Author Topic: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk  (Read 701 times)

WhitstableDave

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A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« on: 22:24:41, 14/08/20 »
A couple of weeks ago, my wife said that she'd like to attempt a 50k walk - a touch over 31 miles in proper units. We did a non-stop marathon walk a few weeks ago - her longest walk to date - and she thought that another few miles wouldn't have been out of the question. And anyway, 50k qualifies as an ultra-marathon...   ;)

We were going to attempt the walk today, but the BBC weather forecast for Whitstable had thunderstorm and heavy rain symbols for the whole day, so we decided not to chance it. Of course there hasn't been the faintest rumble of thunder or a single drop of rain today! So we're going tomorrow instead because the forecast wasn't too bad. Annoyingly, the forecast for tomorrow changed earlier from mostly dry to rain for most of the day - and this time it probably will rain all day long. Oh well, never mind - there's no such thing as bad weather (just as long as there's no lightning!).

I worked out a route that's as flat as possible and on paths I know to be good. From home, we'll head for our local woods and continue to East Blean Woods at the easternmost tip of The Blean. Then we'll cross farmland and head north along the edge of Chislet Marshes, the low land that once separated the Isle of Thanet from the Kent mainland. Next, we'll continue east along cycle paths to the seaside at Westgate-on-Sea and then follow the coast back to Whitstable, at first on the Thanet Coastal Path and then along the Saxon Shore Way.

The planned route is shown in blue on the OS map:


(Apologies for the US spelling!)

We hope to set off at 8am (if I can be ready in time) and we're estimating the walk will take roughly 10 hours - weather permitting!  :)

Dodgylegs

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #1 on: 23:01:40, 14/08/20 »
Do you both walk at a similar pace or are you going to be kind to the Mrs and slow it down a touch?


Hope all goes well.

WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #2 on: 07:04:23, 15/08/20 »
Do you both walk at a similar pace or are you going to be kind to the Mrs and slow it down a touch?

Hope all goes well.

Thanks!  :) I slow for her on long walks and she slows for me on runs of any length...  8)

WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #3 on: 18:24:25, 15/08/20 »
Done!  :)

We did 31.6 miles (50.9km) in 9hr 50m. After a dry start, we had a long spell of heavy rain followed by drizzle for the rest of the way.

Despite the weather, we took lots of photos. I'll post a full report tomorrow...

WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #4 on: 14:44:39, 16/08/20 »
As promised, there now follows a short write up of a long walk. We took lots of photos along the way and here is a selection that I've tried to condense into a reasonably short space...   ;)

We set off at 8am on the dot. Just down the road is the farm track (L) that leads to our local woods (R):



A few miles further on as we're nearing the end of West Blean Woods (L&R). The forecast wasn't promising, but the day had begun warm, dry and very humid. The skies looked heavy and we guessed it was just a matter of time...



...and just after we emerged from East Blean Woods another few miles later, the heavens opened! A little way before the lovely village of Hoath (L) and me posing under cover at Holy Cross Church in Hoath (R):



The lanes between Hoath and Marshside provided no shelter and the rain was relentless. We'd expected rain, but we hadn't bothered with overtrousers, and our footwear wasn't waterproof - we were soaked from the bottom of our jackets down!

This lane is Old Tree Hill and I used to think it was called One Tree Hill because there's a single wonderful oak tree about halfway along it, which can be seen behind me in the photo (R):



This is a very wet me standing under the one tree on Old Tree Hill:  ;)



Old Tree Hill leads to Marshside and the narrow road here runs along the side of what was once the sea, then a marsh, and then low-lying farmland. It's a wonderfully atmospheric place with waterways to the marshy side and well-spaced desirable rural properties on the inland side:



Next followed a long section along a cycle track to Westgate-on-Sea. To our left were the Thanet marshes and farmland, and to our right was the Thanet Way - a dual-carriageway. Trees and bushes separate the cycle track from the road though, so it was actually a surprisingly pleasant walk - at least, until we neared Westgate. Also, the trees provided some shelter from the rain that, thankfully, had begun to fizzle out somewhat.

At Westgate-on-Sea, after a bit of urban walking we came to the seafront. We were now more than halfway through the walk and had finally turned back towards home:



For a few miles, the concrete promenade with low chalk cliffs behind was quite atmospheric, but there was a stink from the sea that became unbearable and we eventually chose to walk along the clifftop. It was still smelly, but there are some amazing houses to admire in that area. The promenade is especially interesting because of the many old bricked-up doorways that once led into the very cliff face and then... who knows where?



The rain had eased to the kind of drizzle that was actually quite pleasant on a muggy day, so we did the second half of the walk without waterproofs.

This is the 3-mile-long sea wall between Minnis Bay and Reculver, whose Towers can just be seen in the distance (if you know where to look!):



Despite the weather, there were too many cyclists on the sea wall for our liking, so we soon descended to the rough path below (L) (the Towers can be seen a little more clearly from here). My wife set us a target time to reach Reculver Towers and we made it with just seconds to spare (R):



Me posing on the clifftop path between Reculver and Herne Bay:



The small nature reserve at Long Rock near Tankerton (L) and there's only about 2 miles to go. With half-a-mile to go, we reached our 50km target, which deserved a small, but tired, celebration! (R):



So that's it - another record-breaking non-stop walk by my wife who did exactly 5 miles more than she did on the marathon we did together only a few weeks ago.  :)
« Last Edit: 14:57:20, 16/08/20 by WhitstableDave »

Dodgylegs

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #5 on: 15:06:42, 16/08/20 »
Thanks for sharing your adventure....


Enjoyed your photos giving a distant countryman your views!



I've only been down to the Garden of England County a couple of times, once to Canterbury Cricket Ground and another stopped in a friends posh apartment in Broadstairs for the night, apart from passing through to ferry ports, is it all so flat?


Westgate is slightly different from the Westgate around here!




WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #6 on: 15:20:46, 16/08/20 »
Thanks for sharing your adventure....

Enjoyed your photos giving a distant countryman your views!

I've only been down to the Garden of England County a couple of times, once to Canterbury Cricket Ground and another stopped in a friends posh apartment in Broadstairs for the night, apart from passing through to ferry ports, is it all so flat?

Westgate is slightly different from the Westgate around here!

Thanks!

Is it all so flat? No! The great thing about Kent for walkers is the amazing variety of terrain, and the North Downs area in particular (especially near Dover) is very hilly. I chose the marshy north-east for our walk because it's a flat part of Kent, and flat was what we wanted for a very long walk!  :)

Dodgylegs

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #7 on: 15:28:56, 16/08/20 »
You've stirred some very distant memories of Kent.... Chislehurst Caves and a couple of F1 Grand Prix at Brands Hatch!

Ridge

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #8 on: 15:43:32, 16/08/20 »
Well done Mrs WD  O0

gunwharfman

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #9 on: 16:43:18, 16/08/20 »
Well done and I like your photos. I can see that what you both could have done with is a rain skirt each, (10 each) your feet would have been wet (unless you had taken and were wearing gaiters) but your legs to the waist would have been dry. On and off in an instant, weighs 'nothing' and just squishes up in your pocket when not needed.

gunwharfman

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #10 on: 16:55:35, 16/08/20 »
Sorry, I forgot, a rain skirt is ideal if you have to run through wet vegetation and you would prefer to keep your legs dry, or if there's a sudden downpour. Mine is always with me.

WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #11 on: 17:24:23, 16/08/20 »
Well done and I like your photos. I can see that what you both could have done with is a rain skirt each, (10 each) your feet would have been wet (unless you had taken and were wearing gaiters) but your legs to the waist would have been dry. On and off in an instant, weighs 'nothing' and just squishes up in your pocket when not needed.

Hi GWM. I've long been aware of your liking for a rain skirt and I'm sure it's a great idea, but I just can't see myself using one. I know, I'm being silly, but there it is.  :-[

I've got a pair of Berghaus Paclite overtrousers which are quite quick and easy to put on and are very lightweight, but they usually live in one of my backpack's bottle pockets. However, on a warm day I often leave them behind because I need the pocket for my second drinks bottle and I work on the principle that my trousers will dry very quickly once the rain stops. It's usually a good plan, but less so when the rain doesn't stop...

watershed

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #12 on: 20:08:58, 16/08/20 »
Nice one Dave.
Big extra well done to Mrs WD.

never realised Kent was quite so flat, I haven't spent anytime there, just driven through once may years ago.
As you will know though that sometimes makes a long walk harder as you are using the same muscle group all the time.
Bonney countryside, reminds me of the North of France, but that's probably not surprising.


WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #13 on: 08:46:19, 17/08/20 »
Nice one Dave.
Big extra well done to Mrs WD.

never realised Kent was quite so flat, I haven't spent anytime there, just driven through once may years ago.
As you will know though that sometimes makes a long walk harder as you are using the same muscle group all the time.
Bonney countryside, reminds me of the North of France, but that's probably not surprising.

Thank you.  :)

But as I mentioned before, Kent isn't flat as such, it's just that we have a very varied terrain. For example, the North Downs is an extensive range of hills that crosses the entire county.  ;)

Our walk was very flat though, with only about 1000 ft of ascent in 31 miles, and much of that was to deal with what you referred to - deliberately going up and down low cliffs to change muscle groups for a while.



WhitstableDave

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Re: A 50 kilometre / 31 mile Saturday walk
« Reply #14 on: 18:48:39, 18/08/20 »
I've just seen that the stink I mentioned in my report above has made the BBC News...

Birchington seaweed stench prompts health fears

Fancy that.  :)