said...
Hi again Andy! Thanks for all those catch-up posts! You're doing really well :) Nothing more than we all expected though. It must be lovely getting positive reactions from (nearly!) everyone you meet - even though I'm sure in some pubs LeJogers must be quite a regular occurrence. We're getting geared up for Rob's 14th birthday - this Thursday - and Philip's GCSE's kicking off in earnest soon. Impossible that they're both so old - till I look in the mirror and reality hits home! Keep those spirits up, and all 6 feet comfy, and carry on enjoying this amazing journey. Lots of love from, Big Sis xxx
Sophie Easterbrook said...
Your both doing so well - really proud of you! Campsites get cheaper as you head North - you have some really good stuff ahead. Sophie
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Cheers Sis and Sophie! More supports always great !

SUNDAY, 25 APRIL 2010


Glastonbury to Chew Stoke

Probably our earliest start at a fresh 7.20 am with a brisk march across the last of the Somerset levels a Sharp ascent up Ebbor gorge and just the clouds darkening Glastonbury as we looked back south and west......

 before we concentrate on the big push north, its been good to get off the roads for a bit, Alfie has so much more fun on paths and trails!
Exceptional timing today as we left the planned route to go to a pub named The castle of comfort for Sunday lunch. as we settled into roast chicken the skys opened and drenched the mendips where we would have been walking ! To be on the safe side we donned waterproof coats and created many smiles as passersby admired Alfie!, down from the mendips we passed my planned wild camp spot as it turned out to be private property ,oops! So on into chew stoke where we managed to sweet talk our way into a non dog B&B(cheers alfie)

0 comments:

MONDAY, 26 APRIL 2010


Chew Stoke to The banks of the Severn

Started today feeling rough ! Don't think I've been taking on enough sugars felt better after a good English breakfast at the B & B tho, glad I did get my energies up too as today has been really hilly again, simple road route to Upper littleton then over Dundry hill to pick up the Monarch way to Long Ashton picked up pastries at a bakery and sat on flowery bank in the sun to eat my grub.
Went east out of town and into the Ashton court estate , pretty place with deer mowing the lawns for them!

Climbed out of the estate and entered Bristol via the Clifton suspension bridge cracking piece of engineering!

Then followed the bristol community forest path through town not much in the way of forest to my eyes! Went through some charming and no doubt incredibly rich suburbs and then through the council estates where I was able to restock food and get some more cash, from the council estates we decended to my chosen route over the M5 only to find the bridge had been demolished oh sugar I said..........
Did find an alternative route through Hallen which just happened to have an open pub , so that worked out nicely! Following this continued through the Crooks marsh petrochemical plants.........

 and finally to the severn way and our pitch on the banks of the estuary with great views to Wales and both the severn bridges as the sun sets over the water.

I think we managed to see most aspects of Bristol today, nice city too hilly tho !

2 comments:


Anonymous said...
E.L.Oooooooooooooooooo, You must get plenty of energy for your journey, lots more breakfast's and watery pub lunch's that will make you well. hic. Are you feeling ok cause it sounds to me like your turning into Wallace and gromet. Cracking piece of engineering, Gromet. Good to see your taking some of the better sides of the English country, The petrochemical plants, how exciting. Well so far so good all bus'es still intact. working till 2 in the morning this week so dought i will be able to call at said time so might call either on my break about 9 ish or when l finish about 2 in the morning that will be ok wont it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh well best let you get back to the exciting walks and views of the country. Perhaps the M5 or some factory units. Keep it up lad bye for now.
Judy Moore said...
Bro :) You're doing so well! Sounds some heavenly country you've been going through! Hope the sun keeps shining for you, and Alfie and you stay well. Say hello to Worcester when you get there. Lots of love from all of us in St Neots. J x x x

Tuesday, 27 APRIL 2010


Severn bridge to shepherds patch

As I write this blog o have a small ball of ginger fur named Alfie hogging my sleeping bag! Not sure what's wrong with his ! Cute tho .
Today we woke to a thick mist obscuring everything this made both the Severn bridges very moody (will add pics soon)

 just north of the second bridge the mist started to lift revealing to heavily laden figures walking towards us, these turned out to be mike and Jenny from an army barracks in York walking from barracks to landsend each of them were carrying about 4 stone of gear! God knows what tho!

With the mists clearing the nice FLAT landscape was revealed with views of pastural bliss ! At west end sluice we dodged the extra mile to oldbury on Severn by hopping over a 15 foot long bridge owned by the water authorities and banned for use by us normal mortals, daresay most take this route, following this was the delightfull magnox neuclear power station ,

 topped up with water at what used to be a pub bit is now an autistic kids home (forget its name tho) here we also met Maggie, Annie and Dave cooper who kindly donated ten pounds to the charity and half of Annie's tea, yep alfies charm works again!

Wandered on to the old powerstation at hamfield farm and headed inland to Berkeley for supplies ,cut a corner here and walked cross country......

 to shepperds patch where our campsite is right at the back of the Tudor pub, plaice and chips for dinner mmmn.

3 comments:


Sophie Easterbrook said...
I think I may have pitched there myself last year! If it's where I remember, it had a terrible flood there some years ago? Very friendly owner and a good place to stop - especially with the pub serving some good food (which I failed to resist!). I had the same problems with Patch taking over my sleeping bag....but they make great hot water bottles on a cold night! Well done both! Sophie
Judy Moore said...
Andy, you make it all sound so scenic! (... at times, anyway!) Thoughts with you both 24/7, keep it up!! Judy x
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Hi Sophie , sorry for the delayed response often too tired to pay much attention to things other than Alfie food and beer of an evening ! Very flat campsite so I can imagine its built on a floodplain, the pub at the site looked quite tidy so no sign of recent floods. Alfie is holding out remarkably , his pads show very little sign of wear and tear and his fitness continues to improve, after initial problems with the cold bothering his bad leg he now shows just far too much energy. Good for him !

WEDNESDAY, 28 APRIL 2010


Sheperds Patch to Wainlode hill ( a magical place!)

A great day! We raised 42 pounds from complete strangers without asking once! the rollcall of honour
Sandra & heinz,the crew of the barge Flossie,Richard Bond,Dave & Jenny,Lynn,and the landlord of the red lion at wainlode who returned our camping fee of 10 pounds upon hearing what we are doing! Thank you all!.
The walk itself was along the gloucester and sharpness canal passing many odd what I assume to be canal bridge houses with Corinthian columns and a general Greek look about them,
                                                         (one of the prettier ones!)
entered gloucester and resupplied the dog food , promptly leaving town again ( I'm sure gloucester is nice just didn't get a feel for the place )
Bit confusing finding the way out as my maps are a little out of date I'm sure I didn't plan to walk along the bypass!
Finally  finding the path I met three lads with full packs about to head north along the Severn too , but left them to finish discussing the route, we opted for an inland route about 2 kilometres shorter than the Severn way, taking us over a hill with great views to the malverns and more importantly to the pub and campsite at wainlode.
setting up tent we had our second pole disaster as the main pole snapped again! Now making do with my walking pole holding the tent up, works quite well and as s new tent is being bought out by my missus at the weekend its no great problem (see pic above) .
Having repaired our shelter we sat at the front if the pub eating lamb shank (alfie got the bone) and watching an amazing sky not too sure what made the sky so great (beer maybe ?) But it kept me fascinated !

The three lads I'd met in gloucester arrived we sat supping the local ale and chatted away, as the sun finally set some cars pulled up with huge nets on they're rooves after much speculation the landlord clarified that the men where fishing for elver (young eel) which will be exported to Hong Kong!

3 comments:


Judy Moore said...
Yo bro :) Sounds like you had a great day :) Much more fun than mine, and I had nothing to complain about! Managed to get in 4 games of rounders with 8/9 year olds before the heavens opened this afternoon (phew!). Had the RSPB in this morning talking about the results of the Big Schools Bird Watch which we took part in earlier this year - that was good too. Nothing much going on tonight - even though it's Rob's birthday, he's at Dave's so we'll indulge him tomorrow night instead. *(that means he might get out of washing up duty!) How does it feel for your YOUNGEST nephew to be 14 now? Hehe! Have a great walk tomorrow and a lovely weekend with R. J xxx
Anonymous said...
EEEEEE L O, sorry not been in touch, not forgotten you, whats name, but what with work and picking Tom up and washing my hair, lve not had time. So thought ld send a quick massage now. Bye. No not really just being silly. Hows your weekend with Ruth gone, hope she has been a good girl and brought out the nessasery (or how ever you spell it) repairs that one required. Should be on earlies this week so will call or anoy you constantly. And yes l know l cant spell, thats why l'm a plumber and bus driver. Mind you good at filling in accident reports. Love you Phil X
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
Hi Sis, I'm great at missing birthdays sorry Bob! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend at Edale if you can still make it ! Catch up more then eh? See ya sis hi to Phil, ya silly arse ! Any more dents ? Oh and your spellings as bad as your plumbing! Any more plans about meeting us with Mr Button ? Let me know See ya buddy

thursday, 29 april 2010


Wainlode hill to worcestor

A nice early 7.30 start and we were away before the lads from London stired, would have been nice to say farewell as they were a great bunch of lads.
We kept to the Severn way on the east bank,(tho my map shows it on the west?)  Had breakfast of a pastie from my pack and plodded through the fields to tewksbury, pretty town worth another visit one day , had a great value/quality all day breakfast at a cafe where we were both allowed in, nice to eat without worrying about alfie.

 The route out of town took us past st johns castle tho we were to busy clambering over the small landslide on the path to notice it!
The way threaded through thick grass with clouds of mozzies at every step as we reached the M50 things went wrong, either the breakfast or the pastie was to blame but drastic action was required.


M50 another under bridge view!
As things continued to grumble away we hit a section of path zigzaging through a farm and sand/gravel pit which in my state was confusing and irritating to say the least and as the rain also started to fall we hit the A38 at Severn stoke all the way to our campsite on the ringroad of worcester.
Still after a day such as it was we had completed our 20 miles planned and continued to keep to plan, seems to take a lot to stop us in our tracks.

0 comments:

friday, 30 April 2010


Worcester to Bewdley

Today was a great day, at the start all of yesterdays problems were behind us (sorry!) And as the sun shone down we headed into Worcester, we lost our way slightly navigating the docks but as it had all been modernised sympathetically it was a pleasant maze to fathom.

Stopping near the catherdral a cappuccino and baguette was purchased at a posh cafe where I mentioned what we were doing (to explain our less than normal appearance) to a waitress who explained that she had just completed the Three peaks challenge of snowden,Ben Nevis and Scafell pike , she seemed impressed that I mentioned that I thought it was beyond my capability, nice to leave a smile on a strangers face !.
Back on the banks of the river we left Worcester behind on what is my favourite part of the Severn way I'm sure the sunshine had a lot to do with it but the whole section was untainted by constructions and even had a field set aside as a retreat for contemplation and rest , following this we walked through the grounds of the Camp house pub with its collection of chickens of various breeds and peacocks and peahens, a most charmingly eclectic pub which if I had known of its existence I would have enjoyed stopping at !


Further on we past an archeological survey taking place on an island in the middle of the river, other advocates of time team would've also recognized a geo phys survey. sadly didn't find out what they were looking for as the survey was at too early a stage.
Away from the river at Grimley and cross country for refreshment at the Holt Fleet pub, the river here and for sometime onwards has cute little wooden homes/shacks which I found charming in an isolated way, the path enters Stourport through more dockyards and small fairground.



Our way headed out of town towards Ribbesford woods where we met two fellow  lejogers this time cyclists Paul and Dan nice to add a pair of new faces to the nutters gallery.

The path into the woods had been obliterated by a motorcross course luckily shut down for the day, then on into the woods over steep hill and finally to Hoppleys campsite for a two day stop to meet up with Ruth my better half.
Back on the blog Monday.

2 comments:


Zoe B (gyp) said...
Sorry may be completly off track but is 'Ruth Lejog sporty 40's' your Ruth or is it just a massive coincidendce
judy moore said...
Yes, Zoe, they're one and the same :) (speaking here as Andy's big sister) Andy - the Camp at Grimley to which you refer was a regular haunt on Sunday afternoons when I was a student at Worcester :) See what you missed by not being a student?! Glad you're still getting on ok, and long may that continue. Our original plans to try to catch up with you next weekend are, I'm afraid, impossible to fulfil cos I have two other commitments on Friday evening, leaving not much time on Saturday to get up to Edale and see you :o( So sorry :o( Even the kids had been hoping to come and see you Good luck with the forthcoming week/s - and pleaaaase try to post regularly cos we all worry when you don't! Lots of love, Judy and family xxx

monday, 3 MAY 2010


Bewdley to Wombourne

After a lovely 2 days off with Ruth  (sporty forties) and a fortifing fried breakfast we left our little bit of heaven and walked down into a quiet bank holiday Bewdley and once more onto the Severn way for the last time,

some lovely graffiti under a bridge on the severn
 quickly finishing this stretch we headed into Eymore wood and picked up the Worcester way through some hilly farm land to drakelow and then up onto Kinver edge, good views to left and right with plenty of dogs for the rejuvenated alfie to have a go at ....! A good viewpoint at the end of the edge over Kinver and down we went to look at St Austins rock this turned out to be St Austins rock houses all cut into the sandstone rock in true troglodyte fashion.
St Austins Rock houses and gardens

Walked into Kinver and food bought for a quick picnic on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. pleasant plod along here with heron robins and a multitude of unidentified birds and the now normal odour of wild garlic coming into flower ,past Stourton we passed what is called on my map "Devils den" sadly unenlightened as to quite what this is other than seeing a door set into a cliff face at canal water level ......?.
Stopped for a drink at the pub at greensforge ,we had been passed by a family of cyclists with 2 more border terriers earlier  and met them again here where they ( the Mc Arthies) very kindly donated 20 pounds to the charity.


A push along the canal and we reached our Target wild camp for the night where the new tent was erected thanks to Ruth for sorting out our new tent! Which if JP of lejogplod ever see's it will find very familiar minus the cow hoof prints tho eh JP ! 

4 comments:


John said...
Hi Andy, You enjoy the new tent and i look forward to your assesment of it. The devils part of the canal remains a mystery to me, i though the little door was a home carved boathouse, the stable carved in the rock at one lock was really neat, and it's the only canal on which i have seen a county baorder marker post. Cheers J.P.
souday said...
We have the advantage, Peter is 69 so in his erotic year of life, amd MUM is looking forward to it in July of this year.. Beat that! We drive a car with the NO. plate 6969RE 41 So there.
Judy Moore said...
Bro, Glad you had a good weekend :) Ours was fine too.. lots of good dog walks, with sunshine and birdlife aplenty. Just in case you hadn't seen my comment on a previous post, I'm afraid our proposed trip up to Edale is a non-starter cos we would only get there mid afternoon due to Fri night commitments, which isn't much good if you head off early Sunday, really.... Sorry chum :( Am sure you'll not miss us too much though. Our thoughts will be with you all the way. Lots of love, Judy and the clan x x x
Anonymous said...
Hi Andy hope you have a relaxing day tomorrow.I think it is going to be rather wet by the weather forecast! Still the next few days will be familiar seeing that it is the Penine Way,so get those feet busy.love Dadxxx


TUESDAY, 4TH MAY 2010


Wombourne to Cannock Chase

The last section of canal walking today so farewell to level walking!
The route through wolverhampton i'd anticipated as being very industrial and to my great satisfaction it was'nt, other than the bridges overhead being busy with traffic and some major railway bridges with some great graffiti (pic below) you wouldn't have known you were in a major city! Well done to the local council for keeping it clean! .


Coming into the small canal intersection (?) Of cross green we met Adrian and sue who donated to our charity and also offered a place to stay near hebdon bridge , sadly a mid day point for us.
At Calf heath we met an old chap looking to see the state of the local rabbits, plans for dinner I think !
Roads saw us to Huntington where I finally got my first stamp for the transit verification form the end to end club issue!.
Into the woods of the Chase we headed and made our first major mistake en route by simply turning right as the path hit the road rather than seeing that the route was right at a road junction slightly to our left ! Nearly a kilometer later as we saw a town ahead rather than the anticipated pub re routing was in order (after a little swearing!) . A zigzaging route through more woodland took us to the pub and a major disapointment as the pub was now a Baptist bible college ..... I had to walk right around the building before I could fully believe it! Baptists in a pub whatever next!
Thankfully we had enough food so pitched tent at our planned spot and slipped into sleep.


Wednesday, 5th may 2010

Cannock Chase to Doveridge

After a comfy night spent on the Chase where the rabbits had done a wonderful job of keeping a soft base for the tent ! We walked the forestry paths to Rugeley, for a cracking full English breakfast and to pick up more supplies, friendly folk in town very accepting of this smelly pair of wanderers, after we said what we were up too!.
Headed thru Colton and the unsignposted Stockwell Heath to stumble thru cattle fields fast becoming my worst underfoot surface! Better footing took us over the Blithfield reservoir dam to be assailed by a blizzard of mosquito's  I've never seen so many had to cover my mouth to prevent overdosing on protein and who knows what else!.
Into Abbots Bromley and dinner at the Baggot pub great place nice cheap food and entertainment from two locals ( mark and len) both pensioners who'd known each other for 20 years and had yet to settle their political differences, one Tory one labour but great friends despite the antagonism they relished !.


Some standard and uneventful walking thru fields bought us to Uttoxeter and a supply stop at Tesco only to find our path out of town obstructed by the industrial estate the path appeared to go through, a little imaginative trail blazing (ahem!) saw us taking a path over a much underused but pretty little suspension bridge into Doveridge and our abandoned campsite.....

For once Alfie's charms failed to get us both entry into the Cavendish pub so a quick pint and back to the tent to sleep.


Thursday, 6th may 2010


Doveridge to Alstonefield

After leaving the campsite without paying ! No one there not our problem really.... we had a mornings walk very much looking to the horizon , with initial scenery quite normal to home we kept our beady eyes on the hills ahead and the peak district , passing Rocester we picked up the route of the Limestone way and followed paths and roads to Thorpe and the start of Dovedale having not walked Thu here before I was impressed by the dramatic changes of view along the dale, from charming river views to impressive caves at Dove holes (pic), too soon we reached Milldale and followed a steep road to Alstonefield settling into our campsite modestly priced at 4 pounds with reasonable facilities , we headed for dinner to the George Inn , very cosy and friendy to dogs and all. dinner was expensive but excellent duck shared with Alfie !

Friday, 7th may 2010

Alstonefield to Bushyheath farm

The start for today was a brisk walk down a short lane followed by an abrupt and steep descent into Wolfscote dale and Biggin dale not as impressive as dovedale but very pleasing to pass thru, onto heathcote where I had a brief chat with some locals about geese and moorhens in a protected pond which they feed regularly.
Hopping down an embankment we walked along a converted railway track in freezing north easterly winds to the cafe adjacent to the road to Monyash mid Bacon roll we met Steve Clifford of end to end in 2010 fame (pic below) nice chap hope to meet up again! 


Bit of road walking which I seem to like these days ?!!! To monyash then overlooking Taddington we descended sharply into Millers dale and just as sharply back out the other side! Now enjoying some sunshine we walked pleasant lanes and cross country to tideswell for a provisions stop and then up hill to our campsite at Bushyheath farm, all alone on this windy night but a very pleasing site with very green credentials.

saturday, 8TH MAY 2010

Bushy heath to Edale

A short day today just 7 miles of walking to join up with the start of the pennine way which we will be using and abusing as suits us for the next 12 days cutting out unneeded sections and adding bits as suits us.
But today was a simple hike to castleton via the impressive gorge passed the ruined castle into the town for a good fryup and to restock Alfie's food for the next three days ( seems to like bakers complete ! ).

Headed out of town and over the hills via hollins cross in cold wind with grey skies and threats of rain, entering Edale the skys were black with the threat but held off till they'd left the valley (unlike last night when the tent had been put thru its paces (unintentional pun)).
Now warm and snug in the nags head pub , with food to order and all rest day chores done, may go for a relaxing walk tomorrow .............right !

1 comment:

  1. Your both doing so well - and great fun to read!

    I'm looking forward to hearing about the Pennine Way...I hope it's drier underfoot than it was last year.

    Glad to hear Alfie's coping well...and yourself too of course!

    Well done both!
    Sophie & Patch

sunday, 9TH MAY 2010


Hello chicken!

Just a quick thank you blog for Natalie , Jocelyn,Peter and Gareth who I met at the Nags Head and had a very silly afternoon with, thanks for the drinks peeps.
Some more people I class as lovely!



monday, 10TH MAY 2010


Coopers cafe

Another thankyou blog to Coopers cafe at Edale who gave me free rolls when they were told what we're up to, the cafes under new management and best of luck to them and again thanks!

Edale to Crowden 10th of may (sis)

Todays route is one I don't need the maps for. its day one of the pennine way , a route I've walked twice now  a grand and still quite challenging walk, but now I have company my old mate of 29 years darrell, daz, monkey (he has many names!) Has joined the walk for a week and is trying out his new marquee oops sorry Tarp ! To sleep under, think we prefer the tent!.
Anyway back to the walk a brisk gentle climb out of Edale takes us to the foot of Jacobs ladder on a cold morning and the steep climb up to Kinder scout's top with threatening clouds around us.... the threat didn't last long as it became a full scale snow storm ! With temperatures dropping to -7 degrees Celsius and a strong winds blowing in from the northeast we flew around the top of the plateau past the wind blasted granite formations and down then up to Mill hill to head into the storm towards snake pass,

 then as we ascended Bleaklow head the snow stopped and we found a dry peat hag to sit against for lunch, topping the hill we took the old western route from the summit to curve around the precipitous Clough edge and down to the Crowden campsite for the night.


tuesday, 11TH MAY 2010


Crowden to The White House Inn

An eventful day kicked off at 8.45 with the pretty walk up hill under laddaw rocks to the path up to the top of Black hill. at the top the view was the best I've had from this point on any of my earlier walks a good ten miles and perhaps as far as Newcastle, the descent was painful for darrell as he seems to have jarred his knees badly obviously slowed by this when we descended into Marsden he made the brave decision to catch a train home rather than push on and slow our progress, don't know if I could have made such a tough decision , cheers mate!.
Now on our own Alfie and I headed out of town past this ancient generator!!

 uphill to Denshaw moor and rejoined the pennine way to pass over the M62 JP to the top of blackstone edge, passed the Aiggin stone ( a medieval sign post! ) and down to the White house Inn sadly another dog unfriendly pub so we set up camp nearby and supplied our own dinner pilau rice and ham ......yummy......

wednesday, 12TH MAY 2010


white house Inn to Ponden

After a breezey night next to the Inn we walked in a northerly direction past three reservoir presumably for the Rotherham area which had been casting a sodium glare over the tent all night, why do we need so many lights at three in the morning? Grr!.
The path curved eastwards passed the stoodley pike monument to head downhill into the verticle town of Hebden Bridge built on the nearly sheer sides of the Calder valley, I wasn't aware as I descended that this place is the Glastonbury of the north! Tho with a far more sensible and less trashy northern approach (Nora Batty may have approved!).




the path north out of town led through a place called Midgehole which happily didn't live up too its name, along the crimson dean valley we met Dan who had started his own lejog almost 24 years earlier than our start and was still easily keeping pace with us! , we parted company near Drop farm and within half a mile our path disapeared and we were officially lost, our path turned up about a quarter mile east of where we wanted it ! But at least the upside of getting lost was we turned up at the Silent Inn just as they started to serve an early bird menu, very much recommend this place all oak beams and dog friendly to boot!.
This is being typed in the pub so our next stop at ponden house campsite is still ahead......hope its not closed down!



thursday, 13TH MAY 2010


Ponden to near Halton West

After a night kept awake by the freezing temperature we had the additional pleasure of the only other camper on site insisting on coming over to chat in just his underwear.........thanks......
After a hasty exit, we headed up onto Icornshaw moor in quite sunny conditions that we both seemed to tired to appreciate.

 a long slog on b roads to Earby for food and we headed out to West Marton where a little tea shop ( shock not beer! ) fulfilled a growing need for a good cuppa, another donation wad received here, thanks Margret and Ruth.
Finally the route took us through poorly way marked but picturesque rolling farmland to our wild camp for the night.

sundaY, 16TH MAY 2010


Garsdale head to Kirkby Stephen

After the luxuries of my B&B stop and a great full English breakfast we had the additional luxury of a short 10 mile down hill route to kirkby Stephen , starting off staying on the road we made good time following the railway and crossing over a few times then diverting from the easier road to avoid a cycle road race we followed a path promising two castles enroute the first Pendragon castle I think would have disappointed its name sake as it is far from in its days of glory! But still worth a visit with more time to stop, the second (see pic) Lammerside castle seems to be abandoned with more sheep (sorry lamb pun) visiting than people.
From here it was a simple stroll past Wharton hall (also half ruined!) Into our campsite and an early finish with a day off on Monday to follow.

2 comments:

  1. Your both making great progress - well done!

    Sophie & Patch (and the new girl "Tess"!)
    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sophie, I have to say that I really appreciate your comments I'm just often too knackered to answer sorry!
    hope the new pup(?) Is settling in well , a future lejoger perhaps?
    Andy and Alfie
    ReplyDelete



tuesDAY, 18TH MAY 2010


Kirkby Stephen to Dufton 

My original idea was to regain energy on rest days but after mondays horizontal day with book I was unable to sleep properly! Come morning I was shattered, walked into town got provisions and stumbled on my way had to have my first rest after one hour!
Still the weather was beautiful and going along the Eden Valley was easy enough.
My route has changed from plan to miss Appleby and head to Coupland where I bought new boots at the Penrith outdoor and survival center ( see pic) the old ones heels had worn badly and were causing knee and ligament pain, sad to just bin the old ones but I'm sure not carrying them too!
The route change sent us through some pretty almost park like land with stunning views of the snow capped cross fell with woodland and a carpet of blue bells just in full bloom.


Further on followed a track into Dufton via Dufton gill wood very pretty with the low sun making the fresh spring leaves glow while glinting off of the stream.
With the tent up (with the help of a little lad named Andrew who must have been really short of things to do!) we went to the Stag(ger(I know its a bad pun ok!)) Inn where during dinner lejogers Peter and Chris walked in (last seen in Launceston) sadly I was too tired to hang around for much of chat and hope to see them tomorrow in Alston. Funny how you meet up with people who take very different routes.


wednESDAY, 19TH MAY 2010


Dufton to Alston


Once again today we dodge the pennine way route and save a few miles of walking and ascent , a valley walk through Knock , Milburn and Kirkland past the seemingly none existant "hanging walls of mark Anthony" and up the fell following the Roman road the maiden way don't think the Romans would be too impressed by the state of it seems to have been used as a mining track most recently with a small gauge rail track now rusting away (pic to follow).
after the end of the three kilometer ascent to 1800 feet and Megs cairn on the shoulder of Melmerby Fell, we are just below the clouds with a cool windy descent over moor land to the Alston road where dodging cars for a few miles we take the longer but safer B road to Alston. ( pic of Alston cross and church)
After setting up the tent at the local site we go for dinner at the Cumberland pub for dinner along with two ladies Lynda and Karen who are walking the pennine way (pic to follow) and also camping at the same site.




2 comments:

  1. Good to see your progress since seeing you in Alston. We are back in manchester now after finishing the pennine Way on tuesday this week. It was a great feeling to finish but we are missing the freedom of walking already. We will follow your blog to your journeys end and wish you well with the weather. Love to little Alfie!

    Karen and Lynda xx
    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Karen & Lynda
    Glad you made it!
    The pennine way is quite an achievment be proud of yourselves as I'm sure you are!
    Lovely to have met you both
    Andy and Alfie xx
    ReplyDelete



thursday, 20TH MAY 2010


Alston to Twice brewed

A day of relative ease walking along the South tyne way a semi abandoned railway all the way to Haltwhistle, as flat as you could want , just shut down the brain and leave the feet too it!
Pretty views all the way until we reach the Lambley viaduct which along with the old railway enabled mines further up in the pennines to deliver ore to Newcastle and carlisle until it was shut down in 1976, the viaduct is spectacular with beautiful views over the valley as you pass above .

Not long after this I meet Pat and her two dogs going in the direction of the viaduct. after lunch we meet again and walk together to Haltwhistle the center of Great Britain (see pic)(tho some might argue that) I must thank Pat here as she offered a cup of tea, if we had time, after a trip for provisions. Sadly time forced us to push on to twice brewed to set up camp at Windhield campsite near Hadrians wall.

1 comment:

  1. Ee, fame at last!
    Nice to meet you Andy & Archie, I'll follow your adventure and take inspiration.
    Hope you're enjoying the heat, probably won't last much longer...
    Cheers, Pat
    ReplyDelete

friDAY, 21sT MAY 2010


Twice brewed to Bellingham

Up today for a fryup at 8.00am with a surprise visitor, J.P. of lejogplod fame! 
Finally got to meet after walking 40 days ! J.P started the day after us and our paths never crossed till now!
Breakfast inside us from the campsite cafe we went via road through Hadrians wall and with more great views we followed farm tracks through the hilly land north of the wall, then into forestry land for about 5 miles were we met a group of Aussies that J.P had met before, lovely group who donated to our cause! Walked all day with them and I could repay there generosity by route finding.
Regular pennine way route to Bellingham and now off for dinner with the gang!

not to forget the desert eh Jon!!!

2 comments:

  1. hi thanks so much for what you are doing for glosaid i am sorry i have not contatcted you before now but i have only found out today what you are doing
    Carole and i are eternally gratefull for everyone who helps glosaid so we can continue to help the kids in gambia. anything we can do please let us no. keep up the good work and i hope you dont have to many blisters on your feet love Janice
    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad you seem to be having so much fun Andy :) Still watching your progress every day. Hugs to you and snugs to Alfie :)

    Judy xx
    ReplyDelete



saturDAY, 22nd MAY 2010

Bellingham to Byrness

With Alfie getting free breakfast from a group of squadies of sausage and Bacon (lucky chap) we and J.P hit the local bakery for breakfast before heading off north out of town for an uphill route to allow us to sit on the hill and watch the Aussies walk up hill to join us on our moorland ridgeway walk to paddon hill then down to the boggy vale below it , catching our breath we had another walker pass us with a quick hello , this chap turned out to be another lejoger named Tommy Allan walking for help for heroes (pic).
The walk today then went downhill through forestry commission roads into Byrness valley then following the pretty river walk passed the church to the now closed "last cafe in England" now no more sadly, but as the Aussies were booked into the youth hostel we followed along, now this hostel is no longer in the Yha but it certainly benefits from this with a much greater understanding of walkers needs, with a two course meal for 8 quid and amazingly an honesty shop with everything you need (pic) . A supurb stop called "Forest view"

1 comment:

  1. Almost into Scotland with approx 4 weeks to go,god knows what I will do when you bloggers are all finished, oh yea,I know theirs the little thing called the world cup. Its great to know that all is going well particulary with little Alfie. Hope the weather stays good for you, do you think you might meet some of the TGO challengers?
    ReplyDelete

sunDAY, 23rD MAY 2010

Byrness to Jedburgh 

After getting a DIY breakfast from the Youth Hostels honesty shop (love this trust in folk) of macaroni cheese ,high carbohydrate start to the day we set off in pursuit of the Aussies who had a 15 minute headstart on us ,the path soon became serious with an at least 45 degree ascent up Houx hill to about 1100 feet, there it levels out to a more manageable path over "ravens know" and around to Chew green an old Roman border camp, with the blue sky and gentle breeze the walking is ideal.
With Dere street (a Roman road) underfoot we said our farewells to the Aussies who sang there goodbye to us as we crossed the border, sweet people :) 



The Roman road now a slight path ran precipitously round Blackhall hill to leave us with a breathtaking view of Watch know and in the valley an inapproprietly  named farm called street house.....no street in sight!.

Down hill and out of the cheviot proper we forded a shallow river , past another Roman camp which we couldn't see, the path then keeping to Dere street followed the top of more linked hills past the five stanes stone circle, an old iron age hill fort (plenty of these around here!) To then join with a country road to then leave Dere street at a farm named Shotheids (found this name funny with a liberal abuse of the Scottish accent!) Roads all the way to Jedburgh (with a scarecrow competition in evidence) and we followed a path into the middle of town with views of the imposing ruin of Jedburgh cathedral. With a pub meal inside us J.P. Alfie and I settled into the pretty little campsite at the north of town, where J.P. will carry on with his trek as Alfie and I take another rest day.

7 comments:

  1. Hi guys great walking keep going all the best to you all Janice and carole (glosaid)
    ReplyDelete
  2. Claire Paterson24 May, 2010 14:11
    Hi Andy - We are really enjoying your blogs and amazed how upbeat you sound! How are the feet and more importantly how are Alfie's? We have an 'Andy's Blog' folder in the office so all the staff can read up about your journey when they come over for training.

    Received an email from Janice and Carole at Glosaid thanking you for your support - I see they have posted you a comment.

    Take care and look after yourself.
    Claire and all the staff at Alderwood
    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Alderwood & of course Glosaid glad that the blog is being well received , thanks for putting up with the lack of punctuation ! Far too tedious to do properly on a phone !
    Spirits are definately high amongst the lejogers we know and all feel able at this stage to complete the distance, incredible really, won't push my luck too far by being over confident, murphys law would likely apply!
    Will try and respond to comments more as we head off into the wilds of bonnie Scotland but phone battery and reception is always my limitation.
    Andy and Alfie
    ReplyDelete
  4. Watching enthusiastically and wish we were walking the lowlands of Scotland. How are the feet and pads doing?

    Love MUM and peter
    ReplyDelete
  5. love the cowboy scarecrow, so does Alfie by the looks of it......Keep up the good work, your doing great.
    glenda, gambia
    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Andy

    Hows things, hope you and Alfie are ok, keeping a watch on you're updates every couple of days. Happy rambling.

    geebee-Gambia
    ReplyDelete

tuesDAY, 25th MAY 2010

Jedburgh to Melrose

After a peaceful rest day in Jedburgh we are on our own again John (j.p) has carried on with his route and our best wishes go with him ,it has been great listening to johns knowledge of fauna and flora, see you on the east coast mate!.
Walking north out of town we take a route signed the Dere street dash, very handy as after 2 kilometres we're back on said Roman road ,sort of! the path winds it's way along the banks of the river Teviot to an impressive looking suspension bridge think this needs some repair as it bounces and sways alarmingly! Both relieved to reach the other side!.

Still winding on the path goes through the wooded grounds of Monteviot house where the route finally straightens out on its proper NW bearing over Ancrum moor the site of English / Scottish battles and the Lilliard stone where both sides came to make peace at times.










Walking into St Boswells we followed the river Tweed , up into Newtown st Boswells to Eildon and between the major peaks of the Eildon hills for a panoramic view to the rear back to the Cheviot and to front over Melrose (pic) where after a brief descent we stopped for the night .



wedneSDAY, 26TH MAY 2010



Melrose to Innerleithen

Out of Melrose we took a more direct route than planned avoiding Galashiels with a back road uphill through farmland to a path marked on the map sadly not marked on the ground! Out comes the gps and we follow as best we can till a barbed wire fence beats us and we divert around a section of woodland and on to a b road descending back into the Tweed valley , crossing the river via the A707 bridge we pick up a river walk not marked on the map saving 2 miles of road walking, over the bridge towards Yair we pass the high road of the southern upland way (walked this in 2000) to follow a combination of tracks and tiny b roads into Innerleithen campsite.


2 comments:

  1. Pleased you are both still going strong, keep smiling you are both doing so well. Hope alfies paws are holding up (gyps are fine apart from road walking when Pete has to put her baby socks on!!!!). Shame I don't think you will actually meet up but he is still a few days behind. Take care Zoe x
    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Zoe!
    Good news about Gyps paws! Alfie has been so lucky!
    Progress has been great for us but with my weekly rest stops I'm sure Pete and Gyp will catch up!
    Any idea what petes eta into John O'groats is?
    Andy and Alfie
    ReplyDelete



Thursday, 27TH MAY 2010


Innerleithen to Carlops 27/5

Setting of through the early morning activities of Innerleithen, we walk down to the river path along the tweed, after a bit of hair raising road walking we enter the golfing village of Cardrona where the old railway station has been converted into a shop/cafe never one to pass a feeding opportunity, tea and a cheese toastie boosted our breakfast, talking to Linda the owner it seems that J.P also stopped here, she also mentioned that an 80 year old chap was walking from John O'Groats to Santiago de compostella in spain!!! put my efforts in perspective!.
Passed the ruin of Horsbrugh castle a stretch of woodland had been cleared and an odd youth art/village called I'Shuze had been constructed.
Briefly into peebles for provisions, walking by their pretty church then out again to Hamilton hill , with mountains around us we descend to an old drove road which takes us along Eddleston valley.
With huge banks of black cloud scudding towards us ,threatening and then delivering our first soaking of the entire walk we drag our soggy selves into the hotel at Carlops where we were able to get a room (dog too ! ) and a meal to end the day .

1 comment:

  1. Excellent timing that your first big downpour was just before a dog-friendly hotel :)

    Good one bro.

    Love to you both,

    J x x
    ReplyDelete


friDAY, 28TH MAY 2010


Carlops to North Queensferry 29/5



A late start of 8.45 was nice especially with a full fry up inside ,we left our refuge from the storm The Alan Ramsay hotel and set of in bright sunshine up into the pentland hills.
A nice easy stretch of hill walking through curvacious hills then down again into Buteland , quite heavily populated area this with our path heading into wilkieston we set of along the road to newbridge pleasantly there was a pavement all the way. Passing over the M8 we followed an abandoned railway (pleasently rural!) to Queensferry accross the maginficent Forth road bridge and into North Queensferry a pub meal later, we tried our luck with a not so wild camp 2 minutes walk out of town.

Alfie + Barrage balloon anchor!

Luck was really on our side here wuth stunning views of the Forth rail bridge we set up camp, to be greated by a local Jeremy Hawkins who mentioned that our pitch was an old barrage ballon site used to protect the railbridge in WW2.
Now Jeremy is a really top chap he returned later with a bottle of wine which we sat and drank looking over the Firth of Forth, as Jeremy told of local places of interest.

2 comments:

  1. You are meeting some amazingly kind people :)

    The world out there is good, if you go to find it.

    Judy x
    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Andy
    Don't know Pete's eta yet.He did have a rest day last week (yes a first. but needed I think and well deserved!!!) and he is planning one this week depending on the weather and where he is. He is now at Jedburgh (sat) and has 22 days walking left (according to plan). You are both so near yet so far!!! Zoe x
    ReplyDelete

saturDAY, 29TH MAY 2010


North Queensferry to Kinross

Up nice and promptly with only a slightly thick head from last nights wine, and we are off leaving the costal path, very quickly we get lost in the suburbs while looking lost a chap named Patrick and his son Jack gave us directions, following these we nearly get arrested by saying four words " does Gordon live here?" Yep we'd found the ex prime ministers house! The armed guards were quick to move us on! Oh and the big black cameras were sure to have filmed our little brush with politics!
As we left town a car screeched to a halt in front of us, thankfully not the police but Patrick and Jack again with some food and a 20 pound donation ! .
 This next section of the walk was allways going to be a bit too practical rather than pleasant and apart from a good chin wag with my sis during morning break , it lived up to this this was until we reached Kings Seat , here the planned path was along an old railway then via a forest road to Kelty it didn't quite work out, the railway was almost impassable but stuborn me got through even in the heavy bursts of rain! , then on the forest road we came to a no entry sign , now with Scottish rights to roam this normally means no entry to vehicles so we climbed over and carried on the path and the forest quickly vanished to become a working, open mine, with one kilometer to go I wasn't turning back thinking it would be shut on a Saturday ......wrong! Luckily not a day for explosions! And as we reached the exit (passing a supervised area sign and cctv camera oops!) we made good our exit passed workers leaving for the weekend! Some odd looks came in our direction understandably ! 

Going into Kelty you can really see that this is a mining town the place felt hard as nails ! So we got out quickly, in doing so we met a chap named Bill (i think, sorry if I'm wrong!)  really friendly and interesting conversation.
Carrying onwards towards Kinross once again the plan went awry where we hoped to walk an abandoned railway again this time it was impassable so we stayed on the road for a foot crunching 8 kilometres, along here Bill passed in his car beeping and waving hello! Cheered up a tough bit of walking thanks.
After a restock of provisions and a beer at Loch Leven (pic) we head to our camp for tonight at Gallowhill farm just west of Kinross.

2 comments:

  1. ....and you thought you'd left the tough walking when you finished the SWCP... ?

    Hope you have more luck with the ongoing route :)

    Hugs to you both

    Sis xxx
    ReplyDelete
  2. only you mr green would walk into a fully operating dangerous coal mine plonker.
    ReplyDelete

sunDAY, 30TH MAY 2010


Kinross to Perth

Thought:- the Scottish right to roam seems to me to be a very clever way to stop people wandering, by law you can walk in most places in practice its just not possible what's the point of walking a field if its a battle to cross into the next with no guarentee that you can get anywhere if you do !. Grrr 

Rant over!
Out of Kinross and by main road (there do seem to be lots of paths along main roads very handy) to Milnathort and with views back over loch Leven and its surrounding hills we take B roads to Glenfarg , a notice board in town mentions that we are now as far north as Moscow ! Thankfully making better progress to this latitude than Napoleon managed!.
At this point it rains some more but really not bothered by rain anymore !
For a short two kilometers we get off road to take the Wallace road (path) over Dron hill to Bridge of Earn , arriving at lunch time alfie works his magic again and gets entry into a posh little restaurant called "The Roost" an excellent three course meal of a great vegetable soup , and shoulder of lamb presented better than I've seen and with good size portions ! Followed by a white chocolate cheese cake with mango and clementine topping , sublime!


Amazingly this cost only 18 pounds with a pot of tea! I can't recommend this place enough!.Spirits now on a high we walked the wide pavement along the A912 to Craigend where a footpath past fields of pigs and pigglets goes over Kirkton hill and via a foot bridge over the M90 to present us with magnificent views of Perth and the snow capped cairngorm mountains which we will soon pass through.
Downhill through Buckie Braes a maze of twisting footpaths and into the suburbs of Perth and to Noahs ark caravan park for a pitch of two days with lots of rest ! Ahhhh!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds another darned good day - especially that awesome meal :)

    Enjoy the rest and see if you can't put on a bit of weight - you might need more insulation when you hit the snow line on those Cairngorms :)

    Lots of love,

    Judy x
    ReplyDelete


tuesday, 1st june 2010


Perth to Aberfeldy

Perth park
Before I start to go on about today I'm just gonna break a mould I  know that my pet hate seems to be cities but things change ok?
Having had a rest day at Perth with all the usual camp chores finished ie repairs and washing we caught a bus into town on a sunny bank holiday Monday to find ourselves enjoying a quiet but still busy centre, no graffiti , tidy streets and a really pleasing vibe to the place! Plenty of parks and an old but well designed layout to the road system with grand buildings on all sides, you can really tell this used to be a capital city and that its still loved! 

The bridge over the Tay

Nice church by the park

















The campsite we stayed on had an equally nice vibe the place was spotless the two wardens couldn't do enough for you and it seemed that by the time we left everyone knew us by name with beers being given to us and our neighbours who left while we were in town left us a nice bucket barbie to cook on (sadly left this on site!) Oh the site is called "Noahs Ark" no idea why tho!.
Today!
After yesterdays sunshine todays drizzle is a shame but it is better walking weather.
So a stretch of footpath out of the site led us to a hop over the A85 into Almond Bank then into the pretty village of Pitcairngreen with its huge village green, from here a long long stretch of road walking through farmland past the usual animals and peacock with their haunting cries, to reach a turn onto single track road that runs parallel with Shochie Burn (great name!) This turns into a rutted track up Glen Shee for our first real taste of rough mountains ,tho the Scott's call them hills!,

Walking into Glen shee
 down and back onto roads towards Aberfeldy we pass our planned nights stop at 2pm so carrying on road walking we join one of General wades military roads by a land mark known as white cairn (of which there's neither s cairn or anything white!) The old road (dirt track) soon entered woodland where it degenerated into gooey squelchy bog....not easy or pleasant trust me! After two hours of this we leave the road(!?) Over a 12 foot high deer proof stile and hit tarmac walking past Loch na Craige a sign post pointed to a view point where we set up camp, with the sun setting we had a most spectacular view of the Cairngorms and nearer ranges, (names to follow and pic)

1 comment:

  1. 12 foot high stile?!?!

    12 FOOT HIGH STILE?!?!?

    Hope you used ropes and a harness!!

    I'd need a blindfold and a stiff drink!

    J x
    ReplyDelete


wednESDAY, 2nd JUNE 2010


Aberfeldy to Blair Athol 

From our amazing wild(ish) campsite we descended into Aberfeldy for provisions and a quick look about, glad we did as this town is the place where clan chiefs loyal to the English/British  crown gathered troops to form the Highland watch now known as the Black Watch! To keep clans loyal to the Scottish crown in check.

The Black watch monument at Aberfeldy
 The B road (again!) To Strathtay meanders along the Tay valley sadly on the opposite bank of the river to the Dewars distillery :( , with high hills either side the view is never dull, and upon reaching Strathtay a quick ice cream powers us up and over the hill to Pitlochry in the next valley over a pub lunch and we head west towards Killiekrankie (oh jimmy where are you now? Tee hee!) Along the lovely Loch Faskally through well tended woodland paths with sunlight now making the leaves glow! A lovely sight.


The path does run out at killiekrankie and we have a couple more hours on the road to Blair Athol a scenic village at the foot of Glenn Tilt where we will head into the wonders of the Cairngorms! If you don't here from us for a few days don't worry, we're heading into the wilds!  Woooohooooo!

1 comment:

  1. We'll worry, but you mustn't!

    Have fun!

    Hear from you at the other side!

    Love to both,

    J xx
    ReplyDelete

thurSDAY, 3rD JUNE 2010


Blair Athol to Chest of Dee 3/6

Having been pushing it for the last few days to get to the Cairngorms while the forcast good weather held (nearly made up a days walk!) Our efforts have paid off! Perfect blue skys sunny and a cool wind, a bit too hot at 28 deg C ! But so nice!
The walk starts on the trail thru Blairauchdar wood with signs warning of a precipitous drop to our right, as warned the path rises and the river Tilt disapears into the woods below us, we soon meet the river again as we head up the gently sloping Glenn Tilt.
Passing a house called Marble Lodge the glen opens up before us to reveal a staggering sheer sided valley rising up to 2500 feet (approx) on either side! As we sit and marvel another incredible sight meets us as a Euro Fighter jet thunders down the valley and over our heads!



 The first of four jets to do so today, the trail becomes a footpath under the towering flanks of Dun Beag and in the midday heat we find to our left the lovely falls of Tarf , over the foot bridge and  Alfie's straight in for a cooling paddle and I dip my feet into the freezing river, so nice! The path winds up and down the steep sides of Alt Garbh Buidhe and around the edge of a boggy area of water catchment from the surrounding hillsides, after fording some large streams we get to Geldie Burn now in wetter times this would cause huge problems crossing but for me it was on with the gaiters and start wading it still came up to just below my knee ,and even so I only got one wet foot, happy with that!.
With gobsmacking views of Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui to our left both snow capped, we set up camp at the Chest of Dee (by white bridge) , the path tomorrow goes between these two mountains via the Lairig Ghru sadly a hill in front obscures this so tomorrows callenge still remains a mystery!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a lovely, lovely day Andy :)

    Well done you, you're making great progress.

    Don't fancy swapping places do you? I'm in the middle of writing school reports, and have lots of lesson planning and other school stuff to do.. such a waste of beautiful weather, while I'm stuck to a laptop :(

    You've made such a good choice, bro!

    Love to you both,

    J x x x
    ReplyDelete

friDAY, 4th JUNE 2010


Chest of Dee to Aviemore

First off an omission from yesterday , a chap named Hugh Boyd donated to the charity and tonight the Williams family did too! Thanks to all ! 
The nights here are nearly not happening ! At 1.30am the sky was a deep blue but by 3am the sky was brighter so does it get really dark? I'm not planning on being awake to find out!
Our usual 7.30 start and we race off along glen Dee the river drops down a series of small falls and rapids with a Greeny blue hue to the water ,the water all along here is melt from the snow above and as such is excellent drinking water , so sweet! 



Rounding Sgor Mor a low mountain we get ever expanding views of towards the Lairig Ghru which I can't believe is an old drove road ! The dominant landmark at this stage is the Devils Point a shear buttress of rock towering over Glens Geusachen and Dee.
The Devils point

On past Cairn Toul on our left and Ben Macdui on our right both around 3900 feet we have to ford deeply flowing streams swollen with melted snow Alfie does admirably for his small stature ! 


Up into the boulder field of the Lairig Ghru we find ourselves floundering over the still deep remnants of the winters snows, treacherous with the tributary's of the river Dee rushing beneath the snow , keeping to the edge of the remnant snows we pass beneath the  Cairn Lochan and Braeriach ranges to either side.


Down and out of the mountains we are swallowed by the Rothimurchus forest with a hot humid change from the cold winds of the tops.
Looking back to the Lairig Ghru
Into Aviemore for a campsite for the night and the first pizza for two months ! Lovely! 

5 comments:

  1. Another glorious day by the sounds of it :)

    Well done.. how many more days left approx?

    J xxx
    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi sis sadly the end is getting close and we seem to be due a finish on June the 16th earlier than expected , ten days from the time of this post! Eek!
    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't be sad about it - celebrate - it's an amazing achievement :)

    Not a patch on someone in today's news though, who's spent the last 10 years walking and has done about 40,000 miles, if my memory serves me correctly. Want me to google his route for you to do next?

    :)

    J xxx
    ReplyDelete
  4. Get Judy to let Pete know the route I am sure he would be interested!!!! (or not) 40 000 miles is one long walk. Keep it up and don't get down with all the road walking. Pete is already wondering about the route chosen (you both seem to of chosen a similar way) and Gyp does not like road walking or being on a lead. But not far now x Zoe
    ReplyDelete
  5. Hiya Andy, hows alfie? Its Jack Williams aka the Williams family, found your blog and I would once again like to say thanks for your great charity work!
    ReplyDelete


SaturDAY, 5TH JUNE 2010


Aviemore to Tomatin 5/6

A day of flirting with the last great obstacle , the dreaded A9 !!! Gonna see far to much of this road soon but at least today we can dodge it!
Leaving Aviemore we road walk to the A9 and follow its flanks for 200 yards or so before we head into forestry commission land aka the world of the wood ant every step you see hundreds of these industrious insects , hate to think how many I squashed! .
The woodland quickly changes from logging to wildfowl as lots of signs warn of the area being an important Capercaile breeding area, sorry didn't see one tho.
Now walking another military road we have a far better surface than near Aberfeldy thank goodness ! With as we pass Carrbridge an impressive old bridge at Sluggan

 (pic to follow) leaving the woods at Sloched we follow the old A9 now a cycle path till we head into Tomatin. Didn't expect much in facilities here so was pleased to find a little shop behind the now closed Inn even got a hot coffee here so very happy !
We are pitched just in town in a stretch of woodland on a track near the distillery , don't know which one yet so close and we have a dry night!



sunDAY, 6TH JUNE 2010


Tomatin to Inverness 6/6

eerie stunted tree above Inverness
After a night of non stop rain the morning followed suit! So with grey skies and grey air! We opted for the just get today done approach , its a short day anyway so we hit the tarmac following paths along the A9 and then along the B 9154  past the Auchnahillin campsite which my original plan was to use,I spoke to some long distance cyclists here and received the complement of " your Bloody hard core!" (Thanks!!) the trail continued via a wee suspension bridge over the river Nairn then the path crossed the A9 into Daviot, through the forest and following another one of general wades paths we crest the hill in the clouds. Starting the descent to Inverness with no sign of the rain relenting we made a drastic accomodation change for our rest day and located a dog friendly guest house in Inverness on Google maps on the phone.



Inverness castle with the Flora Macdonald statue in front

With 6 miles to walk and most of that downhill we sped along and into Inverness stopping at the castle for a while and chatting to a German girl named Kristen who was enjoying the views from the parapets too.

We then made our way to the guest house by about 3pm a nice early end to a very soggy day where Alfie made good use of the guest house bed!



tuesDAY, 8TH JUNE 2010


Inverness to Dingwall 



Bickkies!!!
After a lovely lazy rest day mostly not moving from the guest house Alfie gets a nice send off,outside we meet up with John (j.p) again and head off over the  Moray Firth via the Kessock bridge then down to follow a track along the southern edge of the Black Isle. We saw a few big splashes in the Firth which may have been dolphin! But too distant to identify the dark shape that made the splash.
After a brief cupper at a picnic bench at  Milton we head on footpaths and roads in worsening weather to Conon bridge and then to Dingwall. 

With tents set up at a camping and caravanning site on the edge of the crommerty Firth we back track to a pub at Dingwall railway station where we get two for the price of one takeaway meals! which we take back to our tents and eat till we cant move!!!!  It turns out we camped near to the Ross county football club ground who came second in the Scottish FA Cup.
We now only have 8 days left ......unbelievable!


wednESDAY, 9TH JUNE 2010


Dingwall to wild camp past Alness 9/6

After the huge buy one get one free meal from the pub we all over slept , didn't wake up till 7.20 !
Once awake our neighbours in the tourer made tea for us nice people!
Walking into town for bacon rolls at a cafe , then walking a B road along the Cromerty Firth to Evanton , by now 11.30 so we stopped at the Cornerstone cafe for tea and pancakes, now this place is charity run and finding out that our walks were in a good cause our elevensies were free! What's more a donation was given too ! Do stop and support this place !



                                       


Walking from Evanton to Alness then thru Mossfield with views of the entrance to the Cromarty firth between two headlands called the two Sutors (scottish for shoe maker) where two giants of this trade were said to work!  we follow a tiny b road/cycle track   untill we hit the woods for a nights camp.

1 comment:

  1. Thx for the latest updates Pud, good to hear that you're continuing to progress brilliantly. Must be good to be back in JP's company too :) Give him a *manly* hug from me and say thanks for looking after my little bro :)

    Next week this time, by all accounts, we'll all be congratulating you on finishing this epic journey!

    Enjoy every minute of it :)

    Love to you and Alfie :)

    Judy xxx
    ReplyDelete



thurSDAY, 10TH JUNE 2010


Alness wild camp to Dornoch 10/6

After a mostly comfy night camping in the woods (damn that stick!) We carry on down the road to Tain pretty nice place but not the most dog friendly so quickly moving on we take the A9 out of town past the Glen Morangie distillery ( yes I made it passed without a visit! May visit on drive home ;) ) 
The A9 follows the Dornoch Firth to the river crossing (just happens to be a pub here, not open but still served us!) As you cross the bridge the very first road sign for John O'Groats tells you 85 miles to go !

On the other side with the sun breaking through to give us the first sunny day since Aviemore, we head along a B road with lovely panorama to the Dornoch firth on our right, with these views we picnic while soaking up the rays! Upon entering Dornoch we find a grand town with turrets on lots of buildings ,at the pub we meet Chris Torrington another lejog nutter! Before stocking up with food and heading out to the dunes for our first seaside wild camp!




chowing down for the night!


friDAY, 11TH JUNE 2010


Dornoch to Brora


From our Dornoch wild camp on the north sea coastline our way led along a path then an abandoned railway to Embo ,passing quickly thru we keep to the railway and pass on our way the skeletal remains of Skelbo castle.
with the weather holding to a pleasant temperature we follow the trail around the sea loch Fleet where we have distant views of seals and the dread A9 !
All to soon we meet the road and spend 6 miles dodging juggernaut and boy racers................. (leaving this bit blank to censor any comment about boy racers!)..........!







Entering Golspie we escape the havoc for the day, finding a nice cafe where we meet two ladies walking Le-Jog,after an all day breakfast with  tea to calm the nerves, we leave Golspie, following the coast thru tranquil pasture we reach Dunrobin castle
 staggering architecture ! Keeping to the coast we pass an ancient Broch (fortified house)moving on to Brora the coastal views actually beat the castles beauty as we pass at least 50 seals! Got within 15 mtrs of two (pic to follow) and that was with Alfie in tow! 

Into town we restock provisions and have dinner in a local hotels bar, then off to find a wild campsite.

1 comment:

  1. Still having fun, hey? Beats (still!!) writing school reports any day!

    (Though maybe I prefer my pay day to yours this month....!)

    Keep up the posts bro, even more vital now you're so close to that finishing line!

    Love to you both,

    J xxx
    ReplyDelete

saturDAY, 12TH JUNE 2010


Brora to Badbea 

This morning saw a parting of the ways, John is very much an early morning man often walking by 6am so he started early and me and Alfie headed off at our usual 7.30.
Initially we walk thru Brora golf course where Signs warn of nesting Arctic Turns ! And so many too! Also nesting were the gulls , sadly underfoot on the path ! Got past without damaging any nests thankfully just a wake of annoyed gulls!, the north sea to our right is pancake flat with the sun sparkling on its surface , think of the north sea you think grey . Right? Wrong its just like the Mediterranean in the shallows with the brightest blue hue. Lovely day !

looking back south
Passing the rocky shore south of lothbeg point we again share the coast with seals , hundreds of them ! Also the now common oyster catchers defending there nests.
Over lothbeg point and thru a campsite set in the remains of britains second world war defences, just concrete bunkers now but once the front line in our north sea defence.
A further 4 miles of idyllic coast line we hop onto the A9 in mellow mood to stop at Helmsdales Bridge Inn , wow! So many pubs have not allowed Alfie therefore us in and now this Inn turns the tables and welcomes us with open arms ! All seating was studded leather armchairs hunting scenes and tartan tastefully displayed and just lovely staff to welcome this smelly traveller in. Go to this place its perfect.


After the great first half of the day the last stretch along the A9 for 10 km was ok made better by the fact the road was quiet weekend traffic !
Off trail to badbea the abandoned village , now just stone walls but a  good wind break for the tent !



1 comment:

  1. You have done so well and are so close to finishing. I feel quite sad after spending so long following your travels and JP's then relaying them back to Pete (he stuggles to have enough battery etc to look at any other blog or to answer comments) I feel like I am coming to the end of a journey. So good luck in the final
    few days days. Take care Zoe x
    ReplyDelete

sunDAY, 13TH JUNE 2010


Badbea to lybster 13/6

A long slog today along the A9 and the A99 in a steady drizzle, the long descent into Berriedale and back out was no where near as bad as some blogs/ websites report so a better start than expected.

But as with most road walking you just spend time avoiding traffic not looking at the scenery, the coast here is all high level cliffs and expansive views of the sea (thru the rain!) To the oil fields.
Walking into Latheron Wheel the mist noticeable landmark was an arch over a field gate formed by whale ribs!.

Reaching Lybster we call it a day dizzy of road walking ! and take advantage of a cheap room at the Bayview hotel with adequate food......nice and dry tho!
Can't believe its just two days walking now. already getting emotional !

2 comments:

  1. Keep on Andy, Not long now Proud of you Love Mum
    ReplyDelete
  2. Jean Tansley14 June, 2010 00:13
    You're doin really well, been following your blog at least alternate days. Shame weather has been so 'iffy'. Not long now - well donex
    ReplyDelete

MONDAY, 14 JUNE 2010


Lybster to Wick 14/6

What can you say about a whole day spent walking on the A99 ?
Oh yeah BOOORRRIIINNNNNGGGG!!

I hate to say that but the most interesting part by midday was walking past some trees...... ok if I hadn't spent the last week looking at the sea that view would have been mildly interesting with its scattering of Oil rigs ,oh one inland oil well at Lybster was of passing interest tho .
The promised pub at Thrumster didn't open on mondays so I boiled some water for coffee while sitting on a rock in the pub carpark , just as it boiled J P arrived (good timing!) So both had coffee and wandered the last miles into Wick for a soft drink then onto the wick campsite for tonights pitch.


2 comments:



Anonymous said...
*\o/* *\o/* *\o/* ANDY!!!! *\o/* *\o/* *\o/* If I read your spreadsheet right, tomorrow will be the finish line!!! SOOOO wish I could be there to see you arrive, but that's just not possible :o( I really hope the last day's walking is a bit more interesting than today's has been. But even if it isn't, you've got SOOO many amazing memories to look back on, it really won't matter. Just be careful you're not wiped out by a passing 4x4 if you're walking tearfully down the road into JoG! Will be thinking of you, little bro'. Lots of love, Judy, Steve, boys, dogs, and hens x x x x x x x
Anonymous said...
Enjoy your walk into John O'groats tomorrow. It's a great feeling to see it on the horizon, knowing what you've both gone through to get there. All the best Russ (Russ's LEJOG)


TUESDAY, 15 JUNE 2010


Two of two or the end ! 15/6

Not sure what to say yet will update the end blog asap , but job done !

Ok about time this was done I think! (24/6!!!)

The day started with a quick walk into Wick where a great little Cafe allowed Alfie In!  John and I full fried breakfast later hit the road (A99) out of Wick to the road NE to Ackergillshore where as the tide was out we were able to clamber over the rocks below the pier , made a nice find here of a massive sea urchin.


.A bit further along and Alfie nearly got an early supper of young Cormorant luckily he came away when called, and the bird just got a bit shocked!, John then put the bird into the sea where it swam out to a rock where its mother waited.
Just above the the bay is the Impressive Ackergill Tower, more of a castle really!
Here a path enables you to avoid the rocky coastline and we started to make better progress, the beach here is sublime! and next to no one else was here, for any one planning a similar route there is a river cutting through the beach into the sea but when we walked through it was only boot deep so no great problem.



Coming off of the beach at Keiss views along the coast show the impressive ruin of old Keiss castle, but as lunch called a drink was taken at the local hotel, before the A99 lead our feet for another 5 miles or so to Freswick, where the bay is fronted by the formidable Freswick house which dominates the bay.

The last hill totally obscures the view of end of the walk till the you get within the last mile or so, but i doubt anyone would be concerned as the views of the Orkneys (weather permitting) are astonishing!


John O'Groats itself is surprisingly large albeit well spread out, with the last kilometer taking you to the now boarded up Hotel where the official finish line is, Why has no one taken over this old Hotel? surely there's an investment here?, Meeting up with Ruth again here (after she had met us on the road near Freswick!) and with the end sign post photos taken, a celebratory beer was had at a hotel up the road where we met up with Chris (lejoger) who was staying at the hotel till he headed home tomorrow.

For me and Alfie a few nights in a large tent with all needs catered for Thanks Ruth!!! were bliss full tho it had to come to an end. so as promised we gave John a lift back to Stafford where he picked up his train and the M6 took us back to the midlands and home.


I suppose the question I've left unanswered is would i do it again? well the answer is certainly not no! but at the moment its not yes either!
 in time when my finances allow I may well reverse the route or find another (stirling looks good!(yes looking already!)) but for now i'm letting my knees recover they seem to be very stiff now that i'm relaxing more!, 
the feet? well i suppose i've been lucky as other than lots of silly little blisters they've been fine!.

At the start of the walk I weighed a whopping 14+ stone (ouch!) by the end I'm considerably more trim weighing in at 12.5 stone so its safe to say I lost two stone or one seventh of my body mass during this expedition, hope I can keep this weight!
Alfie has amazingly had no problems at all during the entire walk! the only thing to slow him down was hot days and a quick dunk in a river or trough soon sorted him out!.

Biggest challenge now for me is work, I dont have a lot ! so if anyone needs an Electrician................


15 comments:


Anonymous said...
Well we know what to say, even if you don't! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Everyone I know thinks you're a star*! (*Alfie, that is!) Well, you too I spose.. Now get back to work! ;o) Love you both! Must see you for a hug soon. J xxx
Anonymous said...
well done andy, so proud of you and alfie again well done.
zoe said...
Well done to both of you. What an achievement. Now have a well earned rest and start planning the next expedition!!!! (but don't tell Alfie! I've got a feeling when Pete gets Gyps lead out when they get home she'll run a mile! or at least hide) Love Zoe x
Claire said...
Well done both! We have all loved reading your blogs and will miss the daily update. So plan the next one very soon or we will be so bored!!! Looking forward to seeing you and hearing about all your adventures. Fantastic!! All your friends at Alderwood
Chris George said...
Well done Andy , Peter and I who last saw you in the pub in Dufton if you recall finished one day in front of you on Monday 14th June.Wher to next then ?? Best Wishes Chris
Ken Klug said...
John, Andy, Pete and Steve: Following your postings since April has become a part of my daily routine. Although you all walked a similar route under similar conditions, your daily reports were delightfully different. With John, Andy and Alfie having finished, and Steve, Pete and Gyp within a week or so of completion, I’m beginning to suffer withdrawals. The thought of not having your postings to look forward to leaves me with the same melancholy feeling I have at the end of a good movie – only more so. Congratulations to all of you on your awesome achievements, and thanks for sharing your wonderful blogs. I hope I can find something to fill the void left by their cessation. All the best. Ken
Anonymous said...
Congrats from the Williams Family!
Anonymous said...
Pete says congratulations on reaching the finish and he hopes you've saved him some beer for when he arrives next week!! Gyp says she hopes Alfie has left her some sticks on the beach!
Philip said...
Well done Pud! Phil
lejog2010 said...
Congrats Andy & Alfie! It was great meeting you on the Tissington Trail what now seems so long ago. Has Alfie got an agent yet? Cheers, Steve (currently in Helmsdale)
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
ta steve made me laugh! dont think Alfie needs an agent tho he's far too much a paws on operator......ask anyone he met!
The Wandering Heggs said...
Well done that man (and dog). Doing 1,000 miles in 64 days is a stunning effort. I'm expecting to take 75 days (at minimum) to do 1,250 miles, and I expect that the final figure will be in excess of 80 days. What's next? GR10?
Anonymous said...
Well done, I'm sure you and Alfie had a great time xx (Nicky Ellis)
Pete and Gyp said...
Well done Andy and Alfie on your fantastic achievement! It is very difficult for others to understand how many problems are involved when taking a dog along with you but I am so glad that I took Gyp with me and I'm sure that you are glad that you had Alfie to look after you. I've had a quick look at your blog and I'm impressed. You seem to have found a better route than me at the end and did less road walking. Thanks for the supportive comments that you made on my blog and thanks also to Judy for her encouragement. (I think that Judy and Zoe enjoyed the walk just as much as we did) All the best for any future expeditions Pete and Gyp
Andy and Alfie the Dog said...
I must say that Alfie was like a lucky mascot! anyone we met (almost!) went a bit gaga over him! seem's to me that folk approach people with dogs more readily....nice I am glad I devised a light padlock and chain to secure him outside shops, tho having said that I didn't feel the need to use it in most of Scotland just in my England.......