Monday, November 27, 2017

Walking is good for you

Of course, you knew that already. I've just spent the last weekend walking in North Yorkshire taking in Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, Janet's Fosse and Kirkby Malham. As you can imagine, it was very cold indeed. I was glad of my merino wool base layers and sturdy walking boots even though it was sometimes cumbersome to be wearing so many layers, especially when walking up a steep hillside. I felt, and looked, like a Michelin man but at least I was warm enough. We had all weather thrown at us at some point in the weekend - sunshine, wind, rain and snow. Sometimes it was a battle of wits to combat the wind and rain and eating your lunch in a biting wind is no fun, but then you're blessed with magnificent views when you get to the top and you can marvel at the wonder of nature from the huge to the tiny.

It's good to get back to nature. I don't do it nearly enough being a city girl. It was one of my challenges this year to do 50 walks in nature. I'm ashamed to say that I'm only half way through that challenge and realistically, I won't reach the target. But it's given me a good indication of what to improve on for my challenges for next year. More on that another time.

The weekend wouldn't have come together at all had I not stumbled across Glamoraks - a blog by Melissa Talago and related Facebook group aimed at women walkers. I joined with the thought that seeing others talk about their walks, I could be encouraged to do it more to fulfil my goal for the year. It didn't quite work out that way, at least not yet.

I am rather glad I decided to join the group's first weekend away in a YHA Hostel in Malham - a place I've never been and didn't know I wanted to visit until I got there. I persuaded one friend to join me, but apart from that, I didn't know anyone else in the group of 15 women from all over the country. That can be daunting. I wasn't sure who I might end up sharing a room with or what the other women would be like and could I hack walking in the cold. As it happens, I had great roomies and made new friends and ate good food over the weekend whilst getting some (very) fresh air and exercise. And all because of the serendipity of social media and having stumbled across the Glamoraks blog.

I'm not sure what lessons can be learned here. Perhaps it's about taking (calculated) risks and trying something new. Or maybe it's about the reach of social media and the power it has to connect people and join them together in a common purpose. Or is it learning that the challenge is worth it as you get rewarded with fabulous views and a sense of achivement. Or is it about finding out how good the Ordnance Survey subscription is for walkers as it works offline and you can zoom in on the screen? It's probably a bit of all of those and more. Whilst I mull that over, take a look at some of the pictures I took. If you click on the image, it will take you through to the album on Flickr.

Walking Weekend in Malham

And here's the official video of the weekend.





Day 27/30 NaBloPoMo