So the sun sets on another year, and what a good one it has been. 1800 miles covered on two feet and two wheels, lots of good weather, some great backpacking trips, some awesome Dorset walks, and some milestones to celebrate. I hope it has been a great year for all of you too.
But the end of one year marks the beginning of another, so what is planned for 2019? Well clearly, this is subject to ankles and knees recovering in time, but I am hoping for my main backpacking trip to walk Offa’s Dyke. This 180 mile route follows the border between England and Wales and at 15/17 miles a day average, it should take 11/12 days to complete. My planned schedule is more or less in place although I have yet to sort out the fine detail, and I am really looking forward to it because I have heard that it is a great long distance route.
In addition, I am hoping to finally make it to Dartmoor for a few days wild camping, and I would like to repeat a walk I did a few years ago cowboy camping along the Dorset Coast Path. The latter will depend on the weather because I will not be taking a tent but will just sleep under the stars which is an amazing experience that everyone should try. My son and I are also hoping to have a few days away again, possibly completing the final section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, although we may decide to try somewhere different.
We hope also to reconvene the Mountain Gazelle Club for a week in the school holidays, and possibly a weekend or two as well. The reason for the weekends is partly to trial sleeping with Sam in tents which will be a new experience for him. When we went away in 2018, we hired a caravan.
Whatever happens with my ankle, I am proposing to keep up the bike rides at least one day a week to give me some aerobic exercise, as well as enabling me to travel farther afield than walking allows. I would like to attempt a 100 mile ride at some point too – it is just something that I have been wanting to achieve for some time. I think it is good to keep setting challenges for yourself. I have very loosely been thinking about trialling a bike ‘backpack’ if my ankles don’t recover sufficiently for me to walk with weight, but I am not sure when yet.
One other thing I would like to do is to get my kayak out again, but to do this, I need to buy a roof rack for the car. Hopefully I will get round to in in 2019! Oh, and I would like to get the mountain bike out and go off road as well, but again, I will need to buy a rack for the car, although I could take the bike on a train.
Walking in Dorset will of course form the backbone of my walking year and I am hoping to put together some new routes, perhaps in the extremities of Dorset that I tend not to walk as much. This has been a deliberate ploy because I prefer my day walks to be nearer home in order to have more time actually on the trail walking rather than sitting in a car for an hour or more each way to reach the extreme parts of the county. Plus of course, less car travel means less damage to the environment.
One other plan that has been in my mind for some years is to complete one of the old pilgrimage routes – there is one that crosses Scotland from the island of Iona on the west coast to St Andrews on the east coast that I would love to do. With the plans I have set out above, I am not sure if it will be possible in 2019 but I may investigate it further 🙂 !
There are lots of other things in my mind for 2019, such as finding ways to reduce my carbon footprint, living even more simply, expanding the spiritual/creative side of life and so on but there is not enough time to include that here. I would need to write a book 🙂 !
I always hold my plans lightly because things often don’t turn out as hoped so these adventures may not all happen. In fact, with my other commitments, family etc, 2019 could be a very busy year if they do all work out 🙂 ! But how about you, what plans have you made?
Thank you all again for all your support, likes and comments on my blog over the last year, and for sharing my adventures. It just remains for me to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR, and to wish you every blessing for 2019.
See you on the other side of New Year Hill 🙂 !
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@– comments and feedback are always welcomed.
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